What should I eat for a healthy diet

 

A healthy diet provides our body with all the nutrients it needs to function properly and prevent disease. These nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. A healthy diet is based on the consumption of varied, natural and quality foods, avoiding processed foods, added sugars, saturated fats and excess salt.

To achieve a healthy diet, it is recommended to follow the following guidelines:

  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, preferably seasonal and organically grown. Fruits and vegetables provide us with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and help us to hydrate and satiate us.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined ones, such as bread, pasta, rice or oatmeal. Whole grains provide us with complex carbohydrates, which give us sustained energy, as well as fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Consume proteins of animal and vegetable origin, giving priority to lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes and nuts. Proteins provide us with essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of our muscles, organs and tissues, and also help us feel satiated.
  • Include healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, seeds or oily fish. Healthy fats provide us with essential fatty acids, which are necessary for the functioning of the brain, heart and immune system, and also add flavor and texture to food.
    Drink at least two liters of water a day, avoiding sugary, alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. Water is essential for the transport of nutrients, elimination of toxins, temperature regulation and maintenance of the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Moderate consumption of dairy, salt and spices. Dairy provides calcium, which is important for bones and teeth, but it can also contain saturated fats, sugars and hormones. Salt provides sodium, which is necessary for fluid balance, but can also increase blood pressure and water retention. Spices provide flavor and medicinal properties, but can also irritate the stomach and intestine.
  • Plan meals in advance, avoiding snacking and craving. Planning meals helps us to have a more balanced, varied and economical diet, and to avoid temptations and impulses to eat unhealthy foods.
  • Chew food well and eat slowly, enjoying each bite. Chewing food well helps us to digest it better, absorb nutrients better and avoid gas and discomfort. Eating slowly helps us to recognize hunger and satiety signals, and to enjoy the taste and texture of food more.

Healthy diet for children

Children, like adults, need a healthy diet in order to grow and develop properly. However, the youngest children have specific nutritional needs, which vary according to their stage of growth. For example, infants need breast milk or formula, children from 1 to 3 years old need more calcium and iron, and adolescents need more protein and energy.

To ensure a healthy diet for children, it is recommended:

  • Offer them a varied and balanced diet, including all food groups, without prohibiting or forcing them to eat any food. Children should learn to eat everything, without associating food with rewards or punishments, and without creating restrictive or compulsive habits.
  • Encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, presenting them in an attractive way, combining colors, shapes and flavors, and offering them as snacks or desserts. Fruits and vegetables are essential for the growth and development of children, and provide them with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
  • Avoid consumption of processed foods, such as sweets, snacks, sausages, sauces or precooked foods, which often contain a lot of sugar, salt, fats and additives. These foods can lead to tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases in children, and can also displace the consumption of healthier foods.
  • Limit consumption of sugary drinks, such as juices, soft drinks or milkshakes, and offer water or milk as regular beverages. Sugary drinks provide many empty calories that have no nutritional value and can cause dehydration, tooth decay, obesity and diabetes in children. Water and milk are the best choices for hydrating and nourishing children.
  • Involve children in the purchase, preparation and consumption of food, involving them in the decisions, teaching them to read labels, choose the healthiest foods and cook simple and nutritious recipes. In this way, children learn to value food, develop their culinary skills and acquire healthy habits from a young age.
  • Establish schedules and routines for mealtimes, avoiding distractions, such as television, cell phones or toys, and creating a pleasant and relaxed environment. Schedules and routines help children regulate their appetite, eat more calmly and avoid binge eating. Distractions can interfere with the perception of hunger and satiety, and can cause children to eat more or less than they need. The environment influences the mood and relationship with food, and should be positive and harmonious.
  • Set an example with our own eating, showing healthy habits and a positive attitude towards food. Children imitate what they see and what their parents do, and that is why it is important that we give them a good model to follow, eating in a healthy, varied and balanced way, and enjoying food without guilt or obsession.

The importance of growing your own food

One way to improve our healthy eating is to grow our own food, whether vegetables or fruits. This has several advantages, both for our health and for the environment:

  • We ensure that the food we consume is fresh, natural and of quality, without pesticides, herbicides, transgenics or preservatives. In this way, we avoid ingesting toxic substances that can affect our health and that of our children, and that can cause allergies, intolerances, cancer or infertility.
  • We save money, since the food we grow is cheaper than the food we buy at the market or supermarket. In addition, by growing our own food, we can make the most of it, without wasting anything, and we can preserve it naturally, without the need for packaging or refrigeration.
  • We reduce our environmental impact by avoiding transportation, packaging and food waste, and we contribute to biodiversity and ecological balance. By growing our own food, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy consumption, soil and water pollution, and species and habitat loss.
  • We learn about the cycle of life, the care of plants, respect for nature and the value of work. By growing our own food, we connect with the earth, with the rhythms of nature and with our own essence. We also develop values such as patience, responsibility, gratitude and generosity.
  • We enjoy a relaxing, fun and rewarding activity that we can share with our family, friends or neighbors. By growing our own food, we relieve stress, have fun and feel proud of our work. In addition, we can share our food with others, creating bonds of friendship and solidarity.

Healthy eating is fundamental to our physical, mental and emotional well-being. A varied, natural and quality diet provides us with the nutrients we need to be healthy and prevent disease. In addition, growing our own food allows us to enjoy fresh, cheap and organic food, and offers us a fun and educational activity. Therefore, we encourage you to take care of your food and that of your family, and that you dare to create your own urban garden. Your health and the planet will thank you and, now, with GrowersGo it is possible!

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