The key to achieving overall good health and growth for teens is through constant intake of a balanced and healthy diet. Unfortunately, many young people resent certain kinds of food while preferring the other. They particularly hate vegetables and beans, and could eat junks for the rest of their lives! But the side effects of unbalanced diets can be easily notable- stunted growth, obesity, improper development of the brain and so many more. On the good side however, having a fully balanced diet plans helps teenagers develop at the right rates; both physically and mentally. So to any teenager who is worried that they are not growing at the right rate compared to their mates, perhaps it is time to readjust the food plan. Read below.
Protein: Protein is a class of food derived primarily from animals and plants; well just like many other food sources. Their primary goal is to ensure that you grow. In other words, it greatly aids physically development. Little wonder teenagers whose meals consist mostly of food stuff such as beans, meat, fish milk and lots etc seems to grow exponentially. Indeed, the importance of protein in a balanced diet scheme cannot be overemphasized. Not only does it help physical growth, it also ensures proper brain development, tissue maintenance, muscle enhancement and much more. Every teen should as a matter of necessity ensure to eat their protein as often as possible.
Carbohydrates: Teenagers are in constant need of energy due to heir hyper activeness. And there is no better source of energy than carbohydrates. There are different types of carbohydrates, including the most common ones we are know so well- starch, derived mostly from food stuff like yam, cassava and maize etc. In Africa and specifically in Nigeria, carbohydrates make up the staple food of so many people mainly due to their good taste and cheapness. But as good as carbohydrates are, there are dangers in over-depending on it as the major source of food. The possibility of missing out on the other food sources is a major problem. And this is why it is important to balance our meals.
Iron: Some teenager s suffer anaemia and fatigue as a result of iron deficiency in their bodies. It is important for teens to ensure proper intake of iron as the nutrient helps to ensure adequate blood supply to muscles and adequate brain functionality. Female teens particularly require higher percentage of iron daily intake especially considering how much blood they lose while menstruating. Foods that are high in iron include leafy vegetables, meat, nuts and whole grain etc.
Calcium: the regular intake of the right amount of calcium helps to ensure that teenagers develop strong bones and teeth. Dairy products such as milk and cheese, leafy vegetables and cereals are all main sources of calcium. Calcium deficiency may result in badly developed bone structures.
Vitamins & Minerals: It is equally important for teenagers to incorporate vitamins and minerals in their daily meal intake. They help to strengthen the bodies’ immune systems, and can be derived (in trace elements) from every day foods and, especially fruits and vegetables. Ensure to eat them too.