Diet plan: These superfoods will ensure you reach your #fitnessgoals.

If your daily meals don’t include these superfoods, your diet plan can be considered pretty much incomplete. We asked experts and put together a guide that’s perfect for those trying to cut down on junk food and eat healthy. Here goes.

Dal and legumes:

They are an affordable, healthy protein source, which offer plenty of essential nutrients and benefits. For vegetarians, this becomes an especially good protein source. “Dal and legumes supply vitamin B, zinc, folate, sodium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. The soluble fiber in them helps to prevent constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diverticulosis. It also helps in stabilising blood sugar levels, along with reducing cholesterol,” says Jaee Khamkar, dietician, Fortis Hospital, Mumbai.

Dry fruits and seeds:

Munching on a handful of dry fruits like almonds, walnuts and seeds like flax seeds, reduces your risk of heart diseases. “These foods are famous for being rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which keeps our heart healthy. Consuming 5-6 almonds, 2-3 walnuts or 1tbsp roasted flax seeds will take care of your daily requirements of omega 3 fatty acids,” says Rasika Parab, head of department, nutrition therapy, Fortis Hospital, Mumbai.

Cow’s milk:

A balanced meal is incomplete without milk and milk products like curd, paneer, etc. “It not only fulfils our protein needs but also fulfils our daily calcium needs. Minimum 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of curd/buttermilk is recommended for a person leading a sedentary lifestyle,” says Parab.

Vegetables and fruits:

Eating a diet comprising plenty of fruits and vegetables has been linked to improved health, and for a good reason. “Veggies and fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which have been shown to protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They are associated with reduced risk of heart disease (including heart attack and stroke), certain types of cancers, obesity and type-2 diabetes,” says Khamkar. Fruits and veggies can also be useful in lowering your calorie intake.

Cereal:

The most familiar grains used for making cereals include rice, maize, corn, ragi, bajra, wheat, barley, sorghum, millets, and oats. “Cereals provide unlimited health benefits as a staple food in our diet. They are rich in complex carbohydrates that provide you with ample energy and help to prevent constipation, colon disorders and high blood sugar levels. They also enrich your overall health with abundant proteins, fats, lipids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes,” says Khamkar. Cereals are enriched with iron, riboflavin, and thiamine, and most cereals have abundant fiber content, especially barley oats, and wheat.

Water:

Although not a food, water becomes one of most important nutrients of your daily diet. “It not only maintains our hydration levels, but also helps excreting toxins from the body,” says Parab. Per day, 2.5-3 litres of water is recommended.