What’s your regular diet like? Ideally, you should be eating food from a wide range of food groups. However, more often than not, you find that most people have a diet that’s far from diverse. It’s even worse for picky eaters that find themselves limited to the same food choices over and over again. This raises several concerns that need to be addressed for optimal health. Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet? This is a question that we all need to be asking and which deserves a detailed answer, so you can be aware of the crucial reasons to diversify your diet. Read on as we answer this important question – Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet?
How To Diversify Your Diet
Perhaps you have read somewhere that you’re what you eat. In other words, the foods you eat every day can have a big impact on your overall health. This also applies to what you drink, which is why drinking water testing is essential if you have concerns about the safety of the water you’re drinking. Different foods contain different nutrients, and each type of nutrient has a specific function that’s beneficial for your body. Before we can answer the question of “Why is Variety an Important Component of a Healthy Diet?” it’s best to first define what we mean by a diverse diet. Simply put, a diverse diet is one that incorporates various foods from a wide range of sources. A diverse diet typically includes foods from different food groups, such as protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fruits, and vegetables.
When combined, the collection of foods that you call your diet should be packed with many nutrients. For instance, fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Nuts and seeds are a rich source of unsaturated fats, while dairy foods provide you with calcium and other essential minerals. You should eat meat, poultry, and fish to get your recommended supply of animal protein or legumes for plant protein. Although it can be easy to fall into the trap of eating the same foods over and over again, there are habits you can adopt to stay on track. We recommend creating a comprehensive meal plan where no food group gets left out.
Make sure your meal plan is tailored to the seasons, because it’s often cheaper and easier to source locally grown fruits and vegetables that are in season. Seasonal eating makes life easier and it’s an optimal way of diversifying your diet. Make sure you incorporate protein sources from both plant and animal sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends the Mediterranean diet because it is sustainable and includes a broad range of vegetables, oils, beans, seeds, nuts, and whole grains that are good for your gut and heart. It also helps to think of a diverse diet as a rainbow. Eat fruits and vegetables with a wide variety of colors because each natural color is often associated with a specific type of micronutrient. For instance, the orange in carrots and citrus fruits comes from carotenoids that are important for vision.
Why Should You Diversify Your Diet?
Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet? This is the question we still want to address after looking at what a diverse diet means and how to eat more diversely. Here are the top reasons to diversify your diet.
Keeps Your Gut Healthy
One of the best benefits of diversifying your diet is that it’s beneficial for your gut health. There are many other ways of making the digestive system more effective, such as using a colon cleansing service, but the simplest way is to eat a more varied diet. A healthy gut microbiome is an essential part of your physical health. You might not always remember it but there’s a collection of beneficial microorganisms lying in your gut. These microorganisms can influence your health, depending on what you eat. By eating an assortment of healthy foods, you can maintain the right balance of healthy bacteria while keeping harmful bacteria in check.
Ensures Nutrient Adequacy
Another crucial reason for “Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet?” is that the body needs a wide range of nutrients to function. When you eat diverse meals every day, you’re supporting a wide range of bodily functions. For instance, there are certain nutrients that are needed for proper vision. If you’re not eating a varied diet that includes the required nutrients, an eye exam is more likely to reflect the deficiency. It’s particularly important to ensure your intake of essential nutrients is sufficient.
Some nutrients are critical for daily function, and if there’s a deficiency of that nutrient, this can result in serious illness. For instance, when your body lacks enough iron, this is a condition known as anemia, which can badly impact your immune system. Eating a diverse diet is your best bet for ensuring your body has all the macro and micronutrients your body needs.
It Boosts Your Immune System
Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet? It boosts your immune system, which should be enough to motivate you to switch up your diet. According to Healthline, research has shown that eating a wide range of foods from an early age can reduce the risk of food allergies and intolerance. When you keep eating the same foods repeatedly, the risk of developing food intolerance also increases. Another benefit of consuming a diverse diet is that it can result in reduced inflammation.
This is good news if you’re tired of seeing pain specialists and are looking for more natural pain management techniques. Studies show that consuming a wide range of fruits and vegetables helps to lower the amount of inflammatory biomarkers in the body. Overall, if you have more variety in your diet, you can boost various functions of your body such as vision.
Can Help Combat Oxidative Stress
Another answer to the question of “Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet?” is the fact that it can combat oxidative stress. According to Healthline, oxidative stress is linked to a wide range of diseases. Oxidative stress is caused when there’s an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body. Free radicals are often associated with faster aging, and they can be caused by environmental factors, but they’re also produced by the body as a result of natural processes. One of the roles of antioxidants in the body is to neutralize free radicals. However, a lack of a diversified diet can reduce the amount of antioxidants in the body, leading to oxidative stress. The best way to avoid this scenario is to incorporate different healthy foods into your diet as much as possible.
Can Be Beneficial In Social Situations
When you’re used to eating a diverse diet, this exposes you to a wide range of food textures and tastes. On the other hand, limiting your food choices encourages you to be a picky eater. This can be bad for social interactions. Let’s say that you regularly order a pepperoni pizza. If this becomes your go-to food, you might be tempted to order it the next time you visit a restaurant or go to bars with your family and friends. However, people generally don’t like to hang out with picky eaters. Have you noticed that when a particular food tastes nice, your loved one may coax you to give it a try? If you’re already used to a varied diet, you should have no problem playing along.
When you diversify your diet, you’re able to share more meals with other people. This has been proven to have many psychological, biological, and social benefits, according to Mayo Clinic. That’s why it’s recommended to set some time aside to eat with family and friends. Keep it healthy and ask everyone to chip in with a different dish. Another important social benefit of a diversified diet that’s easy to overlook is the fact that when you eat the right balance of nutrients, this will have a positive impact on your overall mood. When you’re in a good mood, you can interact socially with others easily and have fun while at it. This is another strong connection between diet and one’s mental health.
It Can Help With Weight Loss
If you’re working on achieving your weight loss goals, you can also benefit from asking “Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet?” That’s because a diverse diet can help you embark on a sustainable weight loss journey. The mistake that most people make is to try fad diets that restrict their food choices. Although it can work for some people, the majority of dieters eventually quit because limiting your food choices takes a lot of willpower, and it’s difficult to keep that up. If you want to get rid of those stubborn inches around your waistline, the best thing to do is to eat a varied diet and to continue rotating the foods you eat daily.
This also breaks up the monotony. When you try to lose weight by limiting the number of foods you eat, you end up getting bored. This boredom will eventually push you to make unhealthy decisions, such as snacking on junk food. Greater diversity keeps you invested in the process, and it can be fun creating and sticking to a meal plan that incorporates a wide variety of foods. Additionally, the benefits of eating a varied diet benefit your gut health, which is good for weight loss, according to Cleveland Clinic. So, be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in varying colors in your diet to increase the diversity of good bacteria in your gut.
It Makes Life More Interesting
If you want to live a more exciting life, it’s good to be adventurous with your food choices. There are many foods to explore, not just in your city, town, state, or country, but all over the world. Why limit your choices when you’re spoilt for choice in terms of food and drink? Incorporating variety into your diet is the key not only to a healthy diet, but to a wonderful lifestyle. It’s especially beneficial if you’re a traveler. You can explore and try new foods, which exposes you to new tastes and textures. There are so many cultures and cuisines you can explore all over the world. On one day, you can explore spicy, rich, and flavorful Indian food with dishes such as tandoori chicken and chana masala.
On another day, you can enjoy Mexican food that’s loaded with healthy ingredients and is a unique blend of Spanish and indigenous Mexican cuisines. You can try tacos, tortillas, and other popular Mexican dishes. Even if you’re not traveling all over the world, you’ll be surprised to know there’s a wide variety of foods to choose from right where you’re. Be adventurous and start visiting the local farmer’s market. Instead of heading for the junk food aisle right away, look for less processed foods that contain real nutrients. When you try to diversify your diet as much as possible, you reduce the risk of being deficient in a particular nutrient, not to mention that it’s generally more exciting when you have a wider selection of foods at your disposal.
Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet? At this point, you should now be aware of the reasons for eating a variety of meals. Instead of asking yourself, “Why is variety an important component of a healthy diet?” you should now be prepared to make the necessary changes with an understanding that these changes are ultimately good for your overall health. The bottom line is that when you eat diverse meals, you can be sure you’re getting a healthy and sufficient dose of all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need to function optimally from day to day. Plus, as you probably know, variety is the spice of life, and diversifying is one of the best things you can do to lead a better and healthier lifestyle.