Most people give up on a balanced diet because they are confused on how to combine homemade food like eba or amala into their diet. Eating a balanced diet is not an expensive endeavour rather by implementing Nigerian foods into your balanced diet plan will make your healthy eating goal achievable.
To create a menu for the week or month, you need to understand the classes of nutrients below:
They are an excellent source of energy and should comprise sixty percent of a person’s diet.
Sources of carbohydrate: Wheat, maize, corn, millet, oats, rice, flour, pasta or noodles, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, sugar, eba, amala and popcorn are all sources of carbohydrate.
There are so many essential vitamins today, but your focus should be directed on the intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, and vitamin D.
Sources of vitamins: Pumpkin leaves (ugu), orange, sugarcane, pawpaw, watermelon, tangerine and other fruits are major sources of vitamins.
Minerals aid with the release of energy from food items, plus they interact with the organs to promote growth. For example, iron helps with energy, while calcium works towards bone and teeth development but the most important ones in the diet are iodine, potassium, sodium, etc.
Sources of minerals: Milk, salt, red meat, fish, potatoes, rice and other foods are primary sources of minerals.
Many people avoid fat thinking they cause weight gain, but this is far from the truth. Healthy fats or those derived from good sources are dairy products, meat, and fish.
Unsaturated fats regulate the body temperature, the absorption of vitamins and help with slow energy release which is perfect for long-distance runners.
Sources of unsaturated fats: Salmon fish, olive oil, skimmed milk, avocado, peanut butter, sardines and many more.
Protein comes mainly from meat, but dietary recommendations suggest that you get it mostly from lean meat sources. They primarily help with the development of skin, hair, and muscles.
Sources of protein: Meat, fish, nuts, eggs, beans, milk, pork, yoghurt are important readily available sources of protein.
This class of nutrition helps to keep your cholesterol levels in check and aids with proper digestion.
Sources of fibre-rich food: Oatmeal, roughage of orange, vegetables, brown rice, banana, apples, mango, and potatoes are all sources of fibre.
Fizzy drinks, coffee, tea, and juice drinks cannot provide the same goodness as water. Suggested intake of water is at least eight glasses a day to help keep the body hydrated.
Proposed balanced diet plan for a week
Breakfast: Boiled yam, vegetable, fish stew, beverage and water.
Lunch: Jollof rice, plantain, meat/chicken in fried pepper and water.
Dinner: Sweet potatoes, egg with vegetables and water.
Breakfast: Bread, peanut butter, tea and water.
Lunch: Jollof spaghetti with vegetable and chicken/meat.
Dinner: Yam pottage with vegetables and fish.
Breakfast: Pancake, beverage and water.
Lunch: Eba/amala, soup (okro/ewedu/ugwu), meat/fish and water.
Dinner: Irish potatoes (grilled), fish stew and water
Breakfast: Bread, sardine and water
Lunch: Pounded yam, soup (ogbono/egusi), shaki/meat and water.
Dinner: Spaghetti and corn beef stew
Breakfast: Breakfast cereal, milk and water
Lunch: Beans pottage with boiled yam and water
Dinner: White rice, vegetable sauce, plantain and chicken
Breakfast: Bread, pepper stew, meat/chicken and water
Lunch: Concoction rice with shredded fish or saki or pomo, water and apple
Dinner: Yam pottage with vegetable and meat/turkey
Breakfast: Moi moi, pap, water and watermelon/pineapple
Lunch: Pounded yam, water and ofe nsala
Dinner: Macaroni with mixed vegetables, meat/fish, water and any fruit.
The key to a balanced diet is incorporating each class of food as much as possible in a day’s meal.
BY DAMILOLA DIMEJI-AJAYI