Eating to be at your best every day

Posted on the 15th June 2020

Karen is a member of the WellChild Family Tree and a qualified Nutritional Therapist. She shares her thoughts on the connection between mood and food, and tips for healthy eating after parents in the WellChild Family Tree requested advice on diet and wellbeing during lockdown.

Eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring nor expensive. Start by adding healthy foods into your meals rather than taking away the treats you enjoy. You’ll find it’s really simple to do with the best approach being to go back to basics.

Here are my top 3 tips:

1. Eat one extra vegetable a day

The NHS recommend you eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day which is a great target to begin with. If you aren’t there yet, start by adding in one extra vegetable a day which can be fresh or frozen. Try and choose a different colour each time e.g. eat the rainbow to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible e.g. red peppers, orange carrots, purple beetroot, green broccoli.

2. Eat 2 pieces of fruit a day

Choose fresh or frozen fruit for a snacks or dessert to boost essential nutrients that are often undereaten. These include vitamin C for healthy skin and potassium for blood pressure balance. Fruit juices don’t count as they are high in sugar and contain little or no fibre and can spike blood sugar levels. Stock up your fruit bowl and if you leave the house today, bring an apple or banana with you together with some nuts ready just in case you need a snack.

3. Eat a whole grain food once a day

These foods include brown bread, rice, pasta and also oats and you could also try quinoa and bulgur wheat. Whole grain foods contain the entire grain kernel which means there are good levels of fibre to help with digestive problems such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, whilst iron and B vitamins help maintain energy levels.

Smoothies are a great way to pack nutritious foods into your day in one easy move. The golden rule is to aim for 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 fruit. Try a nutrient rich green smoothie made of spinach, cucumber, almonds, kiwi and apple or a purple health promoting concoction of berries, beetroot and celery to support blood pressure.

Healthy eating really doesn’t have to be complicated nor expensive. To start off, add good foods in rather than taking less nutritious foods away and make changes slowly. You’ll soon start to feel the effects and be on track to towards feeling your best possible every day.

Written by Karen Maude

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