When it comes to having the energy to keep up with our busy schedules and reach our goals, the right nutrition can make all the difference. Eating balanced meals is key to powering through your day and staying in top form.
The Basics of Balanced Nutrition
Balanced nutrition means that you are getting a variety of nutritious food in the right proportions. It should include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, plus vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Aim for a mix of whole grains, lean protein sources, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Stock Your Pantry for Energy
Making sure you have the basic building blocks for balanced meals in your pantry and fridge will set you up for success. Some ideal items to have stocked up include:
- Carbohydrates: Whole-grain pasta and bread, quinoa, brown rice, oats, and whole-grain crackers.
- Protein: Nut butters, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, canned tuna and beans.
- Fats: Avocados, olive oil, nuts, nut butter, and seeds.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Fruits, vegetables, herbal tea, yogurt, and fortified cereals.
Make Healthy Meals in a Snap
When you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, having a well-stocked pantry can be a lifesaver. Here are some easy balanced meals that you can make in just minutes using the items in your pantry:
- Tuna and cucumber sandwich on whole-wheat bread.
- Fried eggs with avocado and whole-grain toast.
- Quinoa mixed with chopped vegetables and chopped nuts.
- Oats mixed with yogurt, fresh fruits and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nuts.
With just a little planning and preparation, you can fuel your day with balanced nutrition. Eating nutrient-rich meals throughout the day will help you stay energized and get the most out of life.
What are the healthiest sources of nutrition to fuel my day?
The healthiest sources of nutrition to fuel your day include:
-Whole grains: whole wheat, oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat
-Fresh fruits and vegetables: apples, oranges, spinach, kale, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
-Legumes and nuts: lentils, beans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc.
-Healthy fats: olive oil, avocados, salmon, sardines, walnuts, etc.
-Protein sources: lean meats, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, tempeh, tofu, etc.
-Dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese
-Herbs and spices: ginger, garlic, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, oregano, etc.
-Water: keep hydrated throughout the day
-Superfoods: chia seeds, flaxseeds, cacao, spirulina, goji berries, etc.
Making sure you get enough of these key nutrients will help you stay on top of your health and wellness.
What are the differences between whole food and processed food?
Whole food is generally unprocessed or minimally processed food, meaning it is as close to its natural form as possible. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. They are also free of added sugars, refined oils, and preservatives.
Processed food, on the other hand, is any food that has been altered and/or fortified in some way, such as adding sugar, salt, or preservatives. Processed foods typically contain ingredients that are not found in whole foods, such as bleached flour and refined oils. Processed foods may also be higher in calories and contain added sugars, sodium, unhealthy fats, and unhealthful ingredients.
What are the advantages of eating whole foods over processed foods?
1. Whole foods are better sources of vitamins and minerals – Whole foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health, while processed foods often have an inferior nutrient density.
2. Whole foods have more fiber – Whole foods naturally contain fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and maintain a healthy weight. Processed foods are often stripped of fiber during the production process.
3. Whole foods are less likely to contain additives – Whole foods tend to contain few additives and preservatives and therefore lack potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients found in processed foods.
4. Whole foods are typically lower in sodium – Processed foods are often loaded with sodium, which can contribute to hypertension and a number of chronic diseases. Whole foods are generally lower in sodium, giving you more control over your daily intake.
5. Whole foods are usually free from added sugar – Whole foods are natural and free from added sugars, which can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Processed foods, on the other hand, often contain sizable amounts of added sugar.
What are the differences between whole and processed foods?
Whole foods are foods that are minimally processed, meaning that they have been processed in a minimal way, if at all. This can include fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds. Whole foods are packed with vital nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and other trace elements. In contrast, processed foods are any food that have been altered from its natural state, often with artificial ingredients, preservatives and/or additives. Typical processed foods include chips, crackers, cookies, popcorn, candy, frozen dinners, and processed meats. Processed foods typically have fewer nutrients and more added fats, sugars, and sodium than whole foods.