3 HEALTHY EATING AND A BALANCED IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US

Our body needs food

Food is essential for our bodies:

Develop, replace and repair cells and tissues;

Produce the energy used to keep warm, to move and work;

Carry out chemical processes such as the digestion of food;

Protect, to resist and fight against infection and cure of the disease.

The food consists of nutrients. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are needed only in small amounts. Macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats are needed in larger quantities. The body can’t function properly if it lacks one or more nutrients. A healthy and balanced diet provides a good amount and variety of food, healthy and free from diseases and hazardous substances.

Prevention is better than cure. The earlier a person starts eating a healthy and balanced way, the longer it will stay healthy. Once she starts to lose weight, it is often more difficult to gain weight because of fatigue and lack of appetite.

The section below contains some guidelines for a healthy and balanced nutrition. These guidelines apply to everyone – persons infected with HIV as those who do not.

A healthy and balanced nutrition

Vary the foods

Good eating means eating a variety of foods. No food alone contains all the nutrients our bodies need, except for breast milk for babies up to age 6 months. Consume a variety of different foods provide nutrients that are essential to our body. Be careful choosing foods that is in season and locally available, eating can become a pleasure to be good for health and do not cost too much.

Eat staple foods with every meal

Starchy foods should make up the bulk of a meal. These foods are relatively cheap and provide a good energy intake as well as some protein. Starchy foods include cereals (such as rice, maize, millet, sorghum, wheat and barley), tubers (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams) and fruits rich in starch (such as plantains).

However, starchy foods are not sufficient to provide all the nutrients the body needs. You have to eat other foods to provide supplements for energy, protein and micronutrients.

Eat legumes (or pulses) if possible daily

These foods provide what a person needs protein for development and tissue repair, but also to build strong muscles. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and help to keep the immune system active.

Legumes include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts (including peanut butter) and soybeans. Eaten with starchy foods, protein quality is improved. Legumes are a cheaper source of protein than meat such as beef and chicken, and should be eaten every day if possible.

Eat regularly animal foods and dairy products

It should also eat foods of animal origin and fish as often as possible. They provide good quality protein, vitamins, minerals and extra energy. They help strengthen muscles and the immune system.

These foods include all forms of meat, poultry (birds), fish, eggs and dairy products such as milk, sour milk, buttermilk, yogurt and cheese. If insects are part of your diet, caterpillars or grasshoppers are also high in good nutrients.

Eat fruits and vegetables every day

Fruits and vegetables are essential components of a healthy and balanced meal. They provide vitamins and minerals that drive the body and strengthen the immune system. These foods are particularly important for people living with HIV / AIDS to fight against infection. We must consume a wide variety because each has its own richness in vitamins and minerals. You will find below a list of recommended foods.

Vegetables and berries, orange, yellow or green

Other fruits and vegetables

Green leafy vegetables (spinach, pumpkin, cassava leaves) green peppers, squash, carrots, yellow peaches, apricots, papaya and mangoes

Tomatoes, cabbage, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, guavas, mangoes, passion fruit, pineapple, blackberries

Eat fats and oils as well as sugar and sugary products

Fats, oils and sugar are good sources of energy and contribute to weight gain, which can be especially important for people living with HIV / AIDS. They also add flavor to food and, consequently, stimulates appetite.

Oils and fats play an important role as part of a healthy balanced diet. They are an important source of energy, even in small quantities. They are found in butter, lard, margarine, cooking oils (vegetable, coconut and palm oil) cream, mayonnaise and coconut cream. It can also be found in avocados, oilseeds (sunflower, groundnut and sesame), fatty parts of meat and fish, curds and cheese.

Sugar and sugary foods include honey, jam, table sugar, cakes and biscuits.

Although fats and sugars are good sources of energy, they do not contain other nutrients. They should therefore be eaten in addition to other foods, not a replacement.

Drink lots of water

Water is important to live and we have to drink every day. A person needs about eight cups of fluid per day. When it is very hot, if you are working, sweating or suffering from diarrhea, vomiting or fever, you need to drink more to compensate for water loss. If drinking water comes from a well or borehole, it is important to keep it in a clean container. If the water comes from an unprotected well or river, water should be boiled for at least 10 minutes and stored in a clean container . At that drinking water consumption, can add all the fluids from juices, soups, vegetables and fruit as well as stews. However, avoid drinking tea or coffee during meals because they may decrease the absorption of iron from food.

Alcoholic beverages absorb water from the body and therefore must be consumed in small quantities. They can also interact with the action of drugs.

A healthy and balanced diet for growth, work and play

Enjoy a variety of foods

Eat staple foods with every meal

These foods are relatively cheap and not only bring energy and protein but also small amounts of vitamins and minerals. It includes cereals (such as rice, maize, millet, sorghum, wheat and barley), tubers (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams) and fruits rich in starch (such as plantains).

Eat legumes if possible every day

These foods include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts (including peanut butter) and soybeans. Eaten with starchy foods, protein quality is improved.

Eat regularly animal foods and dairy products

Foods from animals or fish should be eaten as often as you can afford it. They provide good quality protein, vitamins, minerals and more energy. These foods include all meats, poultry (birds), fish, eggs and dairy products such as milk, sour milk, buttermilk, yogurt and cheese. If you’re used to eating insects such as caterpillars or grasshoppers, they will also bring you good nutrients.

Eat fruits and vegetables every day

These foods are important for growth and the fight against infection. A list of foods recommended below.

Vegetables and berries, orange, yellow or green

Other fruits and vegetables

Green leafy vegetables (spinach, tangerines, pumpkin, cassava leaves), green peppers, squash, carrots, yellow peaches, apricots, papaya and mangoes

Tomatoes, cabbage, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, guavas, mangoes, passion fruit, pineapple, blackberries and baobab

Use fats and oils as well as sugar and sugary products

Fats, oils and sugar are good sources of energy and contribute to the maintenance or weight gain. They add flavor to food, thereby stimulating appetite.

The oils and fats include butter, lard, margarine, cooking oils (vegetable, coconut and palm oil), mayonnaise cream and coconut cream. It can also be found in avocados, oilseeds (sunflower, groundnut and sesame), meat and oily fish, curds and cheese.

Sugars and sugary foods include honey, jam, table sugar, cakes and biscuits.