Six clues to create a healthy meal

Healthy foods are those that provide you with the nutrients you need to sustain your body´s well-being and retain energy.

Water, carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals are the key nutrients that make up a healthy and balanced diet. 

You may ask yourself: how can I create a healthy meal?

You must think to follow 6 important steps:

1- Drink Water, this is the most important thing in your daily routine.

Drinking water can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat and lead to constipation and kidney stones. Water helps your body to keep a normal temperature.

Coffee and tea are also healthy without added sweeteners.

Other beverages such as fruit juice, milk and those made with low-calorie sweeteners should be consumed in moderation. 

You should avoid sugary drinks like soda, sports beverages and energy drinks.

2- Always use healthy oils. You need a small amount of fat in your diet for healthy functioning. Oils provide essential nutrients to help maintain body functions. 

The oils you choose for your diet can make a big difference to your health.

  • Good fats — lower disease risk.
    Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils (such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn), nuts, seeds and fish.
  • Bad fats and trans fats — increase disease risk, even when eaten in small quantities. Foods containing trans fats are primarily processed foods made with trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil.
  • Saturated fats, are not as harmful as trans fats, comparedwith unsaturated fats that negatively affecthealth and they are best consumed in moderation.
    Foods containing large amounts of saturated fat include red meat, butter, cheese and ice cream. Some plant-based fats like coconut oil and palm oil are also rich in saturated fat.

3- Eat vegetables and fruits: (½ of your plate)
Contains many of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body cannot produce on its own; this is what makes you feel healthy and energized. Eat plenty every day.

Tips to eat more vegetables and fruits each day:

– Keep fruit where you can see it.
– Variety and color are key to a healthy diet.
– Skip the potatoes.
– Try cooking new recipes that include more vegetables. Salads and soups are just a few ideas for increasing the number of tasty vegetables in your meals.

4– Eat whole grains: (¼ of your plate)
Grains are naturally high in fiber, helping you feel full and satisfied — which makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
Whole grains are also linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems.

All whole-grain kernels contain three parts: the bran, germ and endosperm.

The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer that supplies B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

The germ is the core of the seed. It is rich in healthy fats, E and B vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants.

The endosperm is the interior layer that holds carbohydrates, protein and small amounts of some B vitamins and minerals.

Eating whole grains in their whole forms—such as brown rice, barley, oats, corn and rye—are healthy choices because they pack in the nutritional benefits of whole grains without any additional ingredients.

Choose always whole grains instead of refined grains. The resulting highly processed grains are much lower in nutritional quality. Although some nutrients may be added back by fortification, other health-promoting components of whole grains such as phytochemicals cannot be replaced.

5– Eat healthy proteins: (¼ of your plate)
It’s an important part of a healthy diet. Proteins are made up of chemical ‘building blocks’ called amino acids. Your body uses amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. They can also be used as an energy source.

Tips for shaping your diet with the best protein choices:

Get your protein from plants when possible.
Examples for each category:

Legumes: lentils, beans (adzuki, chickpeas, mung, pinto, black, etc.), peas, edamame/soybeans (and products made from soy: tofu, tempeh, etc.), peanuts.

Nuts and Seeds: almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, squash and pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds.

Whole Grains: wheat, quinoa, rice, wild rice, millet, oats, buckwheat.

Another thing to take into account: while many vegetables and fruits contain some level of protein, it’s generally in smaller amounts than in the other plant-based foods. Some examples with higher protein quantities include corn, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts and artichokes.

Get your protein from animals.
Examples of each category:
Generally, you can get it from poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and a variety of seafood (fish, crustaceans, mollusks). These are your best options

Eggs can be a good choice, too.

Red meat—which includes unprocessed beef, pork, lamb, veal, mutton and goat meat—should be consumed on a more limited basis. If you enjoy red meat, consider eating it in small amounts or on special occasions.

Processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and cold cuts should be avoided. As processed meat refers to any meat that has been “transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.”

6–  Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine
Physical activity is an important step you can take to improve your health and quality of life. Regular physical activity may help to prevent or delay many health problems.

Most of us have a busy lifestyle that encourages being sedentary for many hours of the day, such as driving door-to-door, sitting at an office desk, or relaxing for the evening in front of a television. But, you have to know that being active may help you to look and feel better, both now and in the future.

All types of exercises offer health benefits. It is important to remember that some exercise is better than none.

Aerobic/Cardiovascular physical activity. These are activities that are intense enough and they should be performed long enough to maintain or improve one’s heart and lung fitness.
Examples: walking, jogging, dancing, bicycling, basketball, soccer and swimming.

Muscle-strengthening activity. These activities maintain or increase muscle strength, endurance and power.
Examples: weight machines, resistance elastic bands, pilates, daily activities of living (lifting children, carrying groceries or laundry, climbing stairs)

Flexibility training. It lengthens or flexes a skeletal muscle to the point of tension, and holds for several seconds to increase elasticity and range of motion around a joint. Improving flexibility can enhance the overall physical performance of other types of exercise. Examples: yoga, tai chi.

Balance training. These activities improve body control and stability. They can help to prevent falls and other injuries. Examples: standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe in a perfectly straight line, standing on a balance or wobble board.

The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern that involves consuming healthy fats, whole grains and seafood in moderation while also cutting back on eating processed foods.

In your daily routine,
you need to focus always on eating as much fresh food as possible that provides us with the nutrients our bodies need and try to avoid processed food.
If you pay attention to these steps you will feel healthy and full of energy!!!