Boost Your Energy: Here’s The 5A Rule For A Healthier Diet

This method seeks to promote natural nutrition, including foods with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, antidysbiosis and antitoxic properties.

Have you been feeling tired lately? Maybe it’s not necessarily because you’ve been too physically agitated, but because your diet lacks the nutrients necessary to gain energy. In these cases, the 5A rule is a great option to improve the situation. This method includes foods with the following properties in our diet: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, anti-dysbiosis, and antitoxic if you want to put this rule into practice.

“The 5A rule seeks to get people to adopt healthy eating habits that will contribute to improving the nutritional status of those who apply it. This method focuses mainly on consuming natural foods. Let us remember that if we maintain a healthy and varied diet, our body will improve, so we will feel more energetic,” said Mag. Gabriela León Cerrón, professor of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL).

The first A: Anti-inflammatory

According to Mag. León Cerrón, inflammation is a process that occurs in the body as a defense mechanism, but when this inflammation becomes chronic, it is what affects our health. It is worth mentioning that certain foods promote inflammation, such as refined flour and sugars found in ultra-processed foods. “Foods that help us reduce inflammation factors are, for example, those that contain healthy fats such as omega 3,” explained the expert.

Foods with high levels of omega 3 reduce inflammation.
Foods with high levels of omega-3 reduce inflammation.

“This diet is essential to prevent chronic diseases and improve overall health,” added Julia Zumpano, a Cleveland Clinic dietitian. In this regard, the specialist shared the following options that can be included in an anti-inflammatory diet:

  • Omega-3-rich fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables: Especially those rich in antioxidants such as berries, spinach, and tomatoes.
  • Whole grains: Oats, brown rice, and quinoa.
  • Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, almonds, chia seeds and flaxseed.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Used as the main source of fat instead of processed oils.

“Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Reducing inflammation through diet can help mitigate the symptoms of these diseases, improve cardiovascular health, and promote overall well-being,” Zumpano emphasized.

The second A: Antioxidant

“Just like inflammation, oxidation processes occur in our body as part of normal functioning. But if these processes increase, a lot of oxidation occurs, which can lead to diseases such as cancer,” explained Mag. León. Antioxidant foods, such as those containing vitamin C, help reduce oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

If you are looking to include these foods in your diet, Zampano provides the following alternatives:

  • Fruits: Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), grapes, oranges, and apples.
  • Vegetables: Spinach, kale, carrots and broccoli.
  • Other foods: Green tea, dark chocolate (high cocoa content), nuts and seeds.
Red fruits are great antioxidants.
Red fruits are great antioxidants.

“Antioxidants play a crucial role in cell protection, reducing the risk of heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. They help neutralize free radicals, preventing cell damage and supporting the immune system,” stressed the Cleveland Clinic dietician.

The third A: Antihyperglycemic

“According to Gabriela León, this diet seeks to reduce blood glucose levels. ‘Through this diet, we seek to reduce blood glucose levels. We need glucose for our cells to function, but excess is what brings negative effects on our health, such as diabetes and other metabolic conditions. To avoid these consequences, we must include foods that help us reduce glucose levels,” said the teacher.

The USIL nutritionist stressed that foods with these properties are those with high levels of fiber. Along these lines, Julia Zumpano mentioned the following examples:

  • Green leafy vegetables: Spinach, kale, and chard.
  • Whole grains: Oats, quinoa, barley, and brown rice.
  • Lean proteins: Skinless chicken, fish, and legumes.
  • High-fiber foods: Fruits, such as apples and pears, and vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots.
Whole grains are very useful for balancing glucose levels.
Whole grains are very useful for balancing glucose levels.

“Maintaining stable blood glucose levels is crucial to prevent sugar spikes and insulin resistance, conditions that can lead to type 2 diabetes. A well-balanced diet that regulates blood glucose can also help maintain steady energy levels and prevent long-term complications,” the dietician stressed.

The fourth A: Antidysbiosis

In the words of León Cerrón, dysbiosis is an alteration in the intestinal microbiota that causes intestinal transit disorders. “It should be added that its effects on the functioning of the body are currently being studied since it would also have consequences on the functioning of other organs. The anti-dysbiosis diet is based on reducing the consumption of ultra-processed foods by promoting the consumption of probiotic and prebiotic options,” said the master in nutrition.

Zumpano explained that this regimen seeks to balance the intestinal flora to promote the growth of healthy bacteria. To achieve this, she emphasized the inclusion of the following foods in our diet:

  • Probiotics: Yogurt with live cultures, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso.
  • Prebiotics: High-fiber foods such as bananas, garlic, onions, asparagus, and oats.
Foods high in fiber, such as bananas, are a fundamental part of this type of diet.
Foods high in fiber, such as bananas, are a fundamental part of this type of diet.

“A balanced gut microbiome is crucial for efficient digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Dysbiosis, or microbial imbalance, can contribute to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and increased susceptibility to infections. Promoting healthy gut flora can improve digestive health and reduce systemic inflammation,” said the Cleveland Clinic expert.

The fifth A: Antitoxic

“Nowadays, it is known that pesticides and insecticides are used to grow food and they must be kept within certain limits because if they exceed these limits, they affect health. However, these limits are not being controlled everywhere and that is why this type of diet proposes consuming foods that have not been in contact with these ingredients and preferring organic foods,” explained Mag. León.

The Nutrition and Dietetics professor emphasized that this nutritional plan advises removing everything that is not natural and giving priority to fresh and homemade preparations. About this, dietician Zumpano gathered the following examples:

  • Organic fruits and vegetables: To minimize exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
  • Foods rich in fiber: Legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that help eliminate toxins.
  • Water: Drink enough water to keep your kidneys and liver functioning optimally.
  • Foods with detoxifying properties: Broccoli, kale, lemons and beets.
Hydration is vital to keep the kidneys and liver functioning optimally.
Hydration is vital to keep the kidneys and liver functioning optimally.

“Reducing toxins in the body improves liver and kidney function, promotes healthier skin, and can help prevent chronic diseases related to exposure to toxins, such as certain types of cancer and liver disease. Maintaining a clean, nutrient-rich diet supports the body’s natural detoxification processes and improves overall health,” Zumpano said.

How to start eating healthy to gain energy?

“The 5A rule is very useful for gaining energy and eating healthier. However, it should be part of a complete plan with realistic goals. Julia Zumpano advised following these steps to get started:

  1. Assessment and planning: Start by assessing your current diet and plan gradual changes. Identify processed and sugary foods you need to cut back on and focus on incorporating more whole, natural foods.
  2. Education and support: Educate yourself about nutrition through reliable sources and consider consulting a dietitian or nutritionist for personalized guidance.
  3. Key Foods: Start including more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your daily meals. Examples include salads with a variety of vegetables, grilled fish, and oatmeal with fruits and nuts.
  4. Hydration: Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated and boost digestion and elimination of toxins.
  5. Physical Activity: Complement your new diet with regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or yoga, to improve your energy and overall well-being.

“We must bear in mind that this 5A rule will allow us to maintain practices to improve our diet and eat healthily, but let us not forget that all extremes are not adequate. Therefore, these guidelines are healthy and if we want to follow a particular diet we should go to the nutritionist,” concluded Mag. Gabriela León Cerrón.