Losing weight in health is possible: here are the expert advice for a healthy and balanced diet
The days get longer and a thousand activities enrich our agenda: never as in this period do we need an additional boost of energy, and nutrition is essential for the well-being of the body. Knowing well the foods we bring to the table and their nutritional principles helps us to make informed choices, to gain health – and, of course, to lose a few extra pounds when needed.
Adopting the right diet is important in every moment of our life, but it is during menopause that the body undergoes significant changes and therefore requires greater attention. Diet is a fundamental aspect for taking care of our body in this delicate phase, because it allows us to prevent (or fight) the inevitable hormonal effects and weight gain that is often related to the end of the menstrual cycle.
Ennio Avolio and Claudio Pecorella, in their book Cyclicity Diet, addressed the issue by giving us many tips on the ideal diet for menopause. To keep weight under control, one day of calorie restriction per week is foreseen, while in the rest of the time it is important to fill up with those nutrients that are good for our body: calcium and vitamin D strengthen bones, preventing osteoporosis, while folate reduces the levels of homocysteine, a hormone that represents a risk factor for various heart diseases.
Two categories of foods that are essential for a correct diet, both in menopause and at any other stage of life, are whole grains and legumes. They are both complex carbohydrates, rich in nutrients that are beneficial for our health such as fibers, starches, vitamins and minerals, but also proteins and unsaturated fats. They also contain good amounts of iron, although it is more difficult to absorb by the body – however, it is sufficient to combine its intake with vitamin C.
Dr. Giusy Giugno, a nutrition biologist in Florence, explains why it is important to consume whole grains and legumes in pairs: in fact, together they provide all the amino acids we need, thus having a beneficial effect on health. In particular, they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote the well-being of the intestine and brain. "For all these reasons, the combination of cereals and legumes should be consumed more frequently as a substitute for products of animal origin" – therefore warns Dr. June.
Finally, let's talk about tuna, a food much appreciated by young and old – whether fresh or canned, it is also a versatile food that can be used in various preparations. Rich in essential nutrients for the body, it provides excellent amounts of high biological value proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins (in particular those of group B, which are important for the proper development of the nervous system).
Tuna is also an excellent source of mineral salts such as iodine, potassium, iron and selenium. Dr. Corrado Pierantoni, specialist in endocrinology and metabolic diseases and clinical nutritionist in Lanciano, explains that fish should be included in our diet at least four times a week, two of which we can dedicate to tuna.