Why a balanced diet is important for your health

Source from – https://www.livescience.com/why-a-balanced-diet-is-important

You may be wondering why a balanced diet is important. The simple answer is eating a healthy, balanced diet is a vital part of maintaining good health and helping you to feel your best. While some groups of people, such as athletes, may require additional support by way of the best protein powders and the best protein bars to fuel muscle growth, the majority of us can get everything we need by ensuring we’re eating a healthy and varied range of foods. 

A balanced diet supplies the fuel your body needs to work effectively. Without balanced nutrition, your body is more prone to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugars, and saturated fats are essential to ensure your body functions at its best. 

If your diet isn’t balanced and you consume foods that don’t provide enough nutritional value, your nutrient levels will start to decline. Research has found that 31% of the U.S. population is at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency. There are many dangers of a nutrient deficiency, including digestion problems, anemia, and skin problems. 

In this article, you will learn about what you need for a balanced diet, why a balanced diet is so important, and tips for ensuring you meet your nutritional needs every day.


“A balanced diet ideally includes five food groups,” Isabel Maples, registered dietitian, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told Live Science. “The individual food groups each supply certain groups of nutrients. One group is not more important than the other – each provides key vitamins, minerals, fiber, and calories. But when one food group is eaten less, then it becomes the weakest link in maintaining balance. More focus on it might help bring the diet back into balance.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, set out by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend nutrient-dense foods that provide vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting components and have no or little added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

The core elements that make up a healthy dietary pattern include:

  • Vegetables of all types – dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.
  • Fruits, especially whole fruit (rather than fruit juices).
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grain.
  • Dairy, including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, and/or lactose-free versions and fortified soy beverages and yogurt as alternatives.
  • Protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts, seeds, and soy products.
  • Oils, including vegetable oils and oils in food, such as seafood and nuts.

Nutritionist Lamorna Hollingsworth says variety is key when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables. “Go for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day,” she says. “Fresh, frozen, canned, and dried all count. Eating a diverse range of plant-based foods is great news for our gut health and microbiome which thrives best when we consume a wide variety – aiming for 30+ different plant-based foods a week is a great target.”

The dietary guidelines also advise limiting foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium and limiting alcoholic beverages. The recommended limits are:

  • Added sugars: Less than 10% of your calories per day.
  • Saturated fat: Less than 10% of your calories per day.
  • Sodium: Less than 2,300 milligrams per day (and even less for children younger than age 14).
  • Alcoholic beverages: Adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to two drinks or less in a day for men and one drink or less in a day for women when alcohol is consumed. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.


The foods we eat have a profound impact on physical and mental health. The scientific connection between food and health is well documented, with substantial evidence showing that following a healthy diet can help people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

A balanced diet supplies the nutrients your body needs to work well. Without balanced nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, and fatigue.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, four of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States – heart disease, cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes – are directly linked to diet.

Some evidence suggests a close relationship between diet and mood. In 2016, research published in the journal Appetite found that diets with a high glycemic load may trigger increased symptoms of depression and fatigue. Foods with a high glycemic load include many refined carbohydrates, often found in soft drinks, cakes, white bread, and biscuits. Vegetables, whole fruit, and whole grains have a lower glycemic load.

A healthy diet may help maintain brain health too. A 2015 study published in the journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research identified nutrients and foods that protect against cognitive decline and dementia. The researchers found the following beneficial – vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and fish.


A healthy diet will combine all the recommended nutrients and food groups mentioned, but you need to balance them too.

The plate method is a handy way to remember how much of each food group to eat. Maples endorses the USDA’s ‘ChooseMyPlate‘ initiative, which recommends:

  • Filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Filling just over one quarter with grains.
  • Filling just under one quarter with protein foods.
  • Adding dairy on the side (or a non-dairy replacement).

But individual needs will vary, so the USDA also provides an interactive tool, ‘MyPlate Plan‘, where you can enter your own details to determine your personal needs.

Hollingsworth believes that proper balance comes when you view food on a spectrum, as labeling foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’ may lead to unhealthy restrictive habits. She told LiveScience: “It could be argued that a balanced diet that includes healthy and occasional not-so-healthy foods is more important than aiming for perfection with all our food choices.

“Taking this approach allows individuals to fuel their bodies with healthy options but also provides a positive place for our mental health too. Having this kind of mindset prevents guilt that could be felt upon eating the occasional unhealthy food.”

Science Behind Why Grandma Was Right in Soaking Mangoes Before Eating

Source from – https://www.thebetterindia.com/283979/soaking-mangoes-before-eating-scientific-reasons/

With the arrival of mango season, people are stocking up on their favourite fruit to try out different recipes or gorge on its rich flavour.

But you might have also noticed the common practice of soaking mangoes in water before eating them to rid them of the dirt as well as the chemicals used on crops. This is just one of the reasons.

Here are a few more reasons why it’s best we continue to soak mangoes in water before eating them:ADVERTISEMENT

Alphonso mangoes
Pic Source: Shutterstock

Getting rid of phytic acid:

Phytic acid is one of those nutrients that can be both good and bad for health. Considered an anti-nutrient, phytic acid blocks the absorption of certain minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and other minerals by the body thereby promoting mineral deficiencies.

According to nutritionists, mangoes contain a natural molecule known as phytic acid which is seen in several fruits, vegetables and even nuts. So, when mangoes are soaked in water for a few hours, it helps in removing the excess phytic acid that generates heat in the body.ADVERTISEMENT

mango farm
Representational image/ Image source: Pixabay

Avoiding diseases:

The practice also helps in preventing several skin issues like acne, pimples and also other health issues like headaches, constipation and other gut-related issues. “Soaking fruits in water will get rid of heat principle from them. This process is followed so that they do not cause side effects like diarrhoea and skin problems like acne,” Dr Ashutosh Gautam, an Ayurveda expert, told NDTV Food.

Washing away chemicals:ADVERTISEMENT

The pesticides and insecticides that are used on crops to protect them, are poisonous and can affect the body causing different side effects like respiratory tract irritation, allergic sensitisation, headache, eye and skin irritation, nausea and so on. Also, by soaking, it removes the milky sap on its stem that contains the phytic acid.

Keeping it cool:

mango peel fertilisers


Mangoes also raise the temperature of the body resulting in the production of thermogenesis. Therefore, soaking mangoes in water for a while would help in reducing their thermogenic property.

Busting fat:

Mangoes have a lot of phytochemicals. Therefore soaking them reduces their concentration, making them act as ‘natural fat busters’.

What is a healthy diet?

Source from -https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm

Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be overly complicated. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. The truth is that while some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. The cornerstone of a healthy diet should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.

By using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create—and stick to—a tasty, varied, and nutritious diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

The fundamentals of healthy eating

While some extreme diets may suggest otherwise, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to sustain a healthy body. You don’t need to eliminate certain categories of food from your diet, but rather select the healthiest options from each category.

Protein gives you the energy to get up and go—and keep going—while also supporting mood and cognitive function. Too much protein can be harmful to people with kidney disease, but the latest research suggests that many of us need more high-quality protein, especially as we age. That doesn’t mean you have to eat more animal products—a variety of plant-based sources of protein each day can ensure your body gets all the essential protein it needs. Learn more »

Fat. Not all fat is the same. While bad fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, good fats protect your brain and heart. In fact, healthy fats—such as omega-3s—are vital to your physical and emotional health. Including more healthy fat in your diet can help improve your mood, boost your well-being, and even trim your waistline. Learn more »

Fiber. Eating foods high in dietary fiber (grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans) can help you stay regular and lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also improve your skin and even help you to lose weight. Learn more »

Calcium. As well as leading to osteoporosis, not getting enough calcium in your diet can also contribute to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. Whatever your age or gender, it’s vital to include calcium-rich foods in your diet, limit those that deplete calcium, and get enough magnesium and vitamins D and K to help calcium do its job. Learn more »

Carbohydrates are one of your body’s main sources of energy. But most should come from complex, unrefined carbs (vegetables, whole grains, fruit) rather than sugars and refined carbs. Cutting back on white bread, pastries, starches, and sugar can prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood and energy, and a build-up of fat, especially around your waistline. Learn more »

Making the switch to a healthy diet

Switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy, and you don’t have to change everything all at once—that usually only leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan.

A better approach is to make a few small changes at a time. Keeping your goals modest can help you achieve more in the long term without feeling deprived or overwhelmed by a major diet overhaul. Think of planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

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Setting yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, try to keep things simple. Eating a healthier diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, for example, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Prepare more of your own mealsCooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.

Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled salmon) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.

Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.

Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The healthier the food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.

Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many of us go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Moderation: important to any healthy diet

What is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. For many of us, moderation means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza.

Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods, it’s natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes. Your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. By serving your meals on smaller plates or in bowls, you can trick your brain into thinking it’s a larger portion. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy greens or round off the meal with fruit.

Take your time. It’s important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.

Eat with others whenever possible. Eating alone, especially in front of the TV or computer, often leads to mindless overeating.

Limit snack foods in the home. Be careful about the foods you keep at hand. It’s more challenging to eat in moderation if you have unhealthy snacks and treats at the ready. Instead, surround yourself with healthy choices and when you’re ready to reward yourself with a special treat, go out and get it then.

Control emotional eating. We don’t always eat just to satisfy hunger. Many of us also turn to food to relieve stress or cope with unpleasant emotions such as sadness, loneliness, or boredom. But by learning healthier ways to manage stress and emotions, you can regain control over the food you eat and your feelings.

It’s not just what you eat, but when you eat

Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, while eating small, healthy meals keeps your energy up all day.

Avoid eating late at night. Try to eat dinner earlier and fast for 14-16 hours until breakfast the next morning. Studies suggest that eating only when you’re most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day may help to regulate weight.

Add more fruit and vegetables to your diet

Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.

To increase your intake:

  • Add antioxidant-rich berries to your favorite breakfast cereal
  • Eat a medley of sweet fruit—oranges, mangos, pineapple, grapes—for dessert
  • Swap your usual rice or pasta side dish for a colorful salad
  • Instead of eating processed snack foods, snack on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes along with a spicy hummus dip or peanut butter

How to make vegetables tasty

While plain salads and steamed veggies can quickly become bland, there are plenty of ways to add taste to your vegetable dishes.

Add color. Not only do brighter, deeper colored vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but they can vary the flavor and make meals more visually appealing. Add color using fresh or sundried tomatoes, glazed carrots or beets, roasted red cabbage wedges, yellow squash, or sweet, colorful peppers.

Liven up salad greens. Branch out beyond lettuce. Kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are all packed with nutrients. To add flavor to your salad greens, try drizzling with olive oil, adding a spicy dressing, or sprinkling with almond slices, chickpeas, a little bacon, parmesan, or goat cheese.

Satisfy your sweet tooth. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, bell peppers, and squash—add sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for added sugar. Add them to soups, stews, or pasta sauces for a satisfying sweet kick.

Cook green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus in new ways. Instead of boiling or steaming these healthy sides, try grilling, roasting, or pan frying them with chili flakes, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, or onion. Or marinate in tangy lemon or lime before cooking.

Benefits of Drinking Water from a Copper Bottle

source from – https://www.drinkoptimum.com/benefits-of-drinking-water-from-a-copper-bottle/

While you probably think about the source of your drinking water pretty often, you may not think about the vessel used to hold your water nearly as often. If one of your resolutions at the start of 2021 was to drink more water, or maybe even use less plastic, you may be thinking about purchasing a new reusable water bottle. While there is an ever-expanding array of options to choose from on the market, copper water bottles are one choice with some surprising benefits. According to the sales pitch behind many brands marketing reusable copper water bottles, storing drinking water in a copper vessel could aid digestion, improve your immune system, boost your tan, and even decrease the healing time of wounds. But do these claims hold true?

Today, Optimum will be exploring the benefits of drinking water from a copper bottle. As an eco-friendly company, we’re always interested in ways to reduce the use of plastic. Beyond that, a reusable water bottle that supposedly has health benefits is of extreme interest to us. If you’re just as interested in this as we are, keep reading! You may be surprised at the information we have for you.

Copper: An Essential Nutrient

Believe it or not, copper plays a huge role in maintaining many – if not all – of your bodily systems. This includes the digestive and immune systems. While this may sound as though copper is a miracle metal that you need to ensure you’re getting as much of as possible, deficiencies are, in fact, extremely rare. According to Emeritus professor Anthony Wedd, copper is “almost everywhere, it’s in most foods. There’s no problem for people getting their copper from their diet because its main form is Cu2+, which is soluble in water: unlike iron, which can be tricky to get enough of.”

Still, getting as much copper in your diet as possible is important. As such an essential nutrient, it’s better to have more than needed than too little. For this reason, drinking water out of a copper bottle may be beneficial. But what health benefits can you expect from purchasing a copper water bottle and using it on a daily basis? Let’s find out.

The Health Benefits of Copper Water Bottles

Put simply, storing water in a copper vessel creates a natural purification process. It can kill all of the microorganisms, algae, fungi, bacteria, and molds in water that can be harmful to the body, making it perfectly fit for drinking. Additionally, water stored in a copper water bottle, preferably overnight, acquires a certain quality from copper. That’s because, as explained, copper is a mineral that is largely beneficial to human health. So, what can copper do for you?

Better Digestive Performance

One of the biggest benefits of drinking water from a copper bottle is found in its ability to improve digestive performance. This is due to the fact that copper has certain properties that can kill harmful bacteria as well as reducing inflammation in the stomach. This makes it a great remedy for infections, ulcers, and indigestion. Further, copper also aids in cleansing and detoxing the stomach, which regulates the functioning of both the kidneys and liver. For those with digestive issues, this is a huge reason to consider drinking water from a copper bottle.

Aiding in Weight Loss

If you’re looking for a quicker way to lose weight (and let’s be honest, who isn’t), you should try drinking water from a copper water bottle regularly. Why? Aside from fine-tuning your digestive system to perform better, copper also helps the body break down fat as well as eliminating it more efficiently. This process helps your body hold on to only what it will use, eliminating the rest. This is a great way to aid your body’s ability to lose weight more quickly.

Helping Wounds Heal Faster

Copper is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. These qualities make copper a great tool for healing wounds more rapidly. Copper is also known to strengthen the body’s immune system, assisting in the production of brand new cells. That being said, copper’s ability to heal the body isn’t found on solely an external level: it has also been shown to assist in healing wounds within the body, especially in the stomach.

Helps with Arthritis and Inflamed Joints

As stated, copper has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a great mineral in terms of helping with arthritis and inflamed joints. For those experiencing these problems, copper is great for reducing aches and pains caused by inflamed joints, such as in cases of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Copper also has bone strengthening properties, which is also beneficial to those suffering from these conditions.

Boosting Skin Health and Melanin Production

Finally, copper is the main mineral involved in the body’s production of melanin. Melanin is a pigment that plays a role in the color of your eyes, your skin tone, and your hair color. Copper’s ability to aid in the production of new cells increases the body’s ability to replenish the top layers of the skin, leaving your skin smoother and more radiant. If you want to rejuvenate your skin and make it as youthful in appearance as possible, drinking water from a copper bottle may be the way to go.

Combine the Benefits of Copper with Drinking More Water!

Now that you have an understanding of copper’s benefits for the body, it is likely you’re interested in drinking water from a copper water bottle. Why not make things easier on yourself by having an endless supply of fresh water? Further, why not do more for the environment by eliminating the need for plastic water bottles? That’s what you’ll get with one of Optimum’s bottleless water systems.

With Optimum’s bottleless water systems, you will be given access to a fantastic 5-stage filtration process that removes sediment, bacteria, chlorine, and other harmful contaminants found in your drinking water supply. This means, apart from great-tasting water, more convenient access to drinking water. When combining drinking more water regularly with a copper water bottle, you’ll receive all of the health benefits described here. Shop our selection of bottleless water systems and increase your water intake today!

Latest Indian Wedding Food Menu Lists and Ideas

Source from – https://www.happywedding.app/blog/latest-indian-wedding-food-menu-list/

It is worth mentioning that food is one of the most important parts of your wedding. A wedding without food is just not done! Yes, 80% of your guests won’t attend it. And those 20% will be your close family members. Also, it is important that the food you arrange for your wedding is tasty and sumptuous. If it is not delicious, then trust your guests would make complaints all their lives. And at the same if the food is finger licking, then also they won’t stop boasting about you. So, it is important that the latest Indian wedding food menu list is incorporated into your wedding.

Indian food makes for the best wedding foods in the world. There are different kinds of food available in India. Each state in India has its own unique taste and different delicacies. For instance, Rajasthan is famous for its Rajasthani cuisine, which is spicy and very flavorful, while South India is famous for its food items prepared with rice flour, like idli, dosa, etc. If you are planning to feed your guests with the most finger-licking food items, then the options are endless. You can have North Indian food items to South Indian food items or Eastern Indian delicacies to Western Indian cuisines added to your wedding food menu.

If you are also planning for your wedding, and have not yet selected the food items for your wedding day, then this is the post for you. Here we are sharing with you the trending Indian wedding food menu list, just select the ones that fits in your needs

Here we go………..


– If you are getting married in scorching summer, then beverages are MUST HAVE in your wedding. It will keep your guests cool. Here are some of the most refreshing drinks to add to your wedding menu:

  • Iced Tea
  • Gola (Mumbai ki Shaan)
  • Aam Panna (Nothing can beat this, it is one of the best and the coolest drinks)
  • Cold Coffee
  • Lassi
  • Sarbat
  • Thandai
  • Nimbu Paani
  • Watermelon Juice
  • Mixed Fruit Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice


– Indian Chaat makes for a good starter in a wedding. Wedding without Indian chat is simply bland, so add few or all items to your wedding

  • Pani Poori
  • Aloo Tikki
  • Dahi Bhalla
  • Mumbai ragda patties
  • Dahi Puri
  • Mini Samosa
  • Cocktail Kachori
  • Dhokla
  • Bhel Puri
  • Dahi Papdi
  • Samosa Chaat
  • Besan Chilla
  • Khakra roll
  • Sev Puri
  • Dahi Vada
  • Sprouts Chaat
  • Kuzhi Paniyaram
  • Sweet Potato Chaat
  • Masala Vadai
  • Bajji
  • Veg Sandwich
  • French Fries
  • Aaloo Chaat
  • Fruit Chaat
  • Aloo Katori Chaat
  • Tokri Chaat
  • Litthi Chokha (From Bihar)
  • Daal Baati (From Rajasthan)

These are the items that your guests would savor before they hit the dance floor. And all these will digest just in half an hour. After that they will love to savor on their favorite main food items.