For decades, people have heard that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the key to a healthier life, but many still don’t understand why healthy eating is crucial. Maintaining a healthy diet lowers the risk of heart disease, boosts immunity, and strengthens bones. People consuming healthy foods also have fewer digestive issues and maintain a healthier weight.
What is a well-balanced diet?
A balanced diet incorporates a variety of whole foods and adheres to the proper serving portions. A variety of foods means selecting from the five main food groups: fruits, protein, dairy, vegetables, and grains. Getting the right amount of each food group is essential. The more whole, non-processed foods incorporated into a daily routine, the more nutritious the diet.
Serving sizes are measured in various ways, including by weight, volume, ounces and grams. Portion sizes vary based on the package size of the product. Recommendation for calories consumed per day is 2,000 calories for women ad 2,500 for men per day. The recommended caloric amount changes based on age, gender, level of physical activity, and any underlying health issues.
Why vegetable matter
Vegetables are filled with dietary fiber, nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals. This vital food group helps keep blood pressure levels low, and the fiber in veggies helps regulate the digestive system. Most people are encouraged to eat 5 servings per day. Vegetables have many health benefits, but the problem is many people do not like to eat them.
Improving texture and taste
Some people don’t like eating vegetables due to the texture or taste. Finding different ways to prepare veggies can help with this. Seasoning with different spices, like red pepper or paprika, can help improve the taste. If texture is the issue, blending or pureeing veggies might help. Adding vegetables to a sauce or smoothie might also eliminate any texture issues. People should also try experimenting with different subgroups of vegetables. Try adding legumes, such as beans, to a meal. Experiment with a new vegetable each week to increase the chances of finding a favorite.
Alternatives to vegetables
A lot of the vitamins and minerals in veggies can also be found in fruits. Fruits tend to be sweeter and may be more appetizing to people. There are many different types of fruit, and people can purchase canned, fresh, or frozen varieties. Fruits can also be mixed with vegetables in smoothies for a delicious and nutritious drink. A vitamin can also help people get the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of essential vitamins and minerals.
Get those greens in
For anyone who wants to eat healthily but doesn’t like veggies, consider consulting with a registered dietitian for more ideas about incorporating more greens into meals. These health experts can review the overall diet, suggest healthy alternatives, and help patients get accustomed to eating different foods. With a bit of creativity and an open mind, more greens can be integrated into the diet easily.