Never underestimate the power of the vitamin. We need the right amount of vitamins and minerals every day in order to stay healthy. While supplements are always a helpful way to fill in those nutritional gaps, nothing can beat eating a well-balanced variety of nutrient-rich foods in order to give your body what it needs most.
Without the proper vitamins and minerals your body is unable to fight infection or repair damaged muscle and bone when injured. Choosing nutrient rich foods can enable you to stay strong and healthy - no matter what your age. Not sure what you should be eating for the best (and healthiest) results? Keep these basic nutritional guidelines in mind when creating a meal plan for the day:
Be sure to eat at least 6-11 servings of grains, cereals and breads every day. Just be sure they are whole grain varieties. Those made with enriched white flour lack the nutrients you need.
Fresh Fruit is also important, with the average required servings being 2-3 every day. While canned or packaged fruits give you some of the vitamins and minerals you need, they also come with high sugar levels, so try and opt for fresh fruit whenever possible. Besides, it usually tastes better!
Vegetables are an important part of every nutritional diet. Three to four (one cup) servings a day are recommended. Again try and eat fresh or frozen vegetables whenever possible, and try a variety of different types and colors for the most nutritional benefit.
Healthy Fats. Not all fats are bad. As a matter of fact, our bodies need some fats in order to give us the energy we need to get through our hectic days. Two to four servings a day are recommended. The key here is to opt for good fats found in olive oil, mackerel and salmon, and stay away from the bad fats found in processed and fast foods as well as bakery items.
Eating 1-2 servings (per week) of beans and Legumes are a great way to get the vitamins and minerals you need.
Low fat dairy is also important, especially for children and women. Most nutritional experts agree that a minimum of 2-4 servings of low fat dairy every day is important to maintaining good bone density and strength. Those who don't like to drink a lot of milk can find their dairy requirements in yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and other dairy products.
Lean protein that comes from seafood, poultry and lean meats is also very important. Try to eat at least 2-3 servings every day to maintain a high energy level as well as the ability to fight off disease and infection.