Our diet must ensure our body, in addition to proteins, fats, carbohydrates and the energy they bring, also other essential nutrients, such as water, vitamins and minerals.
The diet must also provide us with particular amino acids (present in proteins) and some polyunsaturated fatty acids (present in fats).
In fact, these substances, as well as vitamins and minerals, are defined as “essential” precisely because the organism is not capable of “building them” by itself: therefore we must ensure them through food.
It is good to remember, however, that there is no “complete” or “perfect” food, which contains all the substances indicated in the right quantity and which is therefore able to satisfy our nutritional needs alone, neither as a natural product nor as a processed product.
Consequently, the simplest and safest way to guarantee, in an adequate measure, the supply of all the essential nutrients, is to vary the choices as much as possible and to suitably combine the different foods.
To behave in this way means not only to avoid the danger of nutritional imbalances and possible consequent metabolic imbalances, but also to better satisfy the taste and fight the monotony of flavors.
Furthermore, systematically and rationally varying food choices means reducing another risk that can derive from monotonous eating habits, namely repeated and continuous ingestion – always eating the same foods – both of foreign substances that may be present, and of compounds ” antinutritional “in them naturally contained.
In the long run, the ingestion of these substances can be harmful in many ways, not excluding the possible contribution to the risk of the onset of some tumors.
It is true, however, that diversifying food choices mitigates these potential risks and ensures greater health protection, because it promotes not only a more complete supply of vitamins and minerals, but also a sufficient ingestion of some natural substances that play in various ways a protective function for the body: for example, those antioxidants that are widely present in plant foods.
Consequently, except for special conditions assessable by the doctor, there is no reason, for those who vary their diet, to resort(only) to specific dietary supplements with vitamins, minerals or other nutrients.
From a practical point of view, the translation of these indications in the everyday diet can be easier if the different foods are grouped according to their main nutritional characteristics: thus the food groups are obtained. To achieve a complete and adequate diet it will be sufficient to ensure that in the daily diet each group is represented by at least a portion of the foods that are part of it, taking care also to habitually vary the choices within each individual group.
if this article was a good source of information for you, do not miss our next Monday article when we are going to see in deep the “Food Groups”.
Sarah is part of the Team ELC and she helps people discover what makes their life happy, meaningful, and full of ease. She is a writer, meditator and loves painting, an art she happily gets to practice a lot in her spare time.