Healthy eating: Essential foods

To follow a diet without nutritional deficiencies, we must not lose sight of the foundations of a healthy diet.

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That is balanced and sufficient at a caloric level are some of the foundations, always taking into account the specific needs of each person. Special mention to the food variety, because the monotony in the diet, besides being more boring, can lead to the lack of some nutrients; we must bear in mind that there is no food that contains all the essential nutrients our body needs. The different groups of food must be consumed in an adequate amount throughout the day or week, to achieve a diet without deficiencies that gives us vitality .

  1. Fruits and vegetables
  2. Dairy products
  3. Legumes, potatoes and cereals
  4. Meat, fish and eggs
  5. Other foods

Fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet

Fruits and vegetables are an important source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, and those of the B complex, are some of the nutrients that make up its great nutritional value. But, in addition, they are especially beneficial because they contain antioxidants, which have a protective effect against cellular oxidation and, therefore, help in the prevention of certain degenerative diseases. Many are natural pigments responsible for the vivid colors of fruits and vegetables. Among them, is the group of carotids, such as beta-carotene, which also have pro vitamin A activity. Other antioxidants are vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, selenium and zinc, which in addition to its multiple functions, have this protective effect.

In the case of fruit, better if it is seasonal fruit , and at least one of the three recommended daily rations should be citrus, for its content of vitamin C. On the other hand, it is advisable to take it whole, as in the form of juice A large part of its fiber content is eliminated. Regarding vegetables, it is advisable to take two servings a day, one in the food, and another at dinner, taking into account that raw foods retain their nutrients better. Cooking them on the grill, baked or steamed are also good options to make those that need some type of heat treatment to digest them better.

Dairy products in a healthy diet

Milk is a very complete food at a nutritional level, due to its content of carbohydrates (lactose), proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. And it is that apart from calcium, an important mineral for bone formation, it provides proteins of high biological value, vitamin A, D and B complex, and other minerals such as potassium, phosphorus or magnesium, these last two being equally important for the bone and muscle mass.

It is recommended to take about three servings of dairy per day, which may vary depending on the stages of life. Lactose intolerance forces many people to reduce this daily intake, although it must be taken into account that yogurts and cheeses have a lower quantity and are usually better tolerated. But, in addition, in the supermarket, we can find a great variety of milk without lactose. On the other hand, the macrobiotic effect of yogurt deserves special mention because it provides beneficial bacteria for the intestinal flora and, therefore, helps maintain the balance of the microbiol.

It is recommended to take a minimum of two servings of legumes (60-80 g raw) per week, and not only consume them in winter, but also in summer in the form of salads. Pasta and rice can be taken two or three times a week, combined with vegetables to obtain more nutritious and high-fiber dishes. The potato is usually included in the diet accompanying vegetable dishes, and can be consumed three or more times per week.

Meat, fish and eggs in a healthy diet

They are a source of high quality proteins of animal origin, since they contain all the essential amino acids. But they are also one of the main sources of vitamin B12, iron (especially red meat), phosphorus and zinc. If you opt for a vegetarian diet, which excludes these foods, you should consider the possibility of taking vitamin B12, as it is difficult to meet the needs of this vitamin. Also, the iron present in the meats is called “heme iron”, and is considered high bioavailability. Fish contributes to complete our diet by also providing iodine, vitamin D, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially blue fish. This type of fat is especially interesting because it is considered beneficial for its contribution in reducing cardiovascular risk. The egg, in turn,proteins , because its composition in amino acids is the most complete, being a good alternative to meat and fish.

In general, it is advisable to choose preferably the leanest meats (chicken and turkey without skin, rabbit, lean beef, sirloin steak, pork loin …) and remove visible fat before cooking. In general, the consumption is of three or four weekly servings of meat, as well as fish and egg, equally. Fat sausages should be avoided because of their high content of saturated fats and cholesterol, as well as sodium, which are not favorable at cardiovascular level.

Other foods for a healthy diet

Other foods that we should include in our healthy diet are:

  • Regarding the fat used for cooking and dressing, the best option is virgin olive oil, for its content in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
  • Nuts. This group of foods enjoys great nutritional prestige, in part, for its content of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber, but also for its discrete, but not negligible contribution to proteins. It is worth including three to seven servings per week of nuts, considering that a serving is 20-30 g.

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