Tips for a healthy and balanced diet, an ally of our health
The days are getting shorter and shorter, the temperatures drop suddenly and autumn gradually gives way to the first cold winters. In this period, our metabolism slows down and focusing on diet becomes essential.
Seasonal changes also affect our nutritional needs: there are foods that can give us a boost of energy, just what we need at this particular time of the year. It's time to bring carbohydrates to the table, making sure to choose the whole-grain ones that guarantee an important supply of fiber – essential for promoting intestinal transit and helping us lose weight.
To give us advice for a perfect energy diet is Dr. Carmen Loreto, dietician in Rome: in addition to unrefined carbohydrates, our diet should include good amounts of omega-3 acids, allies for heart and brain health. It is also good to opt for seasonal fruit and vegetables, rich in antioxidants that protect against the onset of numerous diseases.
For example, purple carrots are an excellent source of anthocyanins: these powerful antioxidant substances help fight aging and have shown various health benefits. Their efficacy in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels has been highlighted, thus acting against the development of diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Further studies have instead brought to light the anti-tumor action of anthocyanins, inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells in breast, liver, skin, colorectal and blood cancers. Finally, a review published in Nutrients demonstrated their role in improving vascular function, reducing stiffness in the arteries and keeping blood pressure in check.
To fill up on fiber, there is nothing better than a good plate of legumes. This time we want to talk about black beans, typical of South American cuisine: one serving provides 15 grams of fiber, which have many properties for the body. By increasing the sense of satiety, they help to control weight and eat less. They also slow down the absorption of sugars, helping to decrease the risk of diabetes.
Black beans also contain important amounts of vegetable proteins and B vitamins, essential for the proper development of the nervous system. While among the mineral salts of which they are rich, magnesium stands out in particular, which improves cognitive functions and reduces stress.
Did you know that chili peppers are a lifesaver for many health ailments? Over the years, its benefits have been extensively studied: it has an anti-inflammatory action, thus decreasing the risk of the onset of various diseases, and is an excellent ally for those who want to lose weight. As shown by research published in Appetite, it helps reduce appetite and stimulates thermogenesis, a process by which our body burns fat.
While an important review conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic's Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute has revealed that the habitual consumption of chili peppers can decrease the risk of cardiovascular mortality by 26%, by 23% the risk of mortality from cancer and 25% risk of all-cause mortality.
Speaking of heart health, there are many foods that can fight hypertension, one of the main risk factors for heart disease. In our in-depth analysis, we have listed the 15 best foods to be able to control the pressure with the diet, thanks to their nutritional profile rich in beneficial substances for the whole body.