“You are what you eat” said once the German philosopher Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach.
To most of us, eating may appear as a very ordinary action, an innate physiological process that do not need questioning. However, this is false because the content, the quality and the rhythm of our eating can make a huge difference in our lives and this is why we need to devote the right attention to our dietary habits. Scientists have shown that nutrition is not only involved in almost every physical and psychological disorder you may hear about, but it is also the starting point of therapies targeting the enhancement of mental and corporal performances.
Have you ever asked yourself the existential question of “what am I eating?” And “Is that good enough for me?”
Well, clearly from now and on you should. Because depending on what you eat and when or how you do it, you will observe either improvements or regressions in your health conditions and aging process including variations in the sexual life, waistline, energy and overall attitude.
You have to keep in mind that there are no general descriptions for dietary habits, it must suit everyone’s lifestyle and body needs, and it is up to you to make that minimal effort of diet watch. For example, if your best friend never gets fat by eating two pizzas a day it shouldn’t be a reason that persuades you to do the same, she or he probably has a metabolism that is very different from yours and this translates into a different body reaction to food.
The understanding of crucial nutritional mechanisms and facts will certainly help you make automatically better alimentary choices.
How to increase your energy through nutrition
Your body is composed of organs and tissues, tissues at their turn are composed of millions of living cells endlessly working to offer your organism a normal functioning. Obviously and in order to perform all their attributed tasks, your cells need energy and that’s exactly when you come into action as it is your role to provide the power source required by your body. You have now the responsibility to make the best food choices that contain the organic materials your cells are waiting for.
These materials are in the first place the carbohydrates or sugars which are organic compounds found in food products such as pasta, cereals, milk, beans, and potatoes. They are transformed by our digestion into simpler forms of sugar or glucose.
Transported by the bloodstream, these sugars spread in all of your body and once absorbed by the cells, they are converted into energy. It is important to know that despite cells can also use lipids and proteins to fuel themselves, carbohydrates are their main source of energy (US National Health Institute https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/important-nutrients-know-proteins-carbohydrates-and-fats) . The British Nutrition Foundation recommends that at least half of our energy should come from carbohydrates. (https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/carbohydrate.html)
So, if you want to increase your energy you have to include a reasonable amount of carbohydrates source in your meals (pay attention to special health conditions like diabetes and keep in mind that 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 3.75 kcal (16 kJ)).
To enjoy your day, it is very important to introduce carbohydrates rich food in your breakfast, as recommended by the official health channel of the Victorian government in Australia (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breakfast). You can have in your plate things like whole grain products, unprocessed cereals, banana, beans, chickpeas, yoghurt…
The Harvard Medical School also suggests that repeating the carbohydrate intake during the day by means of healthy snacks based on products such as peas, lentils, brocolis and fruits will reduce your perception of fatigue. (https://www.health.harvard.edu/energy-and-fatigue/9-tips-to-boost-your-energy-naturally)
To sum up, thanks to the intake of healthy carbohydrates, your body will be able to fuel itself correctly for many hours and you’ll gain in concentration and productivity.
Waistline and food
Scientist are actively investigating reasons of fat accumulation in the abdomen and are looking for new nutritional solutions that help people reduce belly fat and waist circumference.
The modern day lifestyle composed of a diet rich in processed food and sweetened beverage combined to low physical activity, is accused to be responsible for the high obesity levels in many countries. This is why experts support the return to traditional food habits that are based on natural ingredients and moderate rations.
In fact, a research carried by Cunha and its collaborators on the Brazilian female population showed that the dietary pattern considered as traditional in Brazil and consisting in rice, beans, bread, sugar, fats and salad dressings was inversely associated with waist circumference. This means that the adoption of the Brazilian traditional diet was linked to lower abdominal fat suggesting a protective effect of this diet on the studied individuals. (Cunha, Diana Barbosa et al. “Association of dietary patterns with BMI and waist circumference in a low-income neighbourhood in Brazil.” The British journal of nutrition104 6 (2010): 908-13 .).
Masaki Asano team compared the diet adopted by Japanese people in the period nearing 1975 to modern day diet. They found that the Japanese food habits considered for the study (lower fat content and significantly richer in minerals and vitamins) was able to considerably reduce the waist circumference when compared to modern diet. (Asano, M et al (2019), Abdominal Fat in Individuals with Overweight Reduced by Consumption of a 1975 Japanese Diet: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obesity, 27: 899-907.)
Therefore, if you care about your waistline it is clear that you will have to stay far from processed fast food and go for cereals, seeds and salads instead.
Another recent study in Brazil investigated an innovative natural solution against the abdominal fat and found that baru almond-enriched diet for 8 weeks reduced abdominal adiposity and improved high-density lipoprotein in overweight and obese women. Baru almond are the seeds of the tree species Dipteryx alata and they are richer in protein and fiber than many other popular nuts. So in order to increase the efficacy of your efforts towards a flat belly, you may want to introduce baru almonds in your diet. (Souza, Rávila Graziany Machado de et al. “A baru almond-enriched diet reduces abdominal adiposity and improves high-density lipoprotein concentrations: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” Nutrition 55-56 (2018): 154-160 .)
Carotenes are also natural molecules seriously considered as nutrients that can contribute to the reduction of fat accumulating in the belly. (Kabat, Geoffrey C et al. “Longitudinal association of measures of adiposity with serum antioxidant concentrations in postmenopausal women.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70 (2016): 47-53.). Nemours Children's Specialty Care in Florida showed that diet supplementation in mixed carotenoids successfully reduced the accumulation of abdominal adiposity in children. (Canas, J Atilio et al. “Effects of Mixed Carotenoids on Adipokines and Abdominal Adiposity in Children: A Pilot Study.” The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism vol. 102,6 (2017): 1983-1990. doi:10.1210/jc.2017-00185). These carotenes can be naturally found in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, spinach, brocolis, parsley etc. Having a salad with some of these fruits and vegetables would be an excellent dinner idea!.
Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is a quite famous compound, commonly found in fruits and vegetables such as guava, kiwi, orange, strawberries, kale, pepper, Brussel sprouts etc. It is an essential cofactor for the biosynthesis of carnitine which is a metabolite required for fat transport and degradation. Studies showed that obese individuals had low vitamin C levels in their blood and proved also that vitamin C enhanced the oxidation of fat during exercise.
In their research work, scientists from the Arizona State University found that plasma vitamin C concentration was inversely correlated to waist circumference in both sexes meaning that higher plasmatic vitamin C levels were linked to smaller waistline. (Johnston, Carol S et al. “Plasma vitamin C is inversely related to body mass index and waist circumference but not to plasma adiponectin in nonsmoking adults.” The Journal of nutrition 137 7 (2007): 1757-62 .)
These evidences are good arguments to enjoy more orange and kiwi juice while progressing in your perfect waistline strategy!
How to enhance your sexual performance through food habits
Men looking for a diet that enhances the sexual performance should consider the Mediterranean food. Scientific evidence suggest that the Mediterranean diet improves men's sexual health. (Justin La et al. (2018). “Diet and Men’s Sexual Health”. Sexual Medicine Reviews. Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 54-68.) Nuts consumption at 60g/day is also reported to have a considerable positive effect on the sexual behavior and activity. (Salas-Huetos et al (2019). Effect of Nut Consumption on Erectile and Sexual Function in Healthy Males: A Secondary Outcome Analysis of the FERTINUTS Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(6), 1372.)
On the other hand, the adherence to a “prudent” diet pattern (fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains) was associated with a significantly larger percentage of progressively motile sperm according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. (Gaskins AJ, Colaci DS, Mendiola J, et al. Dietary patterns and semen quality in young men. Hum Reprod 2012;27: 2899-2907.)
Therefore, we can conclude that eating according to the Mediterranean style with special attention accorded to fruits and nuts is expected to have a positive effect on men’s sexual activity.
How to slow the aging process through nutrition
The recent years have witnessed major progress when it comes to the understanding of nutrition’s role in the aging mechanisms. Researchers consider that the inclusion of the following organic molecules and oligoelements in the daily diet is essential to counteract aging effects:
- Calcium & Vitamin- D prevent osteoporosis and maintain healthy bones, they are found in dairy foods, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, and in nuts.
- Vitamin B12 helps to build red blood cells and to maintain healthy nerves; it is contained in foods such as eggs, milk, cheese, beef, liver and chicken.
- Zinc helps to compensate for lowered immunity due to ageing.
- Potassium is needed especially in the presence of high blood pressure and is found in potatoes, beans, pomegranates, oranges, banana, prunes, salmon, and tuna.
- Folic acid has a role in DNA and red blood cells formation. Vegetables such as spinach, artichoke, brocolis, beans and lentils contain significant amounts of folates. It is also found in avocado, oranges and yeast.
- Omega-3 fatty acids mainly found in nuts, fishes and seafood prevent cardiac disease and keeps arteries healthy.
- Water keeps the organism hydrated and cleansed. However due to aging, the mechanisms of water balance are disturbed. Experts recommend drinking water and fluids on a regular and sufficient basis to enhance the body’s detoxification.
(Singh, Shruti and Sunita Mishra. “Aging and Nutrition: A Review Article.” (2013).)