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Nourishing Your Body through Variety and Balance

Top view of bowls filled with aromatic curry and fluffy steamed rice
In our pursuit of a health-centric diet, monotony can sneak in. But true nourishment comes from dietary diversity. Our adaptable bodies thrive when presented with a spectrum of nutrients from different foods. Dive into a world where you’re not just feeding, but fully nourishing your body, relishing your favorite dishes, and forging a positive bond with your meals.


The Vital Role of Variety in Nutrition

Micronutrients are aplenty – vitamins A to Z, and essential minerals. The goal isn’t to memorize them but to realize that a single food item doesn’t have them all. To holistically nourish your body and support overall health, we must embrace a palette of food items, each bringing its unique nutrient.

Crafting Nutrient-Rich Meals

A balanced diet doesn’t demand every component to be a superfood. It’s about wise food combinations. Introduce a new vegetable to your pasta or a different fruit to your breakfast cereal. If snacks are often carbohydrate-rich for you, think about coupling them with protein-rich yogurt. This not only amplifies their nutritional value but also makes them more satisfying.

Think of what you usually eat for breakfast and how you could try to incorporate a new food into your morning?


Interested in some flavourful nutrient packed dishes? Try out some of these recipes below.

Curried Coconut Soup, Roasted Vegetable Foccacia

Why Diverse Nutrients Matter

Assortment of fresh fruits neatly arranged in a pantry
While it might be convenient to stick to familiar foods, choosing those with a broader nutrient profile can be beneficial. Most foods, including those often criticized, provide a blend of vital nutrients. By opting for nutritionally richer alternatives of familiar foods, you can effortlessly nourish your body.

It’s essential to recognize that most foods provide a mix of various nutrients that support your body. Take rice, for example, often criticized for its carbohydrate content. However, it also offers a modest amount of protein, B vitamins, and essential minerals like manganese. While it might not be the primary source of these nutrients, it still contributes to your daily intake, highlighting the value of a balanced diet. Taking this perspective, you can prioritize foods with diverse nutrient profiles without stressing about adding so many extra foods into your meals. Ultimately, they’ll add up to nourish your body as needed. Opting for similar foods with more varied nutrients can look like choosing romaine lettuce instead of head lettuce or choosing a whole grain or rye loaf over white bread. By making these small changes, your meals can develop more enriched nutrient profiles while enjoying familiar simple dishes.  


Check out these simple and delicious recipes to add more variety to some familiar meals below!


Letting Your Body Lead

Golden blossom branch swaying in the breeze

It’s important to recognize that your body is not a machine; it doesn’t function exactly like the tests we use to measure nutrients. For instance, determining the caloric value of food, it’s done through combustion in a calorimeter (1). This process measures the potential energy in the food, but it doesn’t account for the actual amount of energy your body absorbs when you eat it. Your body’s nutrient absorption is a complex process influenced by various factors, including the specific food and your individual metabolism. And unlike the perfect efficiency of a calorimeter, your digestive system slowly breaks down the nutrients in the food you eat, extracting what it needs while discarding some waste.

When you focus on counting your calories or exactly what nutrients you’re getting from every food you eat, it can make your meals stressful and feel guilty when you eat something outside of a narrow list of ‘good’ or ‘healthy’ foods. By prioritising variety, you are offering your body to pick and absorb the nutrients it needs, and nourishing yourself in a way that can include the foods you love in your day to day.

Interested in learning about how our bodies consume energy? Click here.

Holistic Nourishment Beyond Nutrients

Nourishing your body is a holistic endeavor that goes beyond mere physical nutrients. Achieving this requires compassion towards oneself, inviting diverse foods into daily meals. It’s not about omitting beloved foods but integrating nutritionally diverse ones. This approach doesn’t only cater to your body but also acknowledges individual food preferences, comfort levels, and the intricate relationship one shares with food.

If you’re looking for strategies to incorporate a diverse profile of nutrients into the everyday meals you make, consider working with one of our team’s amazing dietitians! From customising grocery or pantry lists, supporting your healing relationship with food, to learning more about feeding your body, a dietitian can work with you whatever your individual situation may be. If you are struggling due to allergies, chronic illness, religious or cultural dietary requirements, or more, our dietitians can work alongside you to build a sustainable healthy relationship with your food that helps you feel healthy and happy on a long-term basis. Get connected with us at Nourishing Balance here!



Nourishing Balance Integrative Health Team

Nourishing Balance Integrative Health Team provides holistic health services across Canada. We work to understand your goals and establish a plan to help you thrive. Our integrative health team consists of registered dietitians, psychotherapists, social workers, and nurse practitioners.

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