In fact, recently there has been more and more evidence of how epigenetics, or the influence of the environment on gene expression, counts a lot in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases or cancers.
How and what should I eat to stay healthy?
The principles related to healthy eating, those that can be adopted by anyone who cares about their state of health, are not complex and you can immediately try to put them into practice in your days, perhaps focusing on an aspect that you had not taken enough into consideration until to now.
In general you should:
- abound with seasonal fruits and vegetables, because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients, substances necessary for cellular function;
- prefer foods as loose and fresh as possible, trying to avoid putting too many packaged products full of preservatives or additives and paying attention to the quality and origin of what you buy;
- distribute calories throughout the day according to commitments, eating balanced meals (without skipping them) and if necessary making light snacks (not snacks);
reduce the glycemic load by eliminating as much sugar, jams, honey, sweets, soft drinks, alcohol as possible and replacing white pasta, bread and rice with wholemeal ones to maintain low insulin levels;
- use aromatic herbs and spices with imagination to reduce excessively fatty seasonings and limit the salt added to preparations.
Not just “what”, but also “how” to eat
Now you should have a slightly more precise idea of what everyone means by “healthy diet”.
We must not forget, however, that choosing foods is only one of the steps: the way you store, cook and consume your meals can also greatly affect the healthiness of your diet.
A particularly important step is that of preparation and cooking, actions that can in fact greatly affect the nutritional content of foods: for example, some vitamins are sensitive to heat, while mineral salts are easily dispersed in water, which is why it is advisable to alternate the consumption of both raw and cooked fruits and vegetables.
In other cases, cooking a food makes nutrients more available and removes or transforms substances that could normally be harmful to us, such as some proteins or the anti-nutrients found in cereals, legumes and vegetables.
One of the pieces to add to your overview therefore concerns the careful choice of the cooking method of the various foods, in order to have the greatest benefit with the least waste or damage.
The story of eating well and in a healthy way does not end there: there are many other factors related to food that can have an even more positive influence on your general health, such as timing, or the moment you decide to eat, or use of any supplements, which can make your body’s work even more efficient, or even how you decide to combine physical activity and training with nutrition.