The two pillars of health are diet and exercise, but if there’s one that a little bit taller than the other, it’s diet. Because if your diet is poor, you’re unlikely to have the strength and energy needed for exercise.
With a well-balanced diet, you’ll be better equipped to handle anything life throws your way. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy a longer life and greater quality of life well into your later years.
But what is a well-balanced diet? Which daily nutrients are needed to give our bodies the proper fuel that they need?
If you’re interested in improving your health and how you feel in your day-to-day life by doing so, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are the essential nutrients that should be included, not just in every day, but in every meal.
Read on to learn everything you need to know!
You might be thinking, wait – water isn’t a nutrient, is it? Well, while it may not be what first comes to mind when we think of nutrients, it really should be. A nutrient is defined as a substance essential for the maintenance of life, which fits water perfectly.
Your body is made up of 60% water, and the water content of essential organs such as your brain and heart is even higher. Humans can’t last more than a few days without it, as it acts as a lubricant for joints, flushes toxins, and keeps your blood at the right consistency, just to name a few of its roles.
Drinking plenty of water is an excellent choice, but you can also get hydration from fruits and vegetables.
Protein is gaining popularity in mainstream diets but has always been one of the main nutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle. This nutrient is not only the main component of muscle tissue but is also essential for healthy hair, skin, bones, and organs. Almost every important substance in your body is composed of protein.
The building blocks of protein are called amino acids. The body can produce some, while others must be obtained through diet.
Good sources of these amino acids include meat, fish, and eggs. However, you can also get them through vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, such as soy, nuts, and beans.
The myriad of extreme and often unhealthy fad diets that have come into popularity over the years has taught us that fat is something to be avoided. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, fat is an essential nutrient that should be part of any healthy diet. Because while fat might be high in calories, it’s also necessary for balancing blood sugar levels, improving brain function, and decreasing your risk of many chronic diseases.
Sources of healthy fats include nuts, fish, and avocado, olive, and flaxseed oils. Avocados are particularly beneficial, as they also contain high levels of glutathione. Take a look at esearchednutritionals.com/why-do-we-need-liposomal-glutathione/ to learn why we need this nutrient to maintain good health.
Carbs are another nutrient that gets a bad rap. Low-carb diets might be in fashion but that doesn’t make them healthy. Carbohydrates are fuel for your body and are especially important for the function of your brain and nervous system.
This nutrient is so important, in fact, that at least half of your daily calories should come from carbs. Keep in mind, however, that the type of carb you eat matters. Rather than reaching for white bread or white flour pasta, eat whole grains, beans, and fruits and vegetables.
As a good rule of thumb, keep anything made with refined grains and added sugar to a minimum.
Vitamins are synonymous with nutrients in the minds of many. As we’ve already discussed, however, they’re not quite the same thing. Every vitamin is a nutrient, but not all nutrients are vitamins.
There are 13 vitamins needed for the body to function properly. Every vitamin plays a separate, yet equally important, role from the next. That said, all boost the health of your vision, bones, and skin, and help your body fight off disease and other health problems.
The type of food you should eat will depend on the type of vitamin you’re trying to get, but as long as your diet is well-balanced and includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, you’ll get all the vitamins you need.
Minerals are similar to vitamins in that they support many functions of the body, including boosting your immune system and aiding in wound healing. They also keep your bones and teeth strong, help you stay hydrated, and regulate your metabolism.
The main minerals to ensure are included in your diet are iron, zinc, and calcium. Luckily, all three can be found in many different foods. Mineral-rich options include nuts and seeds, shellfish, broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, beans, and cocoa.
Be Your Best Self by Prioritizing These Daily Nutrients
Let’s face it, some of our favorite foods are entirely devoid of nutrients. Cakes and cookies, for example, won’t give your body one iota of nutrition. Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a dessert or snack, but it’s essential that the bulk of your diet is nutritious.
Ensuring that you get all your daily nutrients will do wonders for your health. You won’t have to guess whether or not it’s working, you’ll be able to feel the difference almost immediately.
Interested in learning more about improving your health through diet and exercise? Take a look at our blog!