“Losing more than 2% of body mass due to dehydration can reduce mental and physical capabilities and cause fatigue, headaches, lack of concentration and coordination, impaired thermoregulation. For example, if a person with an average weight of 75 kg loses 1.5 liters of fluids, he starts to become dehydrated", explains Assoc. Dr. Daniela Popova, head of the Clinic for Metabolic-Endocrine Diseases and Dietetics at Tsaritsa Joanna University Hospital - ISUL
Assoc. Dr. Daniela Popova
Prof. Popova, what does it mean to eat he althy in the summer?
- Even the ancient Greeks discovered the benefits of the so-called seasonal food. After eating heavier food during the winter months, replacing it with a lighter diet during the summer heat has an extremely beneficial and relieving effect on the body.
Take foods that are sources of antioxidants – such as green tea, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, onions, leeks. Natural antioxidants strengthen the immune system and make it resistant to viruses and infections, slow down the aging process of the skin and support vision.
Eat wholegrain cereals and their products daily - wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice, oats, bran. They are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is important for optimal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
When the heat takes a lot of water from our body, what happens to us?
- Glucose levels are then also depleted more quickly, resulting in lower energy overall. And when energy is not enough, people often feel tired, exhausted, depressed. These problems can easily be overcome by following a few simple rules that do not require special care and effort.
Drinking enough fluids and keeping the body optimally hydrated are important throughout the year, but in the summer the importance of water for good he alth is greatest due to increased moisture loss. The World He alth Organization recommends a daily intake of water and other fluids of up to 2.9 liters for men and up to 2.2 liters for women.
It has been scientifically proven that water not only cleanses the body, but its abundant intake also leads to an improvement in mood and self-esteem. The benefit of water for the good functioning of the human body has been known for a long time. It is no coincidence that all nutritionists advise to drink between 1, 5 and 3 liters of fluids daily, so that the body can be purified as well as possible.
Which foods should we prefer on our menu?
- For the summer, the preferred foods should be milk, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. During the summer months, winter foods such as fatty meats, breaded and fried foods should be limited. During the warm weather, the body does not feel a great desire for such highly greasy foods and prepared using such technology. Therefore, light food is most suitable for summer. It helps the body not to overload itself during the summer season.
The intake of dairy products is also extremely important - when should we consume more yogurt, if not in the summer. Milk and sour drinks are extremely refreshing in the heat. Cottage cheese is also a lighter food, rich in amino acids, and therefore
cottage cheese is medicine for the liver
We can easily snack on low-fat cheeses and cottage cheese. We are supposed to eat more fish this season. Therefore, when you are on vacation, eat more fish and seafood.
Data keeps coming out about the nation's obesity… Is it really that startling?
- Unfortunately, Bulgarians are progressively becoming obese, especially after 1980. Overweight is a product of our heredity, on the one hand, and unfavorable environmental conditions, on the other. Unhe althy eating, bad habits, chronic stress burden the metabolism. The regulation in the body changes, which leads to disturbances in the metabolism and eventually leads to an accumulation of body mass.
Visceral obesity, inside the abdomen, is particularly dangerous. It unlocks cardiovascular problems.
As for the genetic predisposition hypothesis, it has become increasingly attractive to scientists in recent years. We have a type of metabolism that allows us to store energy. Centuries ago, this metabolism helped people survive, but today they move less and less.
Unfortunately, social evolution is much faster than biological. Our daily energy consumption is minimized by remote control cars and technology. We also have a variety of junk food readily available for everyone. The combination of high-energy foods with limited movement leads to the formation of the modern image of man - plump and with a number of he alth problems.
When do children manage to accumulate such harmful habits to develop diabetes in elementary school?
- Type 2 diabetes, which until recently was associated only with the elderly, is now also found among teenagers. It goes hand in hand with childhood obesity, which has been an alarming fact for the past 10-15 years. Unfortunately, despite their tender age, they also very early
begin to lead a sedentary lifestyle
In a child's organism, in which exchange processes are still developing, hormones function in a special way. If they don't exercise, don't play outside, don't move enough, and at the same time acquire bad habits regarding their diet, then this will trigger type 2 diabetes in them too.
Why is it important to eat breakfast?
- Breakfast comes after the longest period without food of the day - about 12 hours on average. During this time, our body has used up all the nutrients received during the past day in order to regenerate and restore itself. In the morning, our body again needs nutrients, vitamins and minerals to be energetic and able to work. At this time, blood sugar levels are low, and if you are engaged in intellectual work or study, you should know that it is the only fuel for the brain.
There are many reasons not to skip the morning meal. It can change the way you feel throughout the day, help you be stronger, fitter, and more athletic.
Prof. Popova, is summer the best season for losing weight?
- It sounds paradoxical, but in winter it is easier to lose weight. When the ambient temperature is lower, the body burns excess calories more efficiently. This is because the energy expenditure to maintain body temperature is higher. While in the summer the metabolism is not so active. However, the appetite decreases.
Higher temperature is the other factor that kills our desire to eat, so we tolerate some restrictions on the menu more easily. This makes the season suitable for diets. On the other hand, the prospect of a beach, revealing outfits motivates us to lose extra pounds. It is easily feasible because there is a wide selection of fruits and vegetables at affordable prices. There is also a prerequisite for more movement.
Kids need more calories
A large part of the calories, in addition to metabolism, also goes to the growth of children. We have growth factors, which are mostly found in milk and milk products, as well as in eggs. For example, for the elderly, eggs should be 3-4 per week, but children should eat at least one egg every day, because the best quality protein is in the egg. Complete protein builds not only the structures of cells and the body, but also hormones, antibodies, blood cells and all enzymes. In this regard, the Bulgarian shows a little more concern, the specialist noted.