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Healthy food as a source of well-being

Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are recognized as key factors in building and maintaining health and well-being. Improving nutrition is also a public health issue in France, which has launched the PNNS to curb the spread of certain diseases (obesity, diabetes, etc.). What if the key to well-being was to adopt a varied and balanced diet over the long term? Here are our explanations.
Don’t forget that a balanced diet is not built on a single meal or a single day, but rather on the week. This is why there are no forbidden foods or miracle foods. It’s all a question of choice and quantity.
Balanced diet

A food pyramid is a reference tool for approaching a balanced diet, it proposes a hierarchy and makes it possible to distinguish between foods to be favored, those that are tolerated, and those that are to be consumed occasionally.

The food pyramid for a balanced diet

Not a meal without fruits and vegetables: These foods have real health benefits, they have a low energy density and are high in micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
Fibers are our “appetite suppressant” allies, they help to stimulate the feeling of satiety and are essential to the proper functioning of the intestine because they are involved in the regulation of intestinal transit.

=> According to the first results of the Nutrient santé study, the average dietary fibre intake is 18.8g/day in the French. This consumption remains insufficient with regard to nutritional recommendations because only 22% of men and 12% of women reach the threshold of 25g/day which is the recommended minimum.

What does this recommendation mean ?– 5 fruits and vegetables a day.

Often misunderstood by consumers, it means 5 portions of fruit and/or vegetables, for example, 3 portions of vegetables and 2 portions of fruit. One serving represents between 80 and 100 grams.

One portion? One apple, one pear, one tomato, 15 grapes, ½ zucchini, 2 apricots, a handful of green beans, etc.

– Favor seasonal plants: they have many advantages: they are tastier, richer in vitamins and minerals and economical but also ecological.

Seasonal fruit and vegetable calendar

– Limit foods of animal origin by consuming only one serving a day. Last January, ANSES published new nutritional recommendations for the French adult population. Initially, the Agency insists on the need to considerably reduce the consumption of charcuterie (such as ham, sausage, pâté, etc.) so that it does not exceed 25 g per day. Concerning the consumption of meat other than poultry (such as beef, pork, lamb, etc.) it should not exceed 500 g per week. These measures limit the development of certain cancers, in particular colorectal cancer. The interest of a biweekly consumption of fish, including oily fish rich in omega 3 (e.g. sardine, mackerel, tuna, etc.) has been reaffirmed.
Animal proteins provide several amino acids, including tyrosine, a precursor of dopamine synthesis, allowing us to start the day in good shape. At breakfast, it is important to favor the consumption of animal proteins (eggs, ham, cheese, etc.) in order to awaken your motivation and to avoid snacking before lunchtime.

– Choose cereal products wisely: To optimize your health, choose carbohydrate foods with a low glycemic index, which is responsible for low insulin secretion. The glycemic index is used to classify foods according to their effect on blood sugar levels following ingestion. The higher the index, the more the consumption of this food causes an increase in blood sugar levels, which in the long term favors the development of metabolic diseases (diabetes, obesity, overweight, etc.).

– Favour low and moderate GI foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, oleaginous fruits (nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.), etc.

– Limit high GI foods: Sugar, pastries, white bread, cookies, sodas, confectionery, etc.
The presence of fiber reduces the glycemic index of the food. This explains why fruit juice, devoid of fiber, has a higher glycemic index than the fruit as it is. In a meal, the combination with lipids and proteins also helps to decrease the glycemic index.

– Use the right fats: Prefer polyunsaturated fatty acids and especially omega 3s that have a cardio-protective and anti-inflammatory effect.
Where to find them? They are contained in certain oils (rapeseed, nuts, and flaxseed) as well as in oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.). Prefer these cold-pressed oils to season your raw vegetables because omega 3s are destroyed by heat and one oily fish per week.

– Stop snacking: Monotonous meals and often taken on the go for lack of time, we do not think about what we eat and we eat very fast!
However, taking the time to eat is essential in order to prepare digestion and avoid the appearance of digestive disorders. The time spent at the table must be at least 20 minutes this helps to promote the phenomenon of satiety, so the stomach can send a message of satiety to the brain which is itself the center of appetite.
In addition, it is important to vary your meals because as food is consumed, the pleasure associated with its consumption is reduced.

Sports practice – Sports is essential for health and mental well-being: Physical activity includes leisure, travel (e.g. walking or cycling), certain professional activities, household chores, play activities, and sports. It brings many health benefits such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease but also counteracting the effects of anxiety and stress. It is essential to practice the equivalent of 30 minutes a day.
Recreation is a set of occupations that the individual can voluntarily engage in, to rest, or to have fun. They allow the person to feel lasting well-being, both mental and physical.
Varied food

It is essential to vary your meals by consuming everything in suitable quantities. This diet should give priority to foods beneficial to our health (fruits, vegetables, starches, fish…) and limit sugary products (confiseries, sugary drinks…), salty (aperitif cakes, chips…) and fatty (charcuterie, butter, cream…).
Wellness foods

Stress: Magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that produce energy and have sedative activity. Magnesium improves stress tolerance by limiting the release of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol).
The main magnesium-carrying foods are dark chocolate with 80% cocoa, oleaginous fruits (almonds, hazelnuts, nuts, etc.), as well as whole grains and legumes.

Fatigue: The major symptoms of iron deficiency are chronic fatigue and a decrease in physical and intellectual performance. Iron has a major role in the transport of oxygen because it participates in the construction of hemoglobin. The main iron-carrying foods are offal, red meat, and legumes.
Vitamin C helps to reduce fatigue and promotes the assimilation of iron from plant foods. This vitamin is abundant in raw fruits and vegetables (citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, tomatoes, peppers, etc.).

Difficulty falling asleep: Melatonin’s “sleep hormone” is synthesized from its precursor, serotonin. The synthesis of serotonin is itself dependent on an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which is provided by the diet (chocolate, brown rice, eggs, or peanuts). At dinner, limit the animal proteins that are sources of tyrosine, which is responsible for the synthesis of dopamine, which disrupts the quality of sleep. In the evening it is important to favor a meal based on vegetable proteins (lentils, chickpeas, vegetable steak, etc.) source of tryptophan in order to regulate sleep.
Recipe idea for a balanced and varied barbecue, a source of well-being!

On sunny days, barbecues traditionally return to the garden. In order to vary the pleasure of barbecues based on meats and sausages, here is our recipe based on mackerel and seasonal vegetables! Mackerel is a fatty fish rich in omega 3 that does not break up when barbecued and retains its smoothness.

Healthy barbecue recipe ingredients for 4 people :

– 4 mackerels
– Mustard
– Juice of one lemon
– 3 tomatoes
– 2 zucchini
– 2 peppers (green and yellow)
– 2 onions
– 1 clove of garlic
– 4 tablespoons of olive oil
– Salt and pepper
– Thyme
– Basil

Preparation tips :

Wash the vegetables then slice them and put them in a salad bowl. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and basil, ideally fresh. Leave this preparation to marinate in a cool place for about an hour.
In a second step, prepare a marinade for the mackerels. Place the mackerels in a salad bowl with a little mustard, a drizzle of lemon juice, and finally the thyme, salt, and pepper. Marinate the mackerels for about an hour in the fridge.
Place the vegetable preparation in individual aluminum foil papillotes and leave to cook for about 20 minutes on the barbecue grill. Proceed to cook the mackerels.
Serve the mackerel with the vegetables. You can also serve them with rice. Bon appétit!

Is barbecuing dangerous?

No, unless toxic compounds are deposited on the food. Cooking food on the barbecue in direct contact with the flame can generate toxic compounds with carcinogenic properties. However, the ANSES specifies that the risk of food overexposure to these compounds through the use of barbecue is quite limited if certain cooking recommendations are respected:
– Adjust the cooking height, food should not be in direct contact with the flames.
– The firelighters must have burned completely before placing the food on the grill.
– Prefer the use of pure charcoal (category A).
– Avoid fat falling into the flames.

Suggested appetizer: Melon carpaccio
Dessert suggestion: Strawberry panna cotta

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