Proper nutrition is critical for your health. It is important to get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a well-chosen selection of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. And no single food has the ability to give you everything you need.
So, what is the easiest way to make sure your dietary needs are met? Try eating a wide variety of healthy foods!
And you want to do more than simply cover the major food groups. The higher amount of variety within each of those categories means there is a greater chance that you are covering your bases. To help you make wise choices regarding your nutrition, use these tips to help increase the variety in your average meal.
Focus on Color with Fruits and Vegetables
One of the easiest ways to ensure you are getting a wide range of nutrients is to choose fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors. Different compounds cause the color variances and also indicate that they contain varying selections of antioxidants.
Differing types of antioxidants in foods help keep your body functioning optimally. They fight free radicals, which can damage cell membranes and even affect your DNA. You are exposed to free radicals every day, so keeping a regular influx of antioxidants is important for your health.
Change Up Your Meats
When people think of protein, they normally think of meat first. But the other health benefits you can get from meat varies depending on the type.
For example, certain kinds of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered one of the good kinds of fat.
Lean poultry, such as chicken or turkey, is lower in saturated fat than similarly sized portions of red meats, like beef. Often, this makes poultry a healthier choice, though any lean portion of meat is better than their less lean counterparts.
This is another area where eating a variety can help ensure you get everything you need without becoming bored.
You can also get protein from plant foods. This includes nuts and legumes, as well as tofu products. Often, these sources of protein are easy to work into a healthy diet and can cut down costs.
For example, beans can be much less expensive per serving than servings of most meats. That means you can get the nutrients you need without having to spend a fortune.
Plant-based proteins can help you add variety to your diet, giving you new tastes to enjoy on a regular basis. You can use sunflower seeds to dress up a salad, or snack on almonds to give you an afternoon energy boost.
Skip the Juice
Many people believe that juice is a healthy alternative to many other beverages, but actually they can contain a lot of sugar. Also, high-sugar juices don’t have some of the benefits associated with fruits and vegetables, as juices rarely contain any of the fiber. (Fiber is something that helps you feel fuller longer, which can make it easier to avoid overeating.)
In most cases, it is better to avoid drinking your calories, period. There are numerous, no-calorie beverage options, including most black coffees and various teas, that can give you flavor without adding a significant number of calories. In fact, drinking green tea can be seen as a healthy choice and may help lower cholesterol, improve circulation, and may help prevent certain heart-related issues.
With all of the benefits associated with a healthy diet, and how easy it is to get a variety of nutrients with every meal, anyone can improve their nutrition with a few simple changes. So, why not start today? So you can work to a healthier tomorrow.
Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-fruits-vegetables-cooking-41123/ via pexels.com