A Balanced Diet is essential for Immunity!

A Balanced Diet is a diet that provides all the essential nutrients in required, adequate quantities and proportions for optimal growth and functioning of the body. In addition to this, we must include bioactive compounds, antioxidants and functional foods.

It includes all nutrients in proper quantities and proportions to each other. It recognizes individual variations as well as those due to age, gender, physiological stage of development, etc. It reflects the availability of various foods, socio-economic conditions, preparation facilities and cooking skills.

It helps you to meet your energy needs and get your share of adequate macronutrients -carbohydrates (55-60%), proteins (15-20%), fats (20%-25%), vitamins, minerals and other nutrients of an individual. By meeting the energy requirements, promoting growth and development, maintenance and repair of tissues and other living processes, it helps in smooth functioning of the body.

Based on the macronutrients content the foods are grouped together into 7 food groups (Table 1) and they need to be taken in proper proportions to meet the nutritional needs along with physical activity as portrayed in the My Pyramid (Figure 1).

MyPyramid - Info on the USDA Food Pyramid: My Pyramid
Figure 1. Food pyramid adapted from mypyramid.gov

Table 1. Food Groups based on their Macronutrient content.

Food Group FoodsMacronutrient content
CerealsChapatti, Rice, Daliya,
Idli, Poha, Upma, Dosa, Kurmura, Popcorn, Cornflakes, Wheat Flakes, Oats, Muesli, Quinoa, bread
Majorly carbohydrates
Very low protein and fat content
Vege-tablesGreen, orange, red, purple, yellow vegetables, potatoes.Majorly carbohydrates
No protein and fat content
FruitsBanana, Apple, Papaya, Orange, Watermelon, Kiwi, sweetlimeMajorly carbohydrates
No protein and fat content
Meats, fish & poultryEggs, Chicken, Mutton, Beef, Pork, Fish, Prawns  Majorly protein (High quality)
Variable amounts of fat
No carbohydrate
Pulses Dals, chanas, rajma, chickpeas,
Soya, Sprouts
More Carbohydrates
Fair source of Protein but lower quality than meat, fish, poultry.
Very low content of fat.
DairyMilk, Curd, Paneer, Cheese, buttermilkGood quality Protein
Fat and carbohydrate content varies
Fats & OilsButter, Ghee, Cream, OilOnly fat

Balanced Diet is essential for good health and smooth functioning of the body. It is also keeps our body’s internal and external defence mechanism strong, helps in maintaining health and immunity.

Also to learn more about the colourful platter to include dietary fibre, antioxidants, bioactives and functional foods, you can read the blog posted on rainbow diet.

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