A broad range of plant-based foods consumed by humans constitutes the typical diet. However, the typical human diet can differ widely in many ways. In nutrition, the diet is typically the sum total of all food ingested by an individual or other organism during a given time. The word diet tends to mean the use of a particular intake of nutrients for weight-loss or health reasons (respective of whether these reasons actually coincide with dietary requirements).
In this context, fruits and vegetables are the major dietary sources of a wide variety of nutritional substances. Although many would argue that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a healthy diet, recent research has shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may also be beneficial in helping to control weight gain. In particular, research has shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) scores, higher physical activity levels and more regular exercise. It is also believed that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps to reduce the risk of cardio-related diseases. Further, it is believed that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with lower incidence of allergies, asthma and other respiratory disorders.
Fruits and vegetables are a large source of dietary fiber, which is essential for ensuring optimal health. Adequate amounts of fiber are required to reduce the risk of colon cancer and to ensure that the colon is functioning properly. Moreover, a well-balanced diet is needed to regulate the cholesterol levels in the blood. Research has also indicated that a well-balanced diet helps to reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer. Further, research has shown that a well-balanced diet is important for reducing the risks of type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer.
Another important nutrient is folic acid, found abundantly in leafy green vegetables, cranberries and blackberries. Folic acid helps to prevent neural birth defects, such as spastic cerebral palsy and crayfish neural tube disorder. A diet rich in folic acid is therefore essential for ensuring proper brain development. Green leafy vegetables contain a high amount of this bio-nutrient, whereas wheat and grain products contain very low amounts. Foods such as oats, barley, corn, peas and beans, as well as apples, oranges, red peppers and carrots contain only trace amounts of folic acid. Thus, it is advisable to limit consumption of these foods to a maximum of 30 g every day.
On the other hand, vegetables and fruits contain a wide range of nutrients, which are highly essential for good health. Crucially, these nutrients aid digestion and assimilation of food and help in the utilization of energy reserves. Thus, a diet rich in these nutrients is necessary to maintain good health. The vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruits help to maintain a healthy weight and are thus an important part of a nutritious diet. Crucial nutrients include iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber and silicon, which all contribute towards a good overall health. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables also contain anti-oxidants, which further aid weight loss.
If you have a sweet tooth and are in need of a sugary snack, then you may consider eating chocolates. However, it should be noted that as a rule, chocolates have a very low nutritional value, despite their delicious taste. However, if you are on a diet and have limited resources, then maybe you can eat chocolates in moderation, as they are an excellent source of manganese, iron and fibre. Also, grains such as millet, amaranth, millet and adzuki beans are considered to be grain products low in saturated fats. Other than being good for you, grains like these may help you lose weight if consumed in the right proportions.