Diet, the best of the week from 8 to 14 February

Let's find out what are the foods to bring to the table to lose weight and stay healthy

Never before during the winter period is it important to pay attention to what we eat: food is in fact a great way to strengthen our immune defenses and to give us a boost of energy. And, of course, this is the best time to start getting in shape for the costume fitting.

To lose weight, there is nothing more effective than combining a little physical activity with a healthy diet. For many years now, experts have focused on analyzing adipose tissue to identify the factors that lead to obesity and to find new weight loss strategies. As explained by prof. Pier Luigi Rossi, specialist in Nutrition Sciences and Preventive Medicine in Arezzo and professor at the University of Bologna, what outlines our figure in the mirror is the White Adipose Tissue – that is, that tissue formed by white adipocytes.

But fat is not composed solely of this type of adipocytes: there are also brown and beige ones, which on the contrary have an active role in helping us lose weight. Increasingly, scientists are studying beige adipose tissue, the so-called "healthy fat". The professor. Rossi explained the reason: "Having a greater presence of beige adipocytes helps to empty the fat stored inside them from the white adipocytes and therefore to lose weight".

How to increase the amount of beige adipose tissue? Researchers at Harvard Medical School have highlighted the importance of irisin, a hormone that promotes the transformation of white fat cells into beige fat cells. To stimulate its production, it is good to be careful not to take too many omega-6 acids and arachidonic acid, preferring carotenoids instead.

However, nutrition does not only play a fundamental role in losing weight, but also in preventing aging. From this point of view, the main players are antioxidants: by capturing free radicals, they protect cells from oxidative damage caused by aging. Experts have thus identified the ORAC (Oxygen Radicals Absorbance Capacity) index, which indicates the ability of each food to absorb free radicals. It becomes much easier, finally, to find out which are the real anti-aging foods.

Professor Pucci Romano, Skineco president and author of the book A friend for the skin (Giunti), explained which foods we need to bring to the table to get full of antioxidants: vegetables stand out naturally, but also ripe fruit, legumes and whole grains. In our in-depth analysis, we have compiled a list of ideal foods to take sufficient ORAC units to ensure the best in the fight against aging.

Even if we are on a diet, sometimes it is right to make an exception to the rule. On Valentine's Day, for example, we may want to allow ourselves some extra pampering at the table too. Well, it is possible to do it without giving up some small precautions that will make the meal lighter and healthier. Dr. Chiara Manzi – expert nutritionist and creator of Cucina Evolution, the method for serving greedy dishes with more antioxidants and fewer calories – has drawn up the perfect Valentine's Day menu that combines goodness and lightness, with an eye to aphrodisiac foods for excellence.

Tag: Diets

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