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Diet and health

02:35, 20 February 2012
Diet and health

How diet can help you stay healthy

The human body can be compared to a big construction and reconstruction site. Significant changes are occurring there constantly:

  • each day 1% of blood cells are destroyed and must be reconstructed, i.e. 8-9 g of haemoglobin must be reproduced
  • average life of leukocytes is 8-10 days
  • a half of haepatic protein and blood plasma protein is replaced within 10-20 days
  • human skin protein is replaced in app. 160 days
  • taste buds on a tongue (there are 10-20 thousand taste buds depending on the age) live 10 days but are replaced every 3 hours
  • hair must be constantly reconstructed but must also grow (app. 1 cm a month). Hair also contain protein!

Free radical processes

You should remember that the process of ageing can occur naturally or can be accelerated by free radical processes. New generations of cells are formed continually. They consist of a few dozen various ingredients. If one of them is missing or if there is too little or too much of it, your body will first try to adapt by producing „worse” generations of cells. And after some time, there is a collapse and bad mental and physical condition, ailments, and diseases begin.

In order to prevent free radical processes, you should supply your body with building materials it needs.

Correct diet

Correct diet is based on a few basic ingredients. They include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Your body have to be supplied with portions of each of these ingredients each day.

Protein is a basic building material; it constructs and reconstructs cells in your body.

Fat is necessary to supply a sufficient quantity of energy to your body. Don't be afraid of fat if your physician has not recommended that you should cut down on it. Essential Unsaturated Fatty Acids (EUFA) are necessary for your body (e.g. they form the nervous system).

Carbohydrates include mono- and polysaccharides which play an extremely significant role in body functioning. For your body, glucose is a determinant of the time needed for the activation of metabolic processes, which aim at maintaining life. No cell of your body can live without glucose.

Vitamins and minerals, which you are not able to supply your body with in perfectly balanced meals can be supplemented. Water is necessary for life; you should drink app. 2 litres of water daily.

Water is necessary for life; you should drink app. 2 litres of water daily.

Dietary guidelines

  1. You should eat a variety of foods.
    When FAO was supposed to give one answer to the question about how to eat, after many discussions it was agreed that the first principle of a rational diet is eating a variety of foods. Eating all, i.e. as diverse food as possible, you can be the most certain that your body has received all it needs.
  2. Food should be tasty.
    You should return to natural tastes and cut down on eating products containing preservatives and substances improving taste, smell, and best before date. The less chemicals in your meals, the better your health will be.
  3. Food should be celebrated.
    Nowadays, we do not have time to eat slowly and frequently we even don't remember what we ate. The nature has equipped humans in some mechanisms; we must use them to make our body function efficiently. Each food should be thoroughly munched, chewed, and then swallowed (give your saliva a chance to properly prepare food for your stomach and you will eliminate indigestion and other gastric ailments).
  4. Not too much and not too little – 4. sufficiently.
    Eating too much is not good for you. You should rise from the table a bit earlier than usually because you will not feel satiated until a few minutes after the meal.
  5. It is better for your body when you eat regular meals.
    This means eating meals at the same times; your body gets easily accustomed to regular supplies of fuel. There is no need to eat snacks between meals. You should remember not to make the breaks between meals too long. You should not shrink and then stretch your stomach unnecessarily.
  6. You don't have to buy the most expensive products to eat well.
    Most frequently, it is quite to the contrary. People who eat the worst are usually paupers and millionaires (the former because they have no choice as to what they eat; the latter because they eat too sophisticated food, often irregularly, and in restaurants).

Attention

  1. Never eat fat with carbohydrates (e.g. greasy pork knuckle with potatoes).
  2. Don't eat greasy and sour food at the same time.
  3. Never drink cold beverages after a hot meal, in particular after fats.
  4. Don't eat snacks between meals.
  5. Don't combine fruit with milk.
  6. Refuse meals which are not good for you.
  7. Cut down on cold meals. It is best to eat as many hot foods as possible, in particular for breakfast.

Minimizing risks

It is not possible to set one diet for ever. No diet is free from drawbacks. Eating well is one of the most important conditions of good health, which is influenced by many destructive factors, including ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, industrial and car gas emissions, water and air pollution, insufficient physical activity, and too much nicotine and alcohol. Our body is exposed to many potential external risks, so let's support its functions from the inside and remember about the basic guidelines and principles of a good diet.