A healthy life to a great extent is defined by what we consume, and the nature of the physical activity we engage in. Additionally, a fit body also keeps the mind happy and healthy. The meal plays a crucial role in the shape and size of one’s physique. What goes into the meal should be dependent on age, gender, person’s lifestyle, nature of physical activity one undertakes. Meals consumed should have a balance of quality and quantity. That does not mean a person should switch to expensive and fancy food items. The ideal way to have a balanced meal is to eat food that is permissible under local customs and food that can be procured locally.
Here we look at the importance of a balanced meal. Health ministries, general physician, and dieticians will generally advise a person of any age to go for balanced meals. So what is a balanced meal? According to a definition on a website, supported by the Ministry of Health, Government of India – “A balanced diet is one which contains variety of foods in such quantities and proportion that the need of all nutrients is adequately met for maintaining health, vitality and general wellbeing and makes a small provision for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness.”
Meals should contain vitamins and minerals, as they are a vital ingredient to boost a person’s immunity and healthy development. Adding raw fruits and vegetables to meal supplies, necessary vitamins, and minerals to the body.
A healthy diet should have an adequate portion of carbohydrate, high protein, and fiber. Rice or chapattis, in the meal, add carb content. Legumes and dal are crucial sources of protein and must be included in the diet.
Healthy foods protect the body from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases. Also, avoiding certain items can enable the body to fight cancer.
About 50% of India’s population reports iron deficiency or anemia. It is especially prevalent among women. Inclusion of green leafy vegetables is a must for their everyday meal. Women also undergo hormonal changes during pregnancy. Their diet must supply calcium, Vitamin D, folic acid, and biotin.
A balanced meal is crucial as that helps in building and maintaining adequate body weight. A person might have a healthy weight, but a poor diet can cause illness and in extreme cases, death.
Overweight and obesity is a growing concern globally. Rising cases of obesity are reported not just among adults, but also among an increasing number of children. Food habits and lifestyle are to be blamed for this. Processed food, aerated, fizzy drinks must be avoided; they have almost negligible nutritional value and are addictive.
Having a balanced meal should be a priority not just for adults, but should should be a habit formed at a young age and modified later on according to one’s age, profession, lifestyle, and gender.