“You are what you eat”, this saying is no coincidence. You shape yourself through your everyday eating habits. The nutrients that you add to your body are its resources and building blocks. This is how nutrition affects your physical and psychological well-being. (You can find the exact relationships in the article: Healthy Lifestyle) But what makes a healthy diet? And how can it serve your well-being? This article will tell you!
Why should you have a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is not aimed at losing weight, but at wellbeing and satisfaction. A healthy diet should serve you and not be a fight against yourself. Strict prohibitions and eating according to plan are counterproductive in the long term. Healthy nutrition means conscious and non-scientific nutrition. You can let yourself be guided by your individual, physical needs. Due to years of habits, it is unfortunately often difficult to correctly interpret the body’s signals and to distinguish cravings from needs.
To refine the body image, it helps to know a few basic rules: A healthy diet is based on a balanced and varied mix of fresh, plant-based foods. Natural, high-quality foods provide the body with valuable vital substances and do not burden it. Highly processed foods, on the other hand, should be consumed with caution and only in moderation, additives should be avoided.
What should be part of a healthy diet?
1. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are staple foods with a high nutrient and rather low energy density. Vegetables rich in fiber have a regulating effect on digestion and metabolism. Phytochemicals in fruit inhibit inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. When shopping, pay attention to variety, as well as regional and seasonal goods. It is fully ripe and provides plenty of vitamins and minerals with a protective effect on the nervous and immune systems. Exotic and out-of-season fruits also have all the valuable vital substances in their freeze-dried form. (Find out more in the article: How healthy are dried fruits)
2. Reduced dairy products
Milk is an animal baby food that the human digestive tract is not designed for. The balance of the intestinal flora suffers from milk proteins and copious milk consumption is associated with high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases, among other things. Dairy products should therefore not be consumed every day and should be replaced with plant-based alternatives based on oats, rice or almonds.
3. Less on meat and fish
Meat is considered to be a concentrated source of energy, but your daily nutrient and protein requirements can be met well with plant-based food. However, if you don’t want to do without fish and meat, always buy from animal-friendly husbandry and directly from the producer. In addition, your weekly meat consumption should be a maximum of 300g-600g.
4. Enjoy selected cereals
Carbohydrates provide energy to the muscles and brain and provide fiber for the digestive tract. You should cover around 50% of your daily energy needs with it. Potatoes and whole foods of legumes and grains are ideal. Extract flour, on the other hand, has hardly any fiber and baked goods often contain harmful additives. Avoid such foods as much as possible and rather use original carbohydrate forms such as millet, emmer grain, or barley.
5. Less sugar, please
Refined sugar weakens performance, intestinal flora, and the immune system. The industrial processing process isolates the sugar from the nutrient combination in which it occurs naturally – e.g. in sugar beet. For digestion, however, the intestine needs exactly this combination with minerals and vitamins. When consuming refined sugar, it takes the necessary vital substances from its depots.
Healthy alternatives are natural forms of sugar – such as coconut blossom sugar, date syrup, etc. But you shouldn’t overdo it, because sugar affects the addiction center in the brain and the hormone balance, making it harder to perceive your physical needs sensitively.
6. The right fats
10% -30% of the daily energy requirement should be covered with fats. They carry fat-soluble vitamins, are the building blocks for hormones and have anti-inflammatory effects. Make sure that you mainly consume fatty acids – such as omega 3 and omega 6. High-quality suppliers are, for example, avocados, nuts, and cold-pressed vegetable oils such as linseed and safflower oil; Rapeseed oil is best for frying and heating.
7. Drink plenty
Your body needs sufficient fluids for a functioning metabolism. Make sure that you drink one and a half liters of water or unsweetened tea every day; better two to three liters on warm days. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are tough on your body and should be consumed with caution.