The human body is a complex biological complex that does not stop its work for a second. To maintain such a system in a healthy state, a person constantly requires active components: vitamins, minerals, amino acidss, fats, carbohydrates, etc. The body cannot synthesize most of these vital substances, and therefore receives it from food.
Our distant ancestors ate extremely modestly, choosing only from what Nature offered: vegetables, fruits, cereals, honey (some peoples had meat and fish on the menu), and also had no idea about flavor enhancers and food additives. Basically, the products were consumed raw, and only occasionally cooked on a fire. Despite the apparent poverty of the diet, such food fully satisfied the body’s needs for nutrients, ensured the normal functioning of all organs, and also replenished energy reserves. This is what a healthy eating formula looks like: the use of the gifts of nature in its natural form or with gentle heat treatment (steaming, stewing). The body gave answers to the questions of portion size and frequency of food intake, informing the person about hunger or satiety.
Over time and the development of the food industry, the simple laws of nutrition became more complicated, faded against the background of the theories and methods of nutritionists. It is also necessary to recognize the fact that a person knows very little about himself, and therefore the “unfilled niche” of knowledge was occupied by “experts in rational nutrition”, turning the gastrointestinal tract into a testing ground for experiments. With the light hand of such specialists, a new genre arose – “dietological detective story”. The victim of such stories is usually the person himself. In the pursuit of being healthy, it is very easy to get confused and go down the wrong path, especially if such dogmas are set out in respected publications.
In practice, the postulates of a healthy diet are extremely simple. They are so simple that they do not need the development of special authoring methods and schemes. Healthy food is first of all natural products. Everything that occurs in nature in its natural form will be useful to a person. Have you seen cakes or chips growing on trees? This is nothing but the “fruits” of the food industry, alienating man from nature. They contain substances that are aggressive for the body – dyes, taste improvers, flavorings that do not carry any biological benefit. Chocolate bars with trans fats, mayonnaise, sauces, fast food are also better left on store shelves: they have nothing to do with healthy eating.
A balanced diet is not goji berries, wheatgrass or chia seeds. It is available to absolutely everyone and is not a luxury item. A healthy diet can be afforded by a person living in any country with different financial capabilities, because in his region there will certainly be “their own” vegetables and fruits, no worse than the aforementioned overseas delicacies.
In the Soviet years, young mothers were strongly recommended to feed the child by the hour. For convenience, special tables were even developed, which indicated what time to please the baby with breakfast, lunch or dinner. This system of eating exists to this day, while it is popular. From the point of view of rational nutrition, a healthy person decides for himself when it’s time to “refresh”. The presence of appetite indicates the readiness of the gastrointestinal tract to ensure that the food taken is absorbed as much as possible. The size of the serving will also tell the body. When eating, it is important not to rush, then you definitely will not miss the body’s signal of satiety. Try not to combine watching TV, working at a computer, reading magazines with food. Get into the habit of eating in a good mood. The power of negative emotions is so great that it can turn even the most useful foods into poison. Food poisoned by a bad mood will not bring any benefit, but harm – as much as you like.
“The slower you go, the further you will be,” says a Russian proverb. The same applies to healthy eating. It is much more useful to eat more often, but in small portions, because overeating and undereating are equally harmful for the body. Smaller portions are better absorbed, do not overload the gastrointestinal tract and help maintain a stable blood sugar level. Fractional nutrition also does not mean that four or five times a day you can absorb everything that comes in your way. The energy value of the diet should remain at the level of the daily requirement. Eating in small portions will allow different food groups to find their niche during the day, replenishing the body with useful substances.
In matters of nutrition, a special place is occupied by the preparation of the diet. The “grocery basket” of each individual person completely depends on his personal beliefs: vegetarianism, veganism, fruitarianism, raw foodism, etc. However, no matter what system of views a person adheres to, his day begins with breakfast.
No matter what time the working day begins and no matter how much a cup of aromatic coffee beckons you, a full breakfast is the key to the correct start of the whole organism. Morning food “starts” the gastrointestinal tract, metabolic processes, saturates the organs with the necessary useful substances, gives strength for the whole day. The natural sensation should be appetite in the morning. The optimal time for breakfast is 30 minutes to 2 hours after waking up. The choice of a dish for a morning meal depends on the work schedule, physical activity, hunger and personal wishes. You can start a new day with a traditional Russian dish – cereals, adding your favorite fruits, berries or dried fruits to it. It will turn out very satisfying, healthy and tasty. An alternative would be an easy fruit salad or vegetables, yogurt, cottage cheese, steamed omelet.
In the daytime, the body needs food that will provide it with maximum energy. Soup with croutons, fruit casserole, pasta or rice with vegetables may well take a worthy place on the dining table. Soup cooked in a pot, without frying, with lots of greens will have the highest value. By the way, in the era of Russian stoves, the first dishes were prepared in exactly this way. Thanks to languishing in the oven, the taste of the dish was unsurpassed. Dessert is the perfect ending to a meal. For example, a whole grain cereal bar, fruit sorbet, cottage cheese roll, any vegan pie options will do the job.
In the evening, the body begins to prepare for sleep, metabolic processes slow down. “Giving dinner to the enemy,” as folk wisdom says, should not be done at all. An empty stomach is unlikely to give you sound sleep, but it may well provoke a raid on the refrigerator after 22.00. Dinner time is purely individual and depends on what time a person goes to bed. The rule is as follows: it is advisable to have dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime. Due to the fact that at night the body not only rests, but also recovers, the main task of dinner is to replenish the internal reserves of amino acids. Light protein foods and leafy vegetables will do this best. As proteins, you can choose cottage cheese, white cheese, eggs, beans, lentils, mushrooms. Bulgarian pepper, green salad, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, pumpkin, cucumbers, zucchini, zucchini harmoniously complement protein foods. Vegetables can be eaten raw, baked in the oven, steamed, grilled, seasoned with vegetable oil. It is advisable to reduce the consumption of fried foods to a minimum or completely abandon it, especially in the evening. Such food makes it difficult for the pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Flour products are also considered heavy food: dumplings, pasta, pastries.
If after some time after dinner your appetite does not leave you, a glass of low-fat kefir or yogurt will help correct the situation. You can also drink a rosehip broth or uzvar without sugar.
Between main meals, a slight feeling of hunger can be quenched with dried fruits, nuts, bread or toast with a vegetable pillow, fermented milk products, fruits, smoothies, a cup of tea or a glass of fruit juice.
The most important rule of a healthy diet is its individuality. A pregnant woman and a student cannot eat the same way. The diet should be balanced, suitable for a particular person, correspond to energy costs, age, lifestyle and well-being, and also usually varies throughout the year. The best indicator that the diet is chosen correctly is the emotional and physical state, the frequency of morbidity and personal feelings. Just listen to the quiet voice of your body, and it will certainly tell you about its nutritional needs.
Proper nutrition is sure to bring joy and pleasure. Feelings after eating healthy food are distinguished by lightness, cheerfulness and a special charge of energy. Treat food as a source of health without turning it into a cult. Such thinking completely changes the quality of life and attitude towards it.