Good Nutrition Fact Sheet

Good Nutrition Fact Sheet
1) Eating a balanced diet is essential, especially at times of stress when it can:
 Help maintain energy levels
 Control blood sugar levels
 Lift your mood
 Boost your immune system
2) The basics of a healthy diet are well known these include:
 Drink lots of water – aim for 2 litres a day
 Eat regularly
 Eat whole foods wherever possible
 Aim for 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
 Minimise the amount of saturated fats
Select foods with slow-releasing sugars, low GI (Glycaemic Index) e.g. wholegrains, fresh
veggies, oats; avoid high sugar foods e.g. sugared-cereals, and energy drinks
3) Be aware of the ‘mood foods’; these include:
Salt - we only require 1g per day but generally consume nearer to 10g - excess causes high
blood pressure, strokes, and coronary heart disease.
Sugar - provides a short-term energy surge, but it is generally followed by a dip. In excess it
creates mood swings, jitters and lack of concentration.
Alcohol - the initial effect is positive but it is actually a depressant and will reduce the body’s
ability to withstand stress
Caffeine - mimics the stress response and activates the adrenal glands and raises blood
pressure. Excess consumption can lead to side effects such as panic attacks, headaches,
migraine and palpitations. The caffeine effect peaks @ 30-60 minutes after consumption but
stays in your system for between 4-12 hours.
When you are suffering from stress it is important to increase your intake of the
 Vitamins A, C and E - antioxidants which fight free radicals caused by stress e.g berries +
dark green vegetables
 Minerals Zinc and Selenium - e.g seeds and nuts
 B Vitamins e.g whole grains, green vegetables, yeast extract, liver
 Magnesium - fish and nuts
Increase your intake of the super foods:
 Apples - pectin lowers cholesterol
 Bananas - mood-enhancers e.g. tryptophan and Vit B6, helps you
 Broccoli - reduces risk of cancer, stroke & heart disease, contains antioxidants
 Celery - very good for soothing nerves and reducing blood pressure
 Peas - high nutrient content and fibre
 Peppers - high anti-oxidant levels
 Pulses - high in energy, folic acid & potassium - can reduce sugar cravings
 Soya beans - for a healthy heart, improves digestion and balances hormones
 Spinach - iron, anti-oxidants and folic acid
 Oats - reduce cholesterol, stabilise blood sugar
 Tomatoes - contain beta-carotene and lycopene (antioxidants) important in disease
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