“Diets? To think there is a general one that works for all is, to be frank, a true illusion. Because it’s ridiculous to think that each of us, with our own metabolisms, habits, and nutritional needs can adjust to a diet that adapts to all types of people, very different among them”.
Professor Evelina Flachi, who teaches a Nutrition for the wellbeing course at theUniversità di Milano, is sure of one thing: food, in our lives, has a key role and to underestimate the impact of drastic diets, or, worse, fashions, is not a good idea at all.
Because even if it’s true that we’re more careful today about what we put on our tables, it’s also true that we’re not always well informed on the properties of some foods, letting ourselves be often influenced by advice from friends, so-called experts or publications that are not always very trustworthy.
What is certain is that the relationship between food and wellbeing, and, by consequence, food and beauty, is very strong.
“As I state in my latest book, La Dieta Flachi (Rizzoli editore), we can seriously think of preventing certain illnesses with food, according to age and needs. Choosing the right food is like buying the right anti-aging cream. Of course, everything starts by how we buy our groceries, which must be thought-out and never on intuition.Then it’s all about the cooking methods and the seasoning, which modifies noticeably the properties of the foods and their beneficial effects on our body”.
And it’s not only about keeping an ideal weight, a need that is not only aesthetic, but also especially tied to health. Because, as the doctor explains, by eating well we can influence the beauty of our skin and hair: “As we know beta-carotene, which can be found in yellow or orange fruit and vegetables, is very good for you because it’s the precursor of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. Let’s not forget: assimilation is also very important. Certain foods are well assimilated only if well mixed with others: carrots, for example, are perfect if seasoned with a hint of oil”.
For a correct food consumption it’s also useful to consider, of course, the season and the territory: to opt for foods that don’t come from very far away and that are available in certain time frames is also healthy. But, as Flachi underlines, we can’t talk about healthy foods in an absolute sense.
“It’s more a question of finding a variegated regime that suits are lifestyle. Enough with the calorie-counting. We should, instead, focus on the nutritional value of a food, opting for balanced diets like the Mediterranean one instead of high-protein ones, which are now very trendy, but unbalanced and harmful”.
Also because, and we should keep it in mind, inappropriate diets can influence the metabolism, revealing to be a double edged sword. “If we accustom our body to ingest what is barely needed to survive, it will react by slowing down its rhythm. And that is the reason that restrictive and quick diets are less effective and have temporary results, with a typical yo-yo effect”. Why not take advantage of spring to fill your table with season fruit and vegetables, so you can have those five servings that every healthy diet suggests?
“Do we really want to stay thin? Well, if we eat healthy we can.Drinking a glass of water before a meal, eating lots of vegetables, which always make you feel full, and replacing dessert with a nice dish of tasty strawberries, which give us many vitamins and minerals. And, especially, don’t make sacrifices: two free meals a week, in which to enjoy the things we love, will make it easier to follow a healthy lifestyle”.
What to say, instead, of those that choose to trust trends, like the one for detox, which has been very popular in the past months?
“Well, I just say that instead of paying for someone to makes us do a detox diet, we could do it ourselves, at home, in a very healthy way. Water, steamed veggies, salads, fruit, and minestrone. And for a short time we can replace proteins with tofu, spelt and brown rice. It’s also a support diet, and it’s without a doubt healthy and purifying if done for a limited time. I repeat: every diet plan must be personalized. It’s not the person who should adapt to a plan. A good nutritionist should combine the taste and quality of the food to the person’s lifestyle”.
We’re at a critical time, many think about loosing weight quickly for the summer that keeps getting closer. And many go to beauty spas, where food becomes a true beauty treatment. Once again the doctor is very clear about this: “The most important think to learn is managing meals. In beauty spas and hotels that are very careful about the diet regime of their costumers, they explain to their clients how different foods influence positively the organism. For example, I take care of the Rational Nutrition and Weight loss plan of the Hotel Capri Palace, to recover wellness and shape with a detox and healthy diet. Weeks at qualified spas can be useful as a starting input, to think about your own wellness with the help of a guide. The important thing is to keep in mind the rules and good habits you’ve learned: you just have to try hard to not waste the results you’ve gotten!”.
Originally posted on Vogue Italia.