Very often when my professional training emerges in a conversation, I am inevitably asked the fateful question: “ And so … what is it that you absolutely must eat ? ” , or “ What is the ‘best food of all from a nutritional point of view? ”.
It is in fact common opinion that nutrition experts jealously guard this information top secret, without revealing it to anyone.
I usually take my time, arguing that the answer could be very complex or terribly trivial.
But is there a “perfect” food?
In the USA, for example, someone managed to make the perfect meal – according to him -: it is a powder to be reconstituted in water, easy to prepare and quick to consume, complete with macros and micro nutrients necessary for the human body; is made with precise amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and 100% of the recommended daily à amounts of vitamins and minerals that we need.
Standardized measures for everyone, in spite of body composition and special needs.
TO FIND OUT MORE: Vitamin supplements: discover the truth
Great, you say, question solved. All our problems solved by a dust. But is the role that food plays in our life only to nourish us?
Without going too far, every day we are bombarded with advertisements à and promotional messages selling meal replacements, mash and bars flavored diqualsiasicosa created specifically to simplify our lives and improve our health, make us slimmer and more beautiful, according to those who produce them.
However the act of eating has a myriad of meanings and, when we reduce it to a mere count of calories and nutrients, we lose sight of a very important aspect of a seemingly simple gesture: the hedonistic one, that is the pleasure and pleasure of doing it.
Not that nutritional needs are not important though, if in order to have a perfect and complete food (but for whom, then?) we are forced to synthesize it artificially, noting that nothing of the kind exists in nature, perhaps we should ask ourselves if it is not the case instead to re-evaluate one of the cult phrases of all nutrition professionals and understand why we always recommend leading “a healthy lifestyle, with a varied and balanced diet “.
How much do we need perfect food?
We have seen how even astronauts, from the height of an exceptional physical and mental preparation, have greater benefits and faster recoveries once they return to Earth when their diet in microgravity conditions is as “normal” as possible and similar to the terrestrial one, obviously with the limitations and additions due to the particular environment in which they are found.
In our busy life, we are increasingly losing sight of what food really is.
Have you ever tried to compare the smell, taste and texture of a tomato just picked from its plant from one bought at the supermarket, which may have traveled hundreds of kilometers and is packaged in a plastic container? I assure you that they are two completely different things.
The advice is: take a tour of the markets to discover the varieties à of the foods on display, be surprised by the combination of colors and aromas, to imagine the combinations of flavors to experiment in the kitchen.
Be curious: it is necessary to rediscover the true taste of things and go back to taking care of what makes up our meals firsthand.
Creating a habit to eat better
I’m not saying it’s easy, quite the opposite. But habits are created one step at a time, starting with the individual gestures we perform every day : choosing to sacrifice time to select loose fruit and vegetables at the supermarket instead of grabbing the usual salad bag with carrots faded and rubbery; spend an hour a week at the neighborhood market, meeting in person whoever gives birth to and grows those foods; join purchasing groups in contact with small producers in the area; cultivate aromas such as basil and rosemary on the windowsill, to be able to add a few leaves to our dishes if necessary.
These are all ways, at different levels, to raise awareness of what you eat.
You will discover that some foods are not found in all seasons or that having less packaging to throw away is more convenient (as well as respectful for the environment) or even that it is possible to save if the apricots you are craving have been grown a few kilometers from you.
Returning to our initial question “what is best to eat?”, I would say that the answer is up to each of us: we must evaluate whether we will benefit most from the “right” – but sterile – quantity of nutrients or from the satisfaction of a balanced meal, with stimulating and satisfying colors, smells, flavors and textures for all our senses.
It is really important to have a healthy and balanced meal plan and to know what to eat, what to avoid and why, which is why I recommend you take my “Potential Nutrition” course.