The importance of a healthy diet for our psychophysical wellbeing is proven by many scientific studies. “Eating well” means not only to satisfy your appetite and one of the pleasures of life, but also to assume all the various nutrients necessary to our body in a balanced way. A healthy diet, combined with an active lifestyle, helps you maintain a healthy weight and psycho-physical balance.
An excessive consumption of fats and a very sedentary lifestyle, along with possible genetic factors, are the main causes of hypercholesterolemia, i.e. excess cholesterol in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is a substance that participates in the proper functioning of the body by synthesizing given hormones and vitamin D. However, when LDL cholesterol (commonly known as “bad cholesterol”) is in excess, it tends to build up inside the walls of blood vessels, hardening the arteries and generating a number of complications that can cause cardiovascular diseases. Monacolin, a substance obtained from fermented red rice and which is able to maintain normal cholesterol levels in the blood, has long been used by Chinese traditional medicine for its beneficial properties and continues to be used in nutraceutics.
In addition to these excesses, also nutritional deficiencies are risky for our body. For example, an inadequate dietary intake of iron and folic acid can cause anaemia, which is a common condition in women of childbearing age (especially because of the menstrual flow) and during pregnancy. The most evident symptoms of anaemia are pallor, fatigue and an irregular heartbeat.
Mineral salts (such as magnesium, potassium and zinc) are equally important, being essential to the body’s biological functions. A balanced diet can meet the daily requirement of mineral salts. However, we might pay less attention to our diet during particularly hectic periods of our life, or our body might need a higher intake of salts (for example during pregnancy, after intense physical exercise or in very hot weather). It then becomes necessary to find an alternative source.