Diet, the best of the week from 19 to 25 October

Eating well is the first step to staying healthy: let's discover the advice of the experts

A varied and balanced diet involves the introduction of all the essential nutrients for the proper functioning of our body. For this reason it is good to pay attention to which foods we choose to bring to the table: some of them in fact have particular beneficial properties for the body.

For example, autumn is the perfect season to follow a grape-based diet. Particularly rich in important nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants, this fruit is a real panacea for our health. So much so that it can be considered a real cure: ampelotherapy, which consists of consuming black grapes five times a day, is a rather well-known practice since ancient times.

The professor. Pier Luigi Rossi, a medical specialist in Food Science and Preventive Medicine in Arezzo, explains what are the many benefits of grapes. Thanks to the high water and fiber content, it helps fight water retention and reduces abdominal swelling. Furthermore, being rich in polyphenols and in particular resveratrol, it is the perfect ally for memory and brain health, helping to prevent cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's.

Speaking of Alzheimer's, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that the ketogenic diet has interesting profiles on the front of the prevention of this disease, as well as antitumor efficacy. Other research has already shown how a diet low in carbohydrates carries out its action against diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Among the best foods to bring to the table, the choice can only fall on non-starchy vegetables: they are in fact very rich in fiber, which for the purposes of the ketogenic diet are not considered as carbohydrates, because they are not absorbed by our body. Olive oil, on the other hand, is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants such as phenols, which are important for heart health.

Through nutrition we can prevent the onset of many diseases, and several studies have shown how what we eat can reduce the risk of developing some cancers. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, for example, is good for the intestine: a meta-analysis published in the Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology highlighted that a state of chronic inflammation in the intestine can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 40 %.

The foods to avoid are those rich in saturated fats, while a Mediterranean diet is particularly recommended: green light for fruit, vegetables and whole grains to fill up on fiber, but also for blue fish and dried fruit. These foods are in fact an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Speaking of the Mediterranean diet, one of its cornerstones is the choice of seasonal fruit and vegetables. For this reason, our diet should not lack beets in autumn: low in calories and rich in fiber, they are perfect for those who want to lose weight. They are in fact a rather satiating food, and reducing the sense of hunger makes it easier for us to resist the temptation to have a snack between meals.

But the properties of this vegetable are not limited to the slimming ones. Alpha-lipoic acid, of which beets are an excellent source, is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to be effective in improving the neurological complications of type 2 diabetes. While vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting, in the development of the myelin sheath to protect the nerves and in bone health.

We know that nutrition has a significant impact in many areas of our daily life, including the moment of sleep. What we eat can give us a good night's rest or, conversely, make it difficult for us to fall asleep. For this reason it is good to avoid foods rich in salt or particularly seasoned, those that contain caffeine (including chocolate) and spirits.

Coldiretti has drawn up guidelines that can help us adopt healthy eating habits aimed precisely at improving the quality of our sleep. The diet for better sleep should include foods containing tryptophan, such as pasta and bread, but also some simple sugars and lots of vegetables.

In recent times there has been a lot of talk about gluten sensitivity, a disease that involves symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Although different from celiac disease, this syndrome finds relief in eliminating gluten-containing foods from the diet. However, it is good to rely on doctors and not decide independently to adopt a gluten-free diet: this can in fact lead to a delay in diagnosis.

Category: Welfare
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