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Most of us — readers of food-focused posts — have spent some time figuring out how to have a balanced diet, but I’d dare to wager that not many of us have thought much about a diet for balance. That’s right. What you eat can actually affect how you balance, physically.

So, for all those klutzes out there, the ones tripping over their own shoelaces or walking into walls, maybe the following five foods can be of some assistance. They can’t hurt anyone, at least not as much as face-planting yourself on a sidewalk. Then there’s yoga — and we all know a little balance can go a long way in this popular activity! Here’s to better balance:

1. Blueberries

Hey, there are so many reasons you should be eating blueberries, including improved memory, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, reduced risks of cardiovascular problems, and even good taste. Why not add one more? Studies show blueberries improve balance.

The secret ingredient found in blueberries that helps with balancing is resveratrol, one of the same ingredients that has made a glass of red wine so popular. Well, undoubtedly, too much red wine will not improve your balance. (I’ve tested this myself, with quantities varying from responsible to excessive — never works.) However, why not take the food route instead?

2. Red Grapes

Resveratrol is found mostly in the grape’s skin, and it has been linked to longevity as well as balance. I suppose the best news of all is that, with these two traits, you’ll live longer via vitamins and be able to enjoy those years by avoiding balance-related accidents, like falling off of pogo sticks.

Now, to add to our list of balancing berries (grapes are berries as well), we’ll be moving onto the Thanksgiving showstopper, not just a gelatinous blob still shaped like a can anymore, the often enjoyed but rarely appreciated urinary tract cleanser, the source of those deliciously cool craisins: the cranberry.

3. Cranberries

Considered second only to blueberries in its antioxidant potency, the cranberry is awesomely unique and delicious. Truth be told, in the recliner after Thanksgiving dinner, folks are rarely in need of its balance-enhancing qualities, which is exactly why it should appear more often in our diets.

But, let’s move away from berries (the list can go on) and resurrect a little legume that has been trounced far too much. It’s been bullied because of its deceitful name. It’s been outshined by larger specimens, almonds and cashews specifically. (Let’s not even get into Brazil nuts!) That old childhood favorite, the ballpark fodder of choice and best friend of jam.

4. Peanuts

Not only can we vegans get some good fat and protein from peanuts, but we also can help ourselves stay upright a little longer. Peanuts get a bad rap, but they are full of health benefits. Regardless, they make everything taste so much better!

Another crowd-pleasing balance-enhancer to finish the list: Nearly as sought after as the blueberry, its prowess in the superfood market rivals anything, but that says nothing for its worldwide appeal. A shouldn’t-be-so-guilt-laden favorite of every child, woman, and man. Dim the lights. Let’s get it dark in here:

5. Chocolate

Dark chocolate is heavy with the magical ingredient, as well as loads and loads of other beneficial stuff, like anti-oxidants and some of the finer food minerals we often skip out: manganese, iron, copper…Plus, it’s always a good time for chocolate. Like wine, it can make us smile and, unlike wine, help us walk a straight line.

So, there you go with some fun facts about dieting for a balance rather than balancing your diet. This combination seems destined for a great trail mix, with all the right stuff for keeping those hiking boots planted firmly.

Image source: Wiros/Wikimedia Commons