Understanding what you eat when completing exercise comes with knowing what your body likes and having a basic knowledge of good nutrition. Jackie Donkin, nutritional therapist and Edwin Grey, physiologist at Nuffield Health share their top tips for good nutrition and simple lifestyle changes that can improve your health and mood, and give you energy to kick start any new exercise routine.
Food can help your mood
Jackie explains, “Cutting down on processed foods such as biscuits, cakes, pastries and crisps will limit the spikes in mood and energy levels caused by high fat and sugar foods. These foods, unlike fruits and vegetables, are low in the essential nutrients that aid digestion, skin health and mood. A diet based largely on processed foods is likely to result in weight gain and ill health. Maintain energy levels and improve good mood by following a healthy diet supported by the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise a week, which reduces stress and risk of many lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes.”
Don’t cut carbs
Some trendy diets call for a carb cull. Avoid these diets, carbs are good for you and are a much needed source of fuel. Jackie says: “The trick is to concentrate on improving the quality of your carbohydrate choice, for example, wholemeal pasta, rice and bread are healthier because they are unrefined (fibre and other nutrients have not been removed during a refining process, as with white bread, rice and pasta). You could also try some different sources, grains such as quinoa, buckwheat and millet; these are very wholesome and are also very low in calories.”
Balance is best
Edwin says, “It is really important to eat a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Our food intake should provide us with a large proportion of the nutrients we need and the only way to do that is to incorporate all food groups.” As a rough guide our total food intake should be 50-60% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein and 20-30% fats. This is affected by weight, height and other individual factors. For a personalised plan speak to a nutritional therapist.
Water is really important because it acts as a lubricant, surrounding organs and acting as a protective barrier. It helps removes waste products and acts as a cooling mechanism to maintain proper body temperature which is extremely important for mental clarity. NHS guidelines state we drink 1.2 litres of fluid a day. If you struggle to drink this much try adding a sugar free squash to water but steer clear of alcohol or caffeinated drinks which cause digestive stress and increases toxins. .
For more information on nutrition or to book an appointment with our qualified consultants visit: http://www.nuffieldhealth.com/