What are the Most Important Food Types and Nutrients for a Healthy Lifestyle?

When planning to stick to a healthy lifestyle, your focus should be supplying your body with proper nutrition. It is important for your body to receive all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients necessary for it to function optimally.

The best way to do that is to stick to a healthy diet. Start planning your snacks and meals and make sure they contain low-calorie and nutrient-dense foods. When making adjustments on your diet, prioritize the following essential food types:

  • Beans or legumes and vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains and cereals, mostly high-cereal fiber varieties and whole grains
  • Lean meat and poultry, eggs, fish, nuts and seeds, and tofu
  • Milk and other dairy products, like cheese and yogurt – Focus on eating those with mostly reduced fats

Healthy foods that you should include in your diet are usually grouped together as they tend to offer the same levels of key and essential nutrients. For instance, milk and dairy products have protein and calcium as their key nutrients. Fruits, on the other hand, are excellent sources of Vitamin C.

The Fundamental Nutrients of Healthy Eating

When deciding on the foods you can include in your diet based on the major food groups and types mentioned earlier, your goal should be to receive all the nutrients needed by your body. Among those you should focus on are foods that can give a good supply of the following:


This is a vital nutrient with its ability to provide you with energy, maintain and build your muscles, promote recovery, and support your cognitive functions. High-quality protein is even more important as you get older. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to consume animal products. Remember that there are also many plant-based sources of protein, such as lentils, peanuts, chickpeas and beans, that can meet your daily protein needs.


Your diet should also consist of foods rich in healthy and good fats that promote your health, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Healthy fats help you with many bodily functions, as they are an important building block of our body’s cells, and support hormone balance and metabolism. Some good sources of healthy fats are avocados, whole eggs, cheese, chia seeds and nuts.


Also eat plenty of fiber. You can get it from beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and grains. Providing your body with enough fiber will keep you full longer and support your gut health. By keeping you full longer on a high-fiber diet, fiber indirectly contributes to weight loss.


Eat calcium-rich foods, too. Aside from preventing osteoporosis, calcium can also help you stay away from sleeping disorders and difficulties, depression, and anxiety. It is also crucial to give your body a sufficient supply of Vitamins D and K as well as magnesium as these nutrients make it possible for calcium to function at its best.


Note that carbs are among the primary sources of energy for your body. Just make sure that you focus on getting the unrefined and complex type that comes from fruits, whole grains and veggies, instead of refined carbs and sugar. Focus on healthy carbs and reduce your intake of pastries, white bread, sugary foods and drinks, and starches. By doing that, you can avoid a rapid increase in your blood sugar as well as fat buildup and energy and mood fluctuations.


Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is possible by following a varied and well-balanced diet. Ensure that your diet consists of various foods from the major food groups every day. Choose those that can supply your body with its needed key nutrients. Your body will surely thank you for all the good things you offer it.

Nutrients FAQ

Where do you get vitamins D and B12?

Most people know that sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, and that you can absorb it through your skin. However, if you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, it can be difficult to get enough sunlight.
You can also get vitamin D from food, but there are only a few viable food sources, including egg yolks and fatty fish. You can, however, get it from fortified foods like certain brands of milk and cereals.
The human body needs vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells and to keep the nervous system healthy. This vitamin is found primarily in fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products, so it can be difficult for vegans to get it naturally. However, you can take vitamin B12 supplements instead.

How much fruit and vegetables should you eat each day?

You already know it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables, but how much do you need to eat? According to nutritionists, adult women should eat at least one and a half to two cups of vegetables every day, and men need almost twice that amount.

This might be a little difficult for people who have eaten meat most of their lives, but it can be easier if they just take it slow. You should have at least one vegetable with every meal and have vegetable or fruit snacks throughout the day.

How much water should you drink each day?

Everyone’s fluid needs are different, and your fluid intake should be based on your daily activities. You should consider your gender, the climate of your environment, your level of acclimatization, the amount of exercise you do, and more.

This may sound complicated, but you can simply pay more attention to your body. The human body sends out many signals to indicate that it is low on water. The most obvious is when you feel thirsty. On the other hand, you can also check the color of your urine. Ideally, your urine should be as clear as possible, or at least a light straw color. You can read more about water intake and hydration here.

Do you need to take supplements?

Most people do not need to take vitamin and mineral supplements if they eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you do want to take supplements, consider professional nutrition counseling so you know what supplements you need in the first place. Consider only high-quality supplements that provide essential and necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as contain vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

Is it possible to take too many nutrients?

Medical experts say there is such a thing as a tolerable upper intake level for nutrients. However, this amount is different for each nutrient. If you eat a balanced diet, you’ll feel full before you even get near the UL. If you have specific questions about individual nutrients, you should contact a professional nutritionist.

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