The 7 Ultimate Importance of a Balanced Diet Every Nigerian Should Know

Do you know that feeling when you just need to devour that bowl of Egusi soup and pounded yam at the end of the day? Or when you crave some jollof rice and chicken after a long workday? Yes, we Nigerians love our food, and we make no apologies for it. However, we often forget the importance of a balanced diet in keeping us healthy and strong.

So, why is a balanced diet essential?

  •  For a healthy weight  

Firstly, a balanced diet is necessary to maintain a healthy weight. In a country where obesity and overweight are becoming prevalent, it is essential to control our food intake. By combining the right proportion of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat, we can keep our weight in check while still enjoying our favourite dishes.

  • For a strong immune system  

Secondly, a balanced diet helps to boost the immune system. Many traditional Nigerian dishes, such as leafy greens, beans, and fresh fruits, are rich in vitamins and minerals, which help to keep our immune system strong. A robust immune system means that we are better equipped to fight off diseases and infections.

  • For the improvement of digestion 

Thirdly, a balanced diet helps to improve digestion. We all know the feeling of being bloated and uncomfortable after overindulging in heavy, fatty meals. The right combination of fibre, carbohydrates, and fats can help to maintain healthy digestion and prevent constipation, bloating and other digestive disorders.

  • For a healthy brain

One important thing to note also is that a balanced diet promotes healthy brain function. Many Nigerian foods, such as fish, plantains, and peanuts, are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins that help to improve cognition, memory and concentration. Eating a balanced diet can help to prevent neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

  • For a stronger bone

You might not have heard this, but a balanced diet helps to improve bone health. Traditional Nigerian dishes such as Efo riro and okro soup contain calcium and other minerals that help to maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

  • Prevention of disease development 

Again, a balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. By consuming healthy food choices such as brown rice, vegetables, and lean meats, we can help to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

  • Mental health improvement 

Finally, a balanced diet helps to improve mood and mental health. Traditional Nigerian dishes that are rich in tryptophan, such as beans and yams, can help to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which improves mood and reduces anxiety and depression.

In conclusion, a balanced diet is not just about maintaining a healthy weight, but it has far-reaching benefits that can significantly improve our physical and mental health. As Nigerians, we have a rich and diverse cuisine that can give us all the nutrients we need to stay healthy and strong. So the next time you reach for that bowl of Egusi soup, remember to combine it with some leafy greens and fresh fruits for the ultimate benefits of a balanced diet.

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