Keeping a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your body and one of the first steps to getting a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet offers your body the nutrients it needs and prevents you from feeling hungry. The right balance of nutrients in your diet helps keep you healthy, boosts your immune system, and lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease. Maintaining a healthy diet can have numerous benefits for your health. It reduces the risk of developing certain conditions such as coronary artery disease and hypertension, helps control weight gain and diabetes mellitus type 2, improves glycemic control in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, lowers blood pressure levels, and protects against common dietary risks such as excessive sodium intake. But what does a balanced diet look like? How can you improve yours to boost your health? Keep reading to find out about three meals that will help you improve your health.
Breakfast: The most important meal of the day
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason – it kickstarts your metabolism for the day. Eating a healthy breakfast can help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent heart disease, and keep your blood sugar level stable. One suggested breakfast that can help you achieve these goals is oatmeal. Oatmeal is rich in fiber, manganese, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, which are all important for your body. It can also help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. It is also easy to improve oatmeal with fruits and other food if you’d like a little more flavor for your breakfast. A healthy breakfast can also help prevent overeating for the rest of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast can help prevent “mid-morning” hunger pangs that often lead to unnecessary snacking. If you feel you’re at risk of going hungry throughout the day, consider increasing the portion of your breakfast. You can also mix in a small handful of trail mix or nuts with your breakfast, as these can give you some energy and keep you full for longer.
Lunch: Lean protein, veggies, and whole grains
For lunch, you’ll want to select a meal rich in protein, vegetables, and whole grains; this will keep your body running and prevent overeating during the rest of the day. In addition, keeping a close eye on your portion size is vital if you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re struggling to find a healthy lunch to bring to work, consider these lunch ideas:
- Sandwiches – Make sure you select whole-grain bread and lean protein. Avoid mayo, which is high in fat, and instead, opt for mustard.
- Soups – Select soups that are low in sodium and rich in vegetables.
- Salads – These can be a great option to pair protein and vegetables.
Dinner: More veggies, lean protein, and whole grains
You should again choose a meal rich in whole grains, low in fat, and one that helps to add vegetables to your diet when eating dinner. When selecting your meal, make sure your portion size is “moderate” – not overwhelming, but enough to keep you full. Some great ideas for a meal rich in essential nutrients include cooking a homemade broccoli casserole with ritz crackers and cheese, a linguini dish with avocado for potassium and fiber, and chicken satay salad for your daily protein and intake of key vitamins.