When you’re young and your metabolism is a monster that feasts on calories 24/7 it is easy to take it for granted. No one can escape the wonderful process of aging. As we get older our body’s change drastically. A proper diet can make those transitions much smoother by promoting mental health, healthy skeletal muscle growth, weight control, and preventing disease and infections. A healthy diet is summed up in one word…BALANCE. There are 5 main areas of the food chain that must be explored daily to maintain a balanced diet, and I’m going to share them with you now. Memorize them so you can be conscience of them when it’s time to prepare your next meal!
1. Fruits & Vegetables-A variety of fruits and vegetables provides the body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are important in maintaining health and preventing disease. Their low fat and high water content make them a good choice for healthy snacks. These earthly treasures also prevent heart disease and cancer. I recommend eating at least five portions of various fruits and vegetables per day, consisting of different colors to obtain a variety of nutrients. The darker the color, the higher the nutrients.
2. Proteins-I have recently decided to quit eating meat, I guess that makes me a vegetarian. It was not easy, but I have realized that there are a lot of different sources when it comes to your protein intake. Some of those choices include: eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products, and of course meat and seafood for all you carnivores out there. Proteins are important for body growth and tissue repair as well as healing of injuries. A lack of protein in the diet can result in muscle deterioration, heart problems, arthritis, and a wide array of other negative side effects.
3. Carbohydrates-Who doesn’t love carbs!? Carbohydrates provide energy, which is essential to maximize your daily tasks and especially your workouts. I personally try to take my portions of carbs in before it gets too late in the evening because carbohydrates that aren’t burned will be stored as fat. I stick to the idea that about 1/3 of all your meals should consist of carbs.
4. Dairy- I won’t bore you with much more stuff you may already know. Dairy is your best source of calcium which keeps those bones strong and regulates muscle contractions. There are several rich options when choosing your dairy like Greek yogurt, cheese, and milk. Butter is okay if it is organic and grass fed, I prefer “Kerry Gold”. I personally use coconut oil in place of butter.
5. Dietary Fiber-Your stool can tell you a lot about your diet and whether you're getting the proper nutrients or not. If you're clearing the room you may be eating something that your digestive track doesn’t like. Dietary fiber helps regulate bowl movements and lower cholesterol. Also it is found mainly in fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains.