Protecting health with the right diet

Protecting health with the right diet

© marilyn barbone/Fotolia

Here is what you should know about a healthy diet to strengthen your body and promote your long-term health.

A balanced diet is the best means to good health

Who would like to nourish itself healthy, should pay attention to a varied food plan. In addition to fruits and vegetables, this includes protein sources such as dairy products, lean meat and fish or legumes, as well as sufficient fluids.

But even with a healthy diet it may be a piece of chocolate now and then. It is only important to pay attention to the right amount and to find the right balance. Of course, factors such as body size, weight, age and gender also play a role here. Some people consume more energy per day, others less and the diet should be tailored to them.

The body needs fruits and vegetables for this

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, trace elements and minerals. The German Nutrition Society recommends eating a total of five portions of meat and fish every day three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit-, to promote its own health and to absorb sufficient vitamins and minerals. Because these fulfill various important functions in the body. The vitamins contained in fruits and vegetables protect against free radicals, for example, and support the division and formation of new cells. In addition, the consumption of fruits and vegetables can prevent diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Meat and fish as part of a balanced diet

Meat and especially fish are also important sources of nutrients. Both contain a lot of protein and calcium, which strengthens bones and muscles in particular. Fish also has a high iodine content and supports the thyroid hormones very well. In addition, a great many omega-3 fatty acids are contained in fish. The body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids itself, but can only absorb them through food. Therefore, fish should not be missing from any menu. Omega-3 fatty acids are very good for vision, but also for brain performance and blood lipid levels.

If you prefer meat to fish, you should opt for low-fat varieties such as chicken or turkey. Poultry meat, for example, contains a lot of iron, which is particularly important for blood formation and oxygen supply in the body.

Vegetable alternatives

Vegetarians or vegans who avoid meat and fish can also easily compensate for the nutrients they contain with other foods. The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish can also be taken in with the help of linseed, rapeseed or walnut oil, for example. Vegetable sources of iodine include lamb’s lettuce, spinach and broccoli. The iron contained in meat is also found in a variety of other foods. For example, in whole grains, legumes or seeds and nuts.

Fat and carbohydrates

Fat and carbohydrates help us meet our daily energy needs and therefore play a central role in a balanced diet. As with other nutrients, it is the quantity that counts here. Cold-pressed olive oil, for example, contains many nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids. Nevertheless, the amount of fat consumed should not exceed about one to two tablespoons a day.

Carbohydrates are also true satiators. They are found in bread, potatoes and pasta, among other things. These are excellent as a side dish to vegetables. Foods with a high carbohydrate content have the advantage that they keep you full for a long time because they are digested more slowly by the stomach. However, so that they do not also become fattening, the whole-grain variety should be preferred for bread and pasta. Whole grain products are made from the virtually unprocessed form of the grain, which means that almost all of the ingredients are retained for the most part, including vitamins, nutrients and fiber. They cause the blood sugar level to rise only slowly after eating and thus make you feel full for a long time.

Do not forget to drink

For a balanced diet, sufficient fluid intake is also particularly important. This should be about 1.5 to 2 liters a day. One should fall back mainly on water. In addition, tea, fruit juice or coffee also provide the necessary fluids.

Water transports nutrients in the body and is also involved in metabolism. Sufficient water is also important for our musculoskeletal system, including the function of the intervertebral discs. These consist of a gelatinous viscous fluid that contains 70 to 90 percent water. The intervertebral discs act as a buffer system that, thanks to its nature, absorbs pressure and shocks to the spine. Thus, when the intervertebral disc is stressed, water and nutrients contained therein are squeezed out; when the load is relieved, the fluid is absorbed again.

Strengthen bones and joints

With a balanced and healthy diet, the physical well-being is promoted. A variety of foods, for example, also strengthens our joints and bones. Calcium-rich foods ensure, for example, that bone loss (osteoporosis) is prevented.

Calcium is found in green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and lamb’s lettuce. Foods with a high vitamin C content, such as peppers, also strengthen the bones.

In addition, whole grain products are also good sources of nutrients for our bones. Among other things, they contain a lot of zinc, which supports bone formation.

If you want to strengthen your muscles as well as your bones, you should eat foods with a lot of protein attack. This strengthens the muscles and helps with muscle regeneration. Protein is mainly found in eggs, beef or salmon. For vegetarians or vegans, almonds or olive oil are a good alternative.

Conclusion

A balanced diet can improve health and increase well-being. As long as you enjoy all foods in moderation, you support your organism and keep bones, muscles and joints healthy. Then even the piece of chocolate in the evening is no problem.

Literature and further links

  • More on tips for everyday life

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Orthinform – Your information portal in orthopedics and trauma surgery.

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