Throughout life a person can change their opinions on the same subject, can have different feelings in terms of the people around him or her, can enjoy dancing with different music according to his or her age or can even set goals that never before would have been imagined. It is a great virtue to know how to adapt to each moment of the life cycle, although there is something that a person can never change even if he or she changes his or her ideologies or opinions: Every day should have breakfast, lunch and dinner, regardless of whether he or she is ten or ninety years old.
One of the advantages that support the overwhelming proposal of different kind of nutrition options (of the so-called diets) to ensure that there are always people willing to try their “formula” is exactly that: every inhabitant of the planet needs to eat daily and therefore, there will always be people who, given the doubt that they don’t know exactly what their organism needs, will fall into the net of a new “magic diet” that will offer results never seen before.
While it is true that science doesn’t stop evolving and with it is known much more every day on the most appropriate foods for humans, it is also true that what doesn’t change is the athlete’s need to ingest all the nutrients, every day and in the right amounts. The human being has evolved as a species thanks to having been nourished with all kinds of food, eating proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water every day. In short, with a varied diet.
Each food has biochemical properties, qualities that are reflected in the colors we see in it. Therefore, taking foods of different colors every day is a synonym of being eating a rich and varied diet: more colors, more virtues. Reviewing the way our grandparents fed, we will realize that they ate everything and that thanks to that, the nutrition they had allowed them to continue with energy every day, to continue working hours and hours, to travel long distances and with all that existence full of activity, even get to do ninety or a hundred years enjoying a good quality of life.
Ramón Rodríguez, who reached more than 99 years of youth, always with a smile and good humor, surely achieved a correct nutrition, rich in nutrients, because he ate all kinds of food depending on what nature was contributing: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, milk, rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, sugar, salt, oil, etc. He managed to fulfill the norm that by eating everything, balance is achieved in the organism and with it, health is maintained.
But there was also another variable that made possible for Ramon to pass days in which to overcome a civil war, years of shortage and precariousness and labor conditions of great physical demand. This variable was common to a large part of the population: the daily caloric intake was lower than what is observed today and that the majority of research papers claim excessive in recent years.
It is not about returning to times of famine, it is not about eating less than necessary, it is about ingesting what the body requires and that, in the immense majority of the population of developed countries, is not fulfilled: we know that each day they usually eat more calories than the body needs to maintain health.
The process of digestion of food is one of the most expensive for the body, therefore, eating what is necessary avoids requesting our body more than adequate. And that small difference multiplied by every breakfast, lunch and dinner over the years is, in the long term, a big difference. If in addition to health we talk about sports, an optimal balance of nutrients and calories is the key to adequately maintain the essential factor for any endurance race: weight. And, to train hours and hours, to be able to take the best individual performance in the competition inexorably happens to maintain an ideal weight that has to be known by each athlete.
Ramón Rodríguez didn’t know all these physiological variables and simply ate every day what he could bring to the table of his humble family, working from sunrise to sunset, from Monday to Sunday. But without knowing about nutrition, he was always right: varied food, food in its proper measure and lots of activity. Reaching almost a century of life is achieved only with that combination and a perpetual smile.