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Balancing Your Meals With Good Nutrition

By Donna Stark

You've known about the food pyramid since elementary school and you know all the health benefits that come from nutrient-dense foods, so why is it still hard for you to put a healthy plate together when it comes time to sit down and eat? Finding balance in your nutritional intake doesn't have to be so complicated. Let's take a look at the following tips on how to plate a delicious, filling, and healthy meal so you can be sure your body is getting exactly what it needs.  

Fruits

Fruits are a natural source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They can help reduce certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Your daily intake should come from whole, natural pieces and not from the processed items you find on the shelves that claim to contain a certain percentage of them. Half of your plate should be filled with fruit and vegetables.

Vegetables

Speaking of vegetables, let's talk about the best ones to choose. Fresh and frozen vegetables top the list here with canned vegetables following close behind. It's to your benefit to eat your vegetables as close to how they are found in nature as possible. Don't drown them in creamy sauces or cheese. And if you do rely on canned goods, be sure to keep an eye on the sodium content and any other undesirable ingredients.

Lean Proteins

You may be conditioned to only think of red meat when you hear the word "protein," but there are plenty of other sources to consider too! You can find protein in eggs, chicken, fish, beans, peanut butter, and tofu. With such a wide variety of options, there is no way you will ever run out of ideas on what to make yourself for dinner!  

Grains

The goal with grains is to eat as many whole grains as possible. Try to reduce the amount of sweetened cereal, white rice, and white bread you eat by replacing it with oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and whole-grain bread and pasta. Whole grains are loaded with nutrients and fiber and help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancers, and diabetes.

Dairy

From milk to cheese to yogurt to everyone's favorite, ice cream, dairy has certainly made its mark on our lives so don't forget to include it in your diet. You can also opt for non-dairy alternatives that are fortified with calcium, too, like almond and soy milk.

Finding the Balance

Giving your body all the nutrients it needs may require a little bit of balance, but with the guidance above and some creativity in the kitchen on your part, it won't be hard to achieve! Here's to good food and great health!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Beaverton, Ore.

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