The best foods for the body

best foods for the body
What foods should you eat to take care of your skin? To protect his heart? To improve your well-being? Thanks to this practical review covering the whole organism, become unbeatable on natural foods.

Foods to maintain your brain

Did you know that the brain is the organ richest in fat? But unlike those contained in adipose tissue, they do not serve as a reserve: they are part of the composition of the sheaths that protect neurons. We owe this structure in particular to  omega-3 fatty acids , of which fatty fish are one of the best sources. A deficiency also induces slight neurophysiological dysfunctions and affects cognitive performance in particular.

The  selenium  contained in this type of fish would also be able to prevent cognitive aging by preventing the formation of free radicals. In addition, studies have shown the importance of  starchy foods with a low glycemic index  (beans, whole wheat, beans, hummus, lentils, etc.) to maintain intellectual performance over long periods of time (such as an exam, for example). Finally, do not skimp on  foods rich in antioxidants (blueberries, grapes, vegetables, green tea…), especially when you know that the human brain is a very greedy organ: the degradation of its favorite resource (sugar ) releases many free radicals responsible for aging.

Foods to preserve your eyesight

The scientific community has proven it:  foods rich in lutein  (kale, spinach, squash, broccoli, peas) help prevent retinal degeneration. In addition to its antioxidant properties, this pigment helps filter blue light which attacks the photoreceptors of the eye. The egg contains less than green vegetables but it would be better absorbed by the body 1 .

It is also necessary to count on  vitamin A  (retinol) to optimize the functioning of the eye. It is found in animal products (butter, meat, fish, eggs) but also in carrots, tomatoes, apricots, pumpkin or melon. Finally,  vitamin D deficiencies  have been associated with myopia and AMD: expose yourself to a minimum of sunlight each day (if possible) and bet on some of these foods: fish, cow’s milk, soy, rice drink, egg (the yolk)…

Foods to protect your skin

“Beauty comes from within”, “we are what we eat”,… Nutrition and its influence on the skin have always fascinated throughout the centuries. Research has already shown the interest of foods rich in antioxidants, and in particular in  carotenoids  (carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangoes and papayas), in  tocopherol  (sunflower oil, almond oil, hazelnuts, olive oil) , in  astaxanthin  (salmon, trout, shrimp, shellfish, microalgae) and in  flavonoids (coloured fruits and vegetables, cocoa, soya, tea) 1.

Vitamin  C , unanimously recognized as beneficial for the skin 2 , is used in many cosmetic products but its activity is reduced due to its very rapid degradation 3 . It is mainly found in bell pepper, papaya, kiwi, orange and broccoli. Vitamin  A  (cow’s milk, egg yolk, fatty fish, carrot, pumpkin), which must necessarily come from food, and  coenzyme Q10  (fatty fish, meat liver, whole grains, supplements), which the ‘organism is able to synthesize, are also very involved in the health of the skin.

Foods to regulate blood sugar

Foods that help regulate blood sugar are those that will not cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly, which always results in an early spike in appetite. It is therefore necessary to favor foods whose glycemic index and load are low or even moderate. This is mainly the case  for vegetables  (apart from rutabagas, pumpkins, turnips and parsnips),  certain fruits  (cherries, plums, apples, peaches, pears, grapes, kiwis) , legumes, oilseeds and some cereal products, especially if they are  whole grain  (barley, bulgur, pasta, basmati rice).

Conversely, avoid white bread, potatoes, sodas and confectionery. Finally, you should know that  dietary fibers  (and proteins and lipids, but to a lesser extent) reduce the glycemic index: do not hesitate to consume legumes, artichokes, whole oatmeal , or even almonds.

Foods to lower your cholesterol

Hypercholesterolemia is still debated within the scientific community. Nevertheless, there are countless studies that have shown the association between high levels of total cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disorders. And in general, a high total cholesterol level is associated with too high a level of bad cholesterol (LDL), while that of good cholesterol is normal or too low. It is possible to adjust your diet to try to lower this rate.

First of all, avoid  industrial trans fats  (prepared meals, biscuits, croissants, cakes, etc.) and  foods high in cholesterol  (fatty meats, dairy products, egg yolks, shrimp, offal) in favor of sources of fat monounsaturated (olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, hazelnuts, avocado). Also increase your intake of  soluble fibers  (psyllium, oat bran, mango, artichoke, beans, grapefruit): they bind to cholesterol in the intestine, preventing its absorption, and limit its production by the liver. Finally,  soy products  would help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels modestly.

Foods to boost your immunity

To activate white blood cells and make antibodies, certain nutrients are essential. Almost all of the signals allowing the synthesis of antibodies require the presence of  zinc  (oysters, shellfish, seafood, fish, meat, eggs, shiitake mushrooms, legumes). And if the quantity of zinc is not optimal, the immune response will not be up to the demand, in this case blocking the attack of the organism 1-3 . However, more than 80% of the Western population would not receive the recommended daily intake (15 mg).

Vitamin  E  (sunflower oil, almond oil, hazelnuts, olive oil) is also considered one of the best nutrients for improving immune function 4,5 . Finally,  probiotics  (yogurt, cheese, miso, tempeh) could play a modulator role in immune function while  omega-3 fatty acids  (salmon, herring, cod, flaxseed oil, chia seeds) would have anti-inflammatory properties. -inflammatory 6 , 7.

Foods to improve your well-being

It is now clearly established that diet can have an impact on well-being. It was first shown that a diet containing many  processed foods  (sausages, deli meats, pies, pastries, refined cereals) and high in  fatty dairy products was associated with an increased prevalence of depressive symptoms 1 ,2 . Conversely, the consumption of whole foods  would influence the concentrations of monoamines, which play a role in the regulation of emotions.  Vitamin B9  deficiency(chicken organ meats, calf’s liver, legumes, spinach, asparagus, flaxseed, broccoli) can interfere with methylation in the central nervous system, which is needed to produce certain neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation 4 .

Omega-3 fatty acids (   salmon, herring, cod, flaxseed oil, chia seeds) would be inversely related to the presence of depressive symptoms, while foods rich in  tryptophan , essential for the synthesis of the hormone of happiness (serotonin) could improve well-being 4 . These include cheese, milk, eggs, fish, chicken, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, and soy (tofu). Fruits such as kiwis, plantains, bananas, cherries, pineapples, tomatoes and plums even contain  serotonin directly.

Foods for good sleep

Although there are many other influencing factors, sleep and diet are intimately linked. We know in particular that serotonin, a hormone secreted by the body, regulates falling asleep and entering the different phases of sleep. However, this secretion depends on the blood concentration of  tryptophan  found in many foods. Unfortunately, most of them contain a lot of protein, which on the contrary impairs sleep by promoting insomnia.

Pumpkin  seeds  and  whey  are a good compromise: they display a high concentration of tryptophan compared to other amino acids. There is also a positive link between serotonin levels and omega-3 fatty acid levels (salmon, trout, mackerel, halibut, flaxseed oil and seeds, hemp oil and seeds, rapeseed oil, walnuts). Finally, absolutely avoid  caffeinated foods  and  alcoholic beverages.

Foods to protect your heart

The causes of cardiovascular disease are many, but fortunately some are preventable and treatable. Food is one of them, especially in the field of prevention. Consuming  fruits and vegetables  is probably one of the best ways to prevent them, as is avoiding  trans fats  in prepared meals.

Once again,  omega-3 fatty acids  (salmon, trout, mackerel, halibut, flaxseed oil and seeds, hemp oil and seeds, rapeseed oil, walnuts) play a major role in preserving the heart. This is also the case of  soluble fibers  (passion fruit, beans, psyllium, oat bran) which have the property of reducing blood glucose and cholesterol levels, two factors having an impact on the risk of cardio disorder. -vascular. Care must also be taken to limit salt intake  , and therefore avoid the purchase of prepared meals.

Foods to regain energy

Magnesium  plays an essential  role in the production of energy: without it, we could not pass from ingested calories to ATP, in other words, to energy. However, many Westerners do not meet the essential needs of this mineral. It is found in whole or semi-whole grains, legumes, soybeans, oilseeds and seafood. Product processing (particularly refining), as well as cooking food in water, removes unfortunately most of the minerals.

Iron  (red meats, organ  meats, shellfish, green vegetables, legumes, whole grain breads and cereals, quinoa, pumpkin seeds) is also important because it helps in the production of serotonin which regulates mood and appetite. Finally,  caffeine consumption  (coffee, tea, chocolate), when moderate, stimulates the central nervous system, improves mental alertness and short-term attention.

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