Health and wellbeing

Theme of the week: Nutrition

Nutrition is a fundamental part of our lives, and whilst in lockdown, we understand how difficult it can be for many to stick to a ‘healthy’ diet. However, neglecting what you put inside of your bodies on a daily basis will not only impact your physical health but will also affect the way you feel.

Your brain is constantly working, even when you are asleep, and the food that you give to fuel your brain makes all the difference to how well it can undergo its job – what you eat directly impacts the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.

Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress – an imbalance inside your body that causes damage to cells. However, when we examine diets high in refined sugars, for example, in addition to worsening your body’s regulation of insulin, it also promotes oxidative stress, leading to impaired brain function and worsening the symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.

Although you may not realise it, what you eat on a daily basis strongly affects your mental and physical wellbeing! Therefore, over the next four weeks, we will be challenging all of you to make small changes to your diet to help you feel more energetic and ensure that you consume enough of the micronutrients that keep your body and your brain active.

Nutrition Challenge:

Vary Your Veg – add a range of fruit and vegetables to your meals, aiming to consume around five portions each day – more colour means a wider range of vitamins and minerals. Carrots, peppers, and celery sticks also make a great snack between meals!

Drink Plenty – aim to consume between six to eight unsweetened drinks every day depending on your level of activity. Being dehydrated makes it difficult to concentrate, causing headaches and tiredness, so it is important to keep hydrated.

Eat More Wholegrains – brown rice, wholegrain breads and cereals, quinoa and porridge oats are all examples of high fibre whole foods which will slowly release energy and keep you satiated for longer, limiting the urge to eat sugary and processed snacks.

Get Active – being stuck at a desk all day is less than ideal, so get outside or find a space at home to get active – it is advised to minimise inactivity by going on regular walks or engaging in some form of more intense activity each day.

Author: Shirom Aggarwal and Sam Hall