Nutrition

Good nutrition is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. When combined with regular physical activity and good restorative sleep, a sound nutrition plan can give multiple benefits including maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and crucially for a student, research has shown an improved ability to learn, better memory and alertness.

12 Tips for Healthy Nutrition

  1. Variety - no one single food can give your body all the nutrition it requires so eat a wide range of foods from all the key food groups including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  2. Eat real food - aim to consume mostly those foods which are very close to their natural state eg. fresh vegetables, nuts, eggs, lentils, fish, beans, wholegrain rice, etc
  3. Fruit and veg - eat a variety of different coloured fruit, vegetables and salad every day, ideally in-season and can be fresh or frozen. Base all meals on this group and ideally consume at least five servings a day.
  4. Choose wholegrain - brown rice, wholegrain bread, oats, brown pasta give that all important intake of essential fibre.
  5. Protein - include protein in most meals throughout the day, choose lean meat, poultry and fish (oily is best) but remember that eggs, peas, beans and lentils are very good alternatives.
  6. Healthy fats - a balanced diet should include healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The best sources include avocados, olive oil, whole nuts, seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.
  7. Hydrate - water is always best. To check you are drinking enough you should be visiting the bathroom every 2-3 hours, and your pee should be relatively clear
  8. Cooking methods - bake, steam, boil or stew food instead of frying or deep frying. Go for a light gold colour when cooking, not brown.
  9. Limit junk food - such as biscuits, savoury snacks and confectionery. These foods are not required for a healthy diet and in general tend to be high in calories, artificial fats, sugar and salt.
  10. Healthy microbiome - include probiotic rich foods such as kefir, natural yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut as well as prebiotic foods such as bananas, onions, leeks, asparagus, and garlic.
  11. Vitamin D - eat oily fish once a week helps meet the recommended intake of vitamin D. A supplement is ideal during Winter and Spring which provides at least 5-10 μg of vitamin D per day.
  12. Portion sizes - eat appropriate portion servings according to your body size and physical activity levels. If you are less active then reduce starchy carbohydrates and replace with leafy vegetables/salad.

Resources for Eating Well

Keep Well

Bí Sláintúil

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