5 Key Components of a Healthy Diet

5 Key Components of a Healthy Diet

For the human body to sustain itself, it needs certain things. The human body can acquire some of this things in the course of digestion. And it starts with consuming a healthy diet. A healthy diet should have all the contents of nutrition that can sustain life. That means any diet that lacks these nutritional components is not good for your health and wellbeing. In this segment, we look at the key foods that make up a healthy diet:

1) Protein is the main component of a healthy diet

Protein is known as a macronutrient. It’s one of the big three, together with carbohydrate and fat. Macro means large. Protein is a macronutrient, which means you need it in large amounts. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, on the other hand, are not required in large quantities as proteins. The proteins we eat are made up of building blocks called amino acid. When the body digests proteins, the amino acids are utilized by the body to manufacture vital proteins in your body. Plus, since the human body doesn’t store proteins, your diet should contain a lot of protein every day. Great sources of protein include chicken, turkey, pork, beef, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds, soya, fish and seafood, yogurt, milk, and eggs.

2) Eating healthy plans should include carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are chief sources of energy for the body. In fact, carbohydrates play a crucial role in keeping you running. Carbohydrates can be obtained from a wide range of foods. Some are healthier than others; which is why there are good and bad carbohydrates. The good carbohydrates are those obtained from the least processed foods, such as vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, beans and dairy products. You get carbohydrates from dairy products in the form of naturally occurring sugars. The good thing about good carbs is that they offer a lot more than just energy to your body. They can provide minerals, vitamins, fiber, as well as natural antioxidants. The bad carbohydrates, on the other hand, are highly processed and they include pastries, sugars, white flour bread, crackers and cereals and offer just calories to your body. That’s why nutritionists’ advice that we focus on good carbohydrates.

3) Vitamins are vital components of a healthy diet

Vitamins are micronutrients, which means that they are needed in small amounts for your body to function optimally. The best way to consume vitamins is through a huge array of nutrient-dense foods. There is a total of 13 vitamins, all of which are divided into two main categories; water-soluble (B vitamins and vitamin c) and fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K). Vitamins help with numerous bodily functions like metabolism of macronutrients, as well as the building of body tissue, blood, and bones. Great sources of vitamins include whole fruits and dark green vegetables.

4) Fats are essential for a healthy diet

When the word fat is mentioned, people tend to have a negative feeling about it. But the truth is that only certain kinds of fats called lipids are unhealthy. Some fats are required for good health and well-being. The 3 main kinds of fats include saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Some of the primary functions of fats in the body include good mental health, hormone synthesis, and immune system support. Some of the best sources of healthy fat include cold-pressed nuts, olive oil, as well as oily fish like salmon.

5) Minerals are great components of a healthy diet

Minerals are inorganic substances, which mean they are not obtained from living matter. They are required in small amounts by the body to help regulate bodily functions like assisting with muscle contraction, as well as regulating enzyme activities. All minerals are absorbed in their free form except iron. Examples of vital minerals include calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, cobalt, sulfur, chromium and fluorine. Excellent sources of minerals include spinach, eggs, nuts, milk, yogurt, bananas, avocado and more.