Diet, the best of the week from 14 to 20 December

Dieta, le migliori della settimana dal 14 al 20 dicembre

Following some proper eating habits is the best way to lose weight and stay healthy

Never before during the month of December do we feel the need to pay attention to what we bring to the table: with the Christmas holidays it is easy to exceed and then have to deal with the scales. In reality, just a few tricks are enough to stay in shape, naturally with an eye to health. So what are the best foods to introduce into our diet?

Fruit is undoubtedly the first choice when it comes to tasty and healthy foods: at this time of year, apples are an excellent alternative to dessert and a perfect snack to break hunger. They are rich in fiber and water, which increase the sense of satiety and promote correct intestinal transit, deflating the belly. They also contain pectin, a particular substance that acts as a prebiotic and nourishes the bacterial flora of the intestine.

Apples are an irreplaceable ally for losing weight, as shown by a study published in Appetite. During the clinical trial, conducted on 58 people, it was shown that those who consume slices of apple before a meal consume on average 200 calories less than those who do not eat anything before eating. Not to mention, finally, the numerous other health benefits: there are in fact important quantities of antioxidants, which play a fundamental role in protecting the body from various diseases.

Dried figs, on the other hand, are inevitable during the Christmas period. In this case we are dealing with a food rich in nutrients, but also quite caloric. It is therefore good not to overdo the quantities, without having to give them up completely. In fact, this food has many beneficial properties for the body: it contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and polyphenols, which are important for counteracting the formation of free radicals.

Dried figs are also good for the heart, thanks to the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control. They are also an excellent source of pectin, which a recent study published in Nutrients has shown to be useful for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

As for vegetables, in winter there is a wide choice: thistles, in particular, are perfect for a detox diet. In fact, they contain a lot of water, which helps reduce water retention and eliminate waste from the body. Their hepatoprotective action is extensively studied, and seems to be mainly due to cynarin and silmarin – the latter mainly contained in the variety known as milk thistle.

According to a study published in Molecules, this vegetable would have an important role in reducing the damage caused by liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis and hepatitis C. Phenolic compounds, such as caffeic acid, are instead effective in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells, although more research is needed to establish the true extent of this discovery.

It may sound strange, but peanut butter is also a great ally for health, as long as it is naturally consumed in moderate quantities. Despite being very caloric, in fact it has several essential nutrients for our body. For example, there are fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acids, important mineral salts such as potassium, magnesium and selenium, and numerous vitamins.

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