Nutrition, menus and diets

The importance of food in growth: puberty


At puberty, voracious appetite appears as a consequence of high energy and nutrient requirements. It manifests itself in both sexes, but especially in men, who also tend to perform more physical activity. It should be remembered that obesity, that is, the fat accumulated in the body exerts a very important influence on the advancement of the growth peak at puberty.

Therefore, in chubby children it usually appears early and this influences the final size. The duration of this growth process in children to reach final height is variable, and while some experience all the changes in this period in about two years, others extend this phase up to five years.

The nutritional needs in adolescence are marked by the processes of sexual maturation, height and weight gain. This development requires a high amount of energy and nutrients. It should be taken into account that the adolescent gains approximately 20 percent of the height and 50 percent of the weight that he will have as an adult.

These increases correspond mainly to the increased muscle mass and bone mass. This whole situation is directly affected by food, which must be directed and designed to cover the expense that originates.

About carbohydrates and proteins, the recommendations in quantity and quality are the same as for a healthy adult, without forgetting that the correct intake of fats supposes adequately covering the needs of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot produce on its own, and of fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E.

1 - Vary your diet as much as possibleeven within each food group. It is advisable to take different types of vegetables, fruits, legumes, meat or fish.

2 - Eat neatly; start with the first course, then the second and finally the dessert.

3 - Do not skip any meals and keep the established schedules.

4 - Eat slowly, chewing well, in a relaxed, calm environment, avoiding distractions such as eating in front of the TV or the computer.

5 - Avoid suppressing sweet foods, chocolates, soft drinks, snacks, pastries, pizzas, hamburgers, but take them in small quantities and only occasionally.

6 - Distribute the calories, which vary depending on the amount of fat or sugars added to food and the way it is cooked.

And what minerals should be taken at puberty?

1 - Calcium
This related to the growth of bone mass and is present in the milk and all its derivatives. Vitamin D, lactose and the proteins of dairy products facilitate their absorption and use by the body. They are also a good source of calcium: canned fish from which the thorn is eaten, nuts and enriched soy derivatives such as soy drinks and soy desserts.

2 - Iron
It is a component of hemoglobin (oxygen and carbon dioxide transporter in the blood), necessary for the development of red blood cells, which are involved in energy production processes. The iron that is best absorbed is that from food of Animal origin (meats, fish, eggs and derivatives of these foods), while that from legumes, vegetables and other plant foods is absorbed worse, unless they are combined with others rich in vitamin C or citric acid (vegetables seasoned with juice lemon) or with foods of animal origin rich in complete proteins (lentils with pepper and pieces of ham).

3 - Zinc
It is involved in the synthesis of proteins and, therefore, in the tissue formation. In addition, it collaborates in the processes of obtaining energy, in the immune system or the body's defenses and has antioxidant action. The chronic deficit can cause hypogonadism (small size of the reproductive organs). Sources of zinc are found in meat, fish, seafood and eggs. Also whole grains, nuts, legumes and aged cheeses are an important source.

The vitamins recommended for adolescents are those involved in protein synthesis, growth and development:

- Fat soluble A and D
Whole dairy, dairy fats (butter, cream), egg yolk and organ meats.

- B Group
Folic acid (legumes and green vegetables, fruits, enriched breakfast cereals and liver), B12 (enriched meat, egg, fish, dairy and fermented soybeans ...), B6 ​​(whole grains, liver, nuts, brewer's yeast) , riboflavin (liver, eggs, dairy, brewer's yeast), niacin (organ meats, meat, fish, legumes and whole grains) and thiamine (whole grains, legumes and meats).

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