This week is “Smart Eating Week”! So, what does “smart eating” look like? In this day and age of media saturation with fad diets and fitness gurus, it can be hard to know. Let’s start with the basics…
Protein is required for muscle growth and repair, neurotransmitter production (think “healthy mood”), and a wide range of other important functions within the body. Getting adequate amounts of protein everyday – preferably with every meal or snack – is important to balance blood glucose, ensure stable energy levels throughout the day, and prevent sugar cravings. Sources of protein include eggs, meat and poultry, fish, yoghurt (always choose full fat, natural varieties), nuts and seeds.
2. Healthy Fats
Sources of healthy fats include coconut and olive products, avocadoes, nuts and seeds, and butter (yes, butter!) and other full fat dairy products, if you can tolerate them. Fats form the outer layer of every single cell in our bodies, so you can imagine how important it is to include them in our diets, right? Plus, they’re a major component of our brains, and are used in the production of hormones. Add a small handful of nuts or seeds to your morning porridge or put them in your smoothie, add some olives to your lunchtime salad, roast your veggies in a little butter or olive oil.
Now, when I say “carbohydrates”, I don’t mean processed carbohydrates like pasta, bread and cereals. I mean vegetables, fruits, legumes and small amounts of whole grains. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy, and the fibre in wholefood carbohydrate sources promotes good digestive function. Try adding some more veggies into your daily routine in order to increase your fibre intake eg. add a handful of spinach leaves to your morning smoothie or omelette, had a side salad with your lunch, add an extra serve or 2 of veggies to your dinner.
I know us Nutritionists always bang on about how important water is, but it really is! Without adequate amounts of water, your energy dips, you’re more likely to get headaches and muscle pain, your digestion slows down, and you end up feeling rubbish. If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding a squeeze of citrus juice, some berries or a few mint leaves. Or drink herbal teas. Aim for at least 2L of water per day.
5. What to Limit
Refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and fried foods are high on the list of “what to limit”. They rob the body of essential nutrients, including B vitamins and water, add to inflammation and acidity in the body, and can leave you feeling less than awesome. Here are a few things to try in order to limit the amount of these foods that you consume:
Got any questions, or would like some further information on how to eat more healthily? Book in to see one of our qualified Nutritionists or Naturopaths, now available 6 days per week!
Written by Suzanne Sparrow
AdvDip (Nut), AdvDip (Nat)