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Healthy Eating

Before becoming a model mother, Angelina Jolie led a very unhealthy lifestyle. She partied constantly, drank alcohol and used substances without caring about her diet. She has a memento of those times, a tattoo on her lower abdomen that reads „what nourishes me also destroys me" in Latin. Today, the star lives completely differently. The main elements in her diet are broccoli, spinach, salmon and warm vegetable broth's. There is no place for fast food or unhealthy canned foods. „How we eat and what we eat is a decisive factor in our lives. We don't live to eat, but we eat to live healthily;' the actress says today. That statement was very much in accordance with the beliefs of Jean Anthelm Brillat-Savarin, who had published the book ,,The Philosophy of Taste" more than two hundred years earlier. He was the first to popularize the idea that there is a close relation to diet and condition. His ideas are especially relevant now, when more than ever an individual's appearance and feelings are of great importance. Unfortunately, the cult of beautiful and perfectly maintained bodies can lead to detrimental effects in ours lives. This applies to women in particular, who go to great pains to make their bodies look like model's or popular actresseti'. One particularly dangerous practice is skipping breakfast. Many women mistakenly believe that if they don't eat anything in the morning, they won't be hungry all day long. f hey think that a big breakfast makes them think about food for the rest of the day. However, research has shown that when the body is not given enough energy in the morning, our brains function poorly. A meal rich in carbohydrates, however, raises blood glucose levels and encourages the body to release seratonin -„happy" hormones. Then we have a feeling of well-being, we wake up happier, ready to start the day. Another myth concerns products marked „light." In our times there are many women who only eat these foods. They do not guarantee us a slimmer figure, however. ,,Light" products do not contain sugar, and what replaces it does not satisfy the body. A large meal of „light" foods leaves us feeling hungry and reaching for more. In the end, we eat often end up eating more than if we'd eaten ,,normal" products.

In order to feel better we have to pay attention to what we eat. Vitamins should not be lacking in our diets. The most important one is B1, which is responsible for appetite and moods. It is found in grains, sunflower seeds and pork. Vitamin B6 is particularly important to women, because unlike any other substance it regulates premenstrual tension. It is found in turkey and chicken, as well as salmon, bran, and certain fruits and vegetables like bananas. Deficiencies of vitamin B12 can be very harmful. A lack of this vitamin can lead to depression, which is why we should remember to eat eggs, veal, fish and cheese.

When choosing the right food products, we should also pay particular attention to the micro-elements that they should contain. The most important ones are iron, zinc and magnesium. A deficiency of any of these elements may lead to serious illness. Broccoli, liver, spinach and whole-grain bread contain iron. A deficiency of iron may cause trouble with concentration, tiredness and weakness. We will be able to manage stress more effectively if we eat plenty of green vegetables, as well as nuts, chocolate and avocados - all of these products contain the essential element magnesium. Products rich in zinc include meat and poultry.

When putting together our daily diet we should also consider how frequently we eat. The most important factor is not how much we eat, but above all how often. Dieticians and specialists in human nutrition recommend eating as many as five small meals daily. In this way, we avoid snacking, and above all, eating large meals in the evening after work. The American actress Halle Berry claims that she owes her fantastic figure to eating frequent, small meals. ,,l got this diet from fitness specialist Simon Waterson. He explained how often I should eat. He also created a diet for me that is based on maintaining strict proportions of all of the food groups. You can eat as much of the high-protein (meat) products as you can put in your open hand, as many fruits and vegetables as you can get in a handful, and no more complex carbohydrates (grains, rice, macaroni) than you can fit in a tight fist," says the actress. Those who don't want to copy her diet to the letter should still remember two key principles that she observes: drink at least two liters of water a day and have the last meal of the day at least two hours before going to bed. Everyone who knows what ,,wellness" means should live thus way.