Sunday, December 5

Nutrition: Gemma Bes: “Eating as a family encourages good nutrition. Children are watching us and we have to set an example ”| Experts | Mamas & Papas


In Spain, we don’t eat well. And this situation does not improve in summer. This categorical phrase is the one constantly mentioned by experts. And one of them is the nutritionist Gemma Bes, who is also in charge of feeding Rafa Nadal and what they eat in the Rafa Nadal Academy, and participate in the Observatory Heliocare from Cantabria Labs. Bes emphasizes that among the reasons we eat poorly is, above all, the lack of time and the will to resist unhealthy products: “And it is normal, the processed ones are designed to produce positive sensations at the organoleptic level. In addition, there is a difficulty in changing habits and in teamwork towards a healthier diet. And, above all, there is a lack of information and confusion on the basis of healthy nutrition ”. We chatted with her, to see how we can improve the diet at home and what to eat in the summer.

Gemma Bes is a nutritionist.
Gemma Bes is a nutritionist.

QUESTION. In summer, do we eat worse or better? Above all, the children. By abandoning routines, are we sloppy with eating?

ANSWER. In the summer we tend to have less appetite, but it is true that it is easier to acquire less healthy habits. We allow ourselves more concessions, we have more social life, we want to cook less, the days get longer and we spend more time away from home, we have dinner later, etc.

The key is to plan better, hydrate throughout the day, introduce crisper and fresher foods. Look for healthier options, such as ice cream or sorbet made with frozen fruits, almond or coconut drink, and honey.

Also try new and fun recipes, cook with our children, and accompany all vegetables and vegetable meals. Choose better options when we go out to eat, maybe avoid desserts?

P. What should a child’s diet include daily in summer? I suppose it will have special characteristics.

R. In the summer you can not lack hydration, drink during the day. A good idea is to make fun drinks with no added sugar, with pieces of fruit, spices and ice. There are very hydrating fruits such as watermelon or melon. Although the best drink is water.

For all this, the most recommended foods are seasonal fruits and vegetables, these guide us towards the most appropriate diet for us and are also the basis of our diet. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and antioxidants. We can make salmorejos, gazpachos, cold creams, salads.

It is also a good time to incorporate plant protein and reduce animal protein. It is easier to digest and the body will save this energy to keep our temperature stable. We can prepare vegetable salads, pates or hamburgers.

I advise reducing the consumption of unhealthy fats, since they delay the emptying of the stomach and make digestions heavier. Opt for healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

In addition, eliminate refined salt from our diet and, instead, sea salt in moderation or look for substitutes such as toasted and crushed seeds. Also look for more refreshing spices. The most suitable in hot weather are: coriander, mint, spearmint, cardamom, fennel.

P. What and where to buy? What should we eat in restaurants in summer?

R. If we go on vacation and we are away from home, we must try to locate nearby places where you can buy good products. If you are going to eat out, first have a salad or gazpacho or cream. Avoid fried foods and foods that are too greasy. If you go to the beach prepare a healthy picnic such as fruit, seeds, raw vegetables, sandwiches, made with sourdough bread and long fermentation with healthy fillings. Avoid cold cuts, instead, for example, have hummus with lamb’s lettuce, tomato and olives. Take advantage of the fact that we are calmer to listen to our body, experience new things. If we eat between meals also look for these healthier options.

More information

In any place, it is best to eat seated and calm, paying attention to the plate and each bite, in order to benefit from all the nutrients and promote proper digestion. And, above all, move !! Physical activity improves our mood and calms anxiety. We must fully enjoy our vacations and we can do it perfectly in a healthy way.

P. You can summarize the foods that should not be missing in summer to combat the heat and sun exposure.

R. To follow good guidelines in the summer, it would be good to follow the following tips. It would be advisable to avoid sugar, meat, especially red; avoid refined products -cereals or salt-; do not take dairy if we feel bad, it is better to eat fermented such as yogurt and cheeses.

Avoid poor quality fats, such as non-virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, corn, margarine and large-size fish, we will eat better wild and small-size fish [Es muy recomendable el pescado azul 2-3 días por semana por la cantidad de omega-3]

Try that the cooking is not extreme such as grilled, burning food or food in the oven at high temperature etc. This generates inappropriate substances harmful to our body such as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (overcooked grilled or grilled meat and fish).

On the other hand, the consumption of vegetables should be promoted, which is at least 50% of our total intake. These have an appreciated chelating effect, help the body to trap chemicals and different substances that the body wants to eliminate. Of course, if we cook the vegetables too much, the fiber is broken and the beneficial chelating effect is lost. For this reason we will take care that the cooking is soft and that there is a part of raw food as well. The best is green and leafy vegetables such as: artichokes, asparagus, arugula, endive, fennel, broccoli, green beans, celery …

Moderate the intake of refined cereals: we will use few cereals during this time, we will avoid most of the foods we abuse (refined, cookies, excess bread, excess cereals etc.). Also, don’t forget about healthy fats like avocado or extra olive oil and eat lots of fruit. In short, you have to eat clean and real food.

P. Summer is a good time to encourage family meals, what are the benefits?

R. Eating as a family is an opportunity to promote good eating habits at home. Children are watching us and we have to set an example. It is the time to enjoy family relationships and enhance our son’s abilities. Value this moment of encounter where we can foster positive relationships between family members. No need to talk about nutrition or insist that they eat. They are going to mimic what we do.

In addition, we can motivate them to cooperate in household chores, use and reduce food waste. We observe the real feeding needs for their age. The purchase, preparation and the moment of preparation are the moment of meeting and fostering positive relationships between family members.

P. Screens and food, what problems does it bring?

R. All. There is no doubt, avoid everything you mention in your question.

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