Salad ingredients

Dietitians Explain Why a Balanced Bowl is Good For You

By now we’ve all seen those Instagram-worthy balanced bowls packed with beautiful colors and enticing foods, but do you know the health benefits that come with it? Our dietitians love adding balanced bowls to the menu because you can mix and add different whole grains, lean proteins, legumes, and nutritious vegetables to create the perfect dish catered to your personalized taste preferences. We asked our expert dietitians to break down the health benefits of balanced bowls and here’s what they had to say about reaching your #healthgoals in a bowl:

tortilla shell balanced bowl with vegetables, avocadoes, eggs, tomatoes, and leafy greens

Ingredients that are good for your heart

Include ingredients in your balanced bowl that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The following foods pack a powerhouse of nutrition:

  • Fish – Choose fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, or tuna. Omega-3s  are overall very beneficial to your cardiovascular health Our body cannot make this essential fat so it is important to eat foods high in Omega-3s two times per week.
  • Legumes. legumes such as chickpeas or kidney beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber while also being a great vegetarian choice if eating more plant-forward.  
  • Vegetables. Eating a diet rich in a variety of vegetables from every color of the rainbow provides many nutrients to our body. Vegetables are important sources of potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and folate. Providing a variety of benefits from helping reduce cholesterol levels (fiber), keeping eyes and skin healthy (Vitamin A), and helping fight infections (Vit C).
  • Whole grains. Be adventurous with your whole grains by trying farro, barley, or quinoa when building your next bowl but sticking with some staples like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta are great choices too.  Eating more whole grains over refined grains such as white rice can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases.
  • Building a balanced bowl

    Eager to give a balanced bowl a go? Use this chart for inspiration to make sure your body is getting all the necessary nutrients:

    Whole GrainsProteinsVegetablesHealthy FatsSpice it up – Make your own dressing!

    Brown rice

    Wild rice      
     
    Farro

    Corn

    Quinoa

    Barley

    Bulgur

    Whole grain pasta

    Sweet Potatoes

    Russet Potatoes

    Squash
    Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, etc.)

    Fish

    Eggs

    Poultry

    Lean pork/red meat
    Leafy Greens

    Eggplant

    Summer Squash

    Tomatoes

    Broccoli

    Asparagus

    Peppers

    Onions

    Brussel Sprouts

    Carrots

    Cucumber

    Any other veggies you like!
    Olive Oil

    Canola Oil

    Avocado

    Nuts/seeds

    Nut butter
    Pepper

    Fresh or dried Garlic

    Fresh or dried Onion

    Lite Soy Sauce or Gluten-Free Tamari

    Coconut Aminos

    Cumin

    Basil

    Parsley

    Cilantro

    Mint

    Dill

    Fresh lemons or limes
    healthy bowl with rice, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens

    Easy combinations

    1. Brown rice + black beans + steamed asparagus + Brussel sprouts + drizzled with a quick tahini dressing (tahini, lemon, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper or hot sauce, and a bit of water to thin). If available top this bowl with fresh cilantro or cubes of avocado.

    2. Corn + chicken + dark leafy greens + cucumbers + bell peppers + avocado + drizzled with lime-cilantro dressing (lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, salt, and pepper – think Chipotle®!)

    3. Quinoa + salmon + spinach + roasted zucchini + feta cheese + drizzled with olive oil and vinegar dressing (balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper)

    Learn more about our nutrition and wellness offerings and remember that to keep your body feeling its best with balanced bowls!