The Importance of Eating a Well-Balanced Meal

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Yes, it is!  And even though we should focus on nutrition EVERY month of the year, this is a great opportunity to review the significant impact that having consistently well balanced meals can have on the over-all health of you and your child.

1) More Energy: When you eat a well balanced meal that includes plenty of fresh vegetables, lean protein, un-processed carbohydrates, and healthy fats, your body gets fueled with the building blocks necessary to give you abundant energy throughout the day.

2) Better Sleep: A varied, balanced daily menu sends signals to your body that it is in a safe nourished place which decreases stress and allows for quality sleep at night. When we don’t fill our bodies with sugar and processed foods with dangerous and addictive ingredients we allow our bodies to use sleep to do the housekeeping that our bodies require on a daily basis. When we are constantly having to process unhealthy foods throughout the whole day we give our bodies less of a chance to heal at night.

3) Improved Brain Function and Mental Health:  (Check out a recent edition of Pomptonian’s Nutrition News called “Mood and Food” to learn more about the direct correlation between what you eat and how you feel.)  In addition to its regular job of breaking down food, our digestive system plays a key role in allowing serotonin to flow through our neural pathways and regulate our mood. When we feed our gut bacteria a healthy varied diet we can increase our mental clarity, decrease brain fog, and decrease the potential for episodes of depression and anxiety.

4) Optimized Physical Performance: When you fuel you body with optimal nutrients and vitamin rich foods, your musculoskeletal system can work in harmony with your cardiovascular system to allow for increased speed, strength, and endurance. Regular physical activity keeps our bodies limber and decreases opportunities for injury.

5) Lower Risk of Obesity and Heart Disease: A balanced daily menu along with portion control and timing of meals eliminates excessive sugar overload in the bloodstream, reduces insulin spikes, and prevents dangerous levels of inflammation. Inflammation in our bodies is the cause of so many illnesses including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

The theme of 2021’s National Nutrition Month is “Personalize Your Plate.” While we encourage you to explore and have fun with new and varied foods, just remember the quality of the food is more important than the variety.   It is critically important to take our nutrition seriously so keep reading labels, limiting added sugar, and opting for whole foods instead of processed foods.

Bon Appetit!
Dr. Jill 🙂