Eating is not just a pleasure for the mouth or the sight because nutrition is, above all, nourishment that allows all the organs of the body to function correctly with the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and liquids, which serve to give balance and energy, ensuring the continuous replacement of cells, the correct physiological processes, and protection from external pathogens.
Proper Nutrition, Here Are The Secrets
But how does human nutrition work, and how varied must it be to ensure the right balance? The most crucial secret lies in the balance between the various elements that make up the daily diet of each person, to be also varied according to his general and particular physical conditions due to possible food intolerances or health problems related to specific ailments.
In general, fruit must constantly be present in the nutrition of an adult person and a child in smaller quantities. Vegetables are an essential source of fiber that helps the digestive process but are also rich in vitamins and minerals that allow the proper functioning of human physiology and contain antioxidants for appropriate protective action.
And again, cereals, such as wheat, barley, spelled, corn, and oats in various forms, both natural and with their derivatives, such as flour or pasta, ensure the supply of carbohydrates which remain the body’s primary energy source. They also contain B vitamins and minerals and, to a lesser extent, proteins. On the other hand, meat, fish, legumes, and eggs are the central reserve of proteins. Still, they also help in the absorption of vitamins and antioxidants and toning the muscle mass, even if overdoing it risks producing adverse effects, with accumulations of fat and bad cholesterol. In particular, fish is an excellent food element because it contains fats such as Omega 3, which protect against cardiovascular disease.
At the same time, legumes are the richest source of vegetable proteins and are rich in fiber. Finally, milk and its derivatives, foods rich in calcium which fortifies the bones, and water which is present in at least 70% of the body and facilitates all physiological processes and biochemical reactions in the body. The basic rules of nutrition include consuming at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, eating a balanced breakfast, respecting at least the three main meals of the day, minimizing salt giving more space to spices, and minimizing consumption of alcohol and fizzy drinks.
Mediterranean Diet, The Best In The World
A perfect example of correct nutrition today is the Mediterranean diet, which is traditional in some countries because it has few but precise rules and gives excellent space to the imagination in the kitchen. Its main components are the frequent consumption of seasonal fruit and vegetables (therefore not frozen) in large quantities every day, the use of vegetable fats such as extra virgin olive oil, and the consumption of poultry or fish at least once a day.
Day consumption of red meat only 2-3 times a week, at least 3-4 eggs a week, favor pasta and whole meal bread, only one glass of wine per meal, at least 2 liters of water a day, at most 1 – 2 coffees a day. The Mediterranean diet is based on a pyramid scheme: the foods at the top can be taken more rarely and gradually descend to the base, where we find instead those that must be consumed every day.
So the essential foods every day are pasta, rice, bread, polenta, cereals in general, and potatoes, followed by vegetables, legumes, fruit, and nuts, then olive oil, cheese and yogurt, fish, poultry, eggs several times a week and sweets and red meat a few times a month. The ideal quantities of food to ensure a correct and healthy diet with the Mediterranean diet are 70-80 grams of pasta, 200 grams of fish, a potato, 150 grams of white or red meat, 100 grams of fresh cheese (or 50 if seasoned), two slices of bread for 50 grams, 250 grams of vegetables, 120 grams of fresh legumes, 30 grams of dried legumes, 120 grams of fruit. Another fundamental rule is to give space to carbohydrates for lunch and proteins for dinner.
A Foodborne Of Multiple Cultures
Alternatives to the Mediterranean diet are the cuisines and eating habits in other macro-regions of the world. A regime based mainly on cereals and legumes, starting with corn also in the form of flour, but also rice, especially beef and poultry meat that are widespread in the north as well as in the south of the continent, milk and its derivatives, but also vegetables with tomatoes and peppers which, although widespread all over the world, originate right there, as well as potatoes, while the fruit is also used to prepare tasty salads.
Asian Food, Including Cereals And Spices
The Asian diet, on the other hand, is mainly based on Chinese and Indian cuisine, which are also those with the largest population. The staple foods of Chinese cuisine are especially cereals, starting with rice (also used in the form of flour to prepare pasta), soy, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, and peanuts. The meats are particularly pork and poultry such as chicken and duck, while the vegetables are mainly cooked soy sprouts, beans, or bamboo, and the fruit ranges from citrus fruits to pears through apricots, peaches, jujubes, lychees.
The foods are very spicy, and tea is also used for cooking. In Indian cuisine, on the other hand, rice (in particular basmati) and legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils of various types are the masters. At the same time, the consumption or not of meat derives from the religion practiced. On the other hand, milk and its derivatives are trendy, as are wide varieties of vegetables and fruit of different origins, as well as spices and herbs of all kinds.
The Rules Of Vegetarian And Vegan Nutrition
A type of diet that has become increasingly popular over time is vegetarian or vegan, which provides even greater limits in the choice of foods. The vegetarian diet has various ramifications depending on the imposed rules: the ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet, the most common one, excludes animal products but allows foods of animal origin, such as eggs or dairy products. The ovo-vegetarian diet excludes all animal products but not eggs, the Lacto-vegetarian diet excludes all animal products but not dairy products, the peach-vegetarian diet excludes only meat but allows fish, and the vegetal diet excludes all animal products.
The vegetarian food pyramid provides everyday whole grains and legumes in quantity: in addition to the classic ones, also products based on quinoa, bulgur, barley, couscous, and wheat grains, but there is also a large consumption of soy, whose value protein can replace the proteins of meat, as well as fruits and vegetables.
The vegan diet eliminates all forms of meat and products derived from animals, giving space only to cereals, legumes, and products based on barley, soy, sesame, and rice, as well as lots of fruit and vegetables. Vegetables are usually eaten boiled or steamed, and legumes are often presented in the form of salads and cereals, nuts, and seeds. And spelled grains such as Kamut and barley, rice is the perfect base for soups, flans, burgers, and meatballs.
The Wrong Diet With ‘Junk Food’
Opposite to the vegetarian and vegan philosophy, there is that of the so-called ‘ junk food ‘ (literally translated from English), which is the type of diet that satisfies the palate but is certainly not good for the body because it has a low nutritional level. It is high in fat and bad cholesterol. Typical examples are the products that are usually consumed in fast food restaurants or take away stalls, such as highly seasoned burgers (mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, etc.), french fries, and wrestle, but also those that contain too much sugar, such as snacks for children, fizzy drinks, popcorn or frozen pizza and fried, baked desserts.
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