The human body consists mainly of water. Water is a solvent and transport medium and is necessary for all metabolic processes in the body. The water balance is regulated both by the intake of liquid from the diet and by proper water consumption. Thirst sensation occurs as a result of fluid loss through sweat, urine or after a salty meal.
A lack of water intake may lead to circulatory problems, concentration difficulties, confusion, or constipation. If the thirst is missing as a signal generator, reminders can be helpful. For example, you can check the fluid intake with a tally sheet or you can put eight empty glasses of 0,2 litres on a tray in the morning, which should be filled and drunk until evening.
If the water balance is not right, the body usually sends thirst signals: The lips, mouth and throat become dry. Adequate hydration can be observed by the colour the urine, the colourless the urine is, the better the liquid supply.
Adults should drink 1,5l daily at least.
In excessive sweating (sports, heat, heavy work), the required daily liquid amount can go up to much more than 3 litres. During reduced food intake we should drink much more, because the supplied fluid is missing from the diet. We also need more liquid on high-dietary fibre food.
The drink of choice is water, the best and most controlled food and it is calorie free.
In a balanced varied diet fruit juices are also useful. They should be diluted with water in the ratio 1:3, because of their fructose content. Especially orange juice and currant juices contain plenty of vitamin C. In all the intense red and yellow juices (natural colour, not of added dye) a lot of healthy secondary metabolites are contained. The same is true for tomatoes – and other vegetable juices, which are also low in calories (caution: often a lot of added salt). Unsweetened fruit – and herbal teas are very good thirst quenchers as well.
By the way, milk does not count as a drink to quench your thirst, but is a nutrient-rich food!
A caffeine beverage, such as coffee, black, green – and mate tea, cola drinks and energy drinks are stimulating. The caffeine that is also present in cocoa and chocolate in small quantities, affects the central nervous system. The pulse rises, because the heart is stimulated to greater pumping capacity, the adrenal glands pour out more of the hormone nor-adrenaline. The blood pressure is temporarily increased slightly. The whole metabolism gets going and the caloric basal metabolic increases. Organs are better supplied with blood, among other things, the function of the kidneys are stimulated and therefore the urinary excretion as well, similarly, the gastric secretion. The bronchi dilate, breathing accelerates. Physical and mental endurance are improved, as the reaction rate, concentration and the ability to deduce. Caffeine promotes the formation of serotonin, a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. But beware: Caffeine is a very contrasting substance. All positive effects can be reversed from excessive caffeine consumption. About 4 cups of coffee or 1 litre black tea during the day is acceptable for a healthy adult person.
Alcohol can well have a healthy effect. For example, red wine contains flavonoids and phenolic acids which lower the cholesterol in the blood and inhibit the formation of blood clots causing heart attacks. The amount of alcohol intake is, however, of particular importance. Too much of has exactly the opposite effect: it promotes high blood pressure, liver, pancreas and stomach disorders and the risk of cancer increases. It is recommended that no more than ¼ litre of wine per day or 1 to 2 half pints of beer or spirits should be drunk.
Alcohol has quite a high amount of calories and should be therefore taken carefully.
Vegetables are low in calories but a rich sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fibre, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C. For the dressing use vegetable broth instead of oil to safe calories. The lime juice provides plenty of vitamin C. Garlic has good amounts of vitamin C, selenium, manganese, and iron. Fresh mint enhances food with a burst of cool flavour and an added dose of vitamins, calcium, and antioxidants.
Ingredients (2 Servings)
150g mixed vegetables (for example: carrots, celery, cucumber, bell peppers)
Cut the vegetables into pieces. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, mint, lime juice, salt and the vegetable broth. Use a rasp grater to finely grate garlic into the bowl. Stir, taste and adjust salt and lime juice as needed. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
What distinguishes Greek yogurt is its thicker, creamier texture because the liquid whey is strained out. Also, it contains probiotic cultures (healthy bacteria for the digestive tract) and is lower in lactose and has twice the protein content of regular yogurts. All yogurts are excellent sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. While regular yogurt tends to have fewer calories and more calcium, Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar — and a much thicker consistency. Both types pack probiotics and support digestion, weight loss (Greek yogurt is protein-rich, so it may help people feel fuller for longer), and heart health.
Berries are high in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which may protect your cells from free radical damage and may reduce inflammation. They contain fibre, which may increase feelings of fullness, as well as reduce appetite and the number of calories your body absorbs from mixed meals. Berries are low in calories yet rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and manganese and they have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, healthy fats, fibres, vitamins and minerals. Nuts and seeds regulate body weight as their fats are not fully absorbed, they regulate food intake, and help burn energy.
Dark chocolate and almonds make a rich, satisfying, and portable snack.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains:
11 grams of fibre
67% of the RDI for iron
58% of the RDI for magnesium
89% of the RDI for copper
98% of the RDI for manganese
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
Of course, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a fairly large amount and not something you should be consuming daily. All these nutrients also come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar. Chocolate therefore should be consumed only in moderate amounts. Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants. The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
Choose quality chocolate — dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.
Dark chocolates typically contain some sugar, but the amounts are usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.
Almonds are highest in calcium of all nuts. Almonds are also high in fibre, vitamin E and magnesium. Almonds help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, and can help protect against diabetes. These nuts are actually low in calories with ten almonds costing you approximately 78 calories.
The two snacks between the three main meals basically contain cereals and fruits or raw vegetables, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts. From time to time sweets or cake can be eaten as well. Incorporating two between meals is beneficial, because an extreme sensation of hunger, which often leads to increased and uncontrolled eating does not occur. Besides, you would eat more at each meal having only 3 meals daily. After a rich meal we often feel tired and heavy. With 5 meals a day we feel continuously active and easy. In addition, the ability to concentrate remains at a uniform high level.
For lunch you can take all three macro-nutrients mixed (Carbs, protein, fat). Lunch should not be too heavy and lavish, otherwise you can become tired and sleepy. Your energy levels drop and it is difficult to stay active and focused. This generally applies to all meals, which is why I recommend eating 5 meals a day, 3 times smaller amounts and 2 times light snacks in between. This also helps very well to prevent cravings, because the sugar level in the blood is not subject to large fluctuations.
Using a non-stick pan and swapping skim milk for regular will keep your scrambled eggs on the healthy recipe list. Adding Spinach increases the health benefits. It contains niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E, and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
A nutritious, well-balanced breakfast can give you energy and prevent you from eating too much during the rest of the day. For breakfast you can eat a good amount of carbohydrates to fill your carb stores. They will be easily burnt during your daily activities. By using carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index (wholegrain oats for example + rich in antioxidants) your blood sugar levels are rising slowly and will slowly fall down again. This helps with feeling full longer and fighting cravings. Furthermore you can eat eggs at the fist meal of the day. Eggs are high in protein and several important nutrients. They also promote fullness and help you eat fewer calories. In most people they don’t increase the cholesterol levels. Natural Greek Yogurt contains proteins and only little sugar.
Protein has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger and has a higher thermic effect than fat or carbs. The thermic effect refers to the increase in metabolic rate that occurs after eating. The higher the metabolic rate the higher the amount of burnt calories.
Yogurt and other dairy products can also help with weight control because they increase levels of hormones that promote fullness. Certain types of Greek yogurt are good sources of probiotics like Bifidobacteria, which help your gut stay healthy.
To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look for the phrase contains live and active cultures on the label. Try topping Greek yogurt with berries or fruit to increase your meal’s vitamin, mineral and fibre content.
Another very good protein source is cottage cheese.
Having a cup of coffee in moderate amounts is a great way to start your day. The caffeine in it may improve mood, mental performance and metabolism. In addition, coffee is rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation, protect the cells lining your blood vessels and decrease diabetes and liver disease risk. A good alternative is green tea.
Berries are high in fibre and low in calories. They’re also rich in antioxidants.
Nuts are a filling, nutrient-dense food that may help reduce heart disease risk and improve blood sugar control.
A protein shake or smoothie is a great high-protein breakfast choice that promotes fullness and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Fruit is a good source of vitamins, potassium and fibre. It also contains antioxidants.
In general your breakfast should contain all three macro – nutrients which are carbohydrates, protein and fatand of course vitamins and minerals.
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