There’s a lot of information out there about superfoods and vitamins, as well as other compounds that provide important resources to the body. Understanding the best way to support your health is a lot more complex than just fat, carbs, and protein these days. So what can you trust? And what benefits can you really expect from having a balanced diet? The fact is, the correlation between healthy, high nutrient diets and overall well-being is established in numerous studies, and the direct effects of nutrient shortages are often devastating and easy to catalog through conditions like osteoporosis or scurvy. What’s less well known are the benefits of a balanced diet that goes beyond the minimum and provides a calculated, complete diet of nutrient-rich foods.
1. Increase Your Metabolic Health
When you adopt a diet that emphasizes balance and uses fresh ingredients like fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re consistently getting the vitamins, minerals, and other trace compounds needed to regulate your metabolic activity. It’s not as simple as providing the fuel cells need to make glucose and power your body. It’s also about providing the additional compounds those cells depend on for regulatory functions, immune health, and other signs of strength and well being. The result is a more consistent metabolism throughout the day, resulting in fewer energy peaks and valleys around meal times.
This is especially helpful when outside stressors are taxiing your energy, like when you detox from drugs. Since metabolic changes are common for long term users of many different addictive substances, metabolic health is vital to recovery during detox. It needs to address nutrient deficiencies specific to the substance of abuse, which is why proper substance abuse recovery diets need to be created individually with the help of professionals who understand the detox process.
2. Build Muscle Faster
If your exercise routine emphasizes either strength or muscle mass development, your nutrition is an important part of unlocking the gains you want to see. Without the right balance of protein and carbs, your body won’t have the resources to recover from exercise as quickly, so you won’t recover as quickly or completely between sessions. It’s not just protein and carbs, though. The same nutrients and minerals you need to regulate metabolism and maintain consistent energy? They’re also used by cells in your muscles to rebuild themselves back up into stronger, more resilient structures.
3. Minimize Chronic Illness Symptoms
Nutrition is often one of the key steps to recovery after the onset of a major illness or lifelong health condition. Often, it’s because those conditions go hand in hand with nutritional deficiencies. In some cases, like osteoporosis, it’s the shortage of a key mineral or vitamin that causes the condition, and treating that shortage helps symptoms. In other cases, like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, the condition itself causes a few key nutrients to be processed irregularly, which makes nutritional support vital to treating those conditions. Patients with lifelong conditions that cause nutrient processing irregularities often have to rely on professional care specialists like nutritionists to calculate a diet that is rich enough in those key nutrients to be balanced for them.
How To Balance Your Diet
Consulting a nutritionist is the best way to get an individualized plan for improving your diet, but there are some steps you can take on your own. Decrease your grain and meat intake and increase your use of fresh fruits and vegetables in meals. For snacks, get ready to eat fruit and veggie options instead of convenience foods, and avoid added sugar. That alone increases your vitamin intake because fresh veggies and fruits are among the most nutrient-rich foods you can find.