We are lucky. We have great choices when it comes to the food we put in our bodies. And picking wisely makes all the difference for our overall fitness, health and exercise. Staying away from foods that are high in sugar, salt and alcohol and having adequate fluid intake is essential. Finally, embracing different kinds of healthy food recipes mean that we put ourselves firmly in control of our own health by making changes that will last a lifetime.
Never a dull moment with good nutrition
A balanced diet is one where we consume adequate amounts of macro (slow-release carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) whilst limiting salt, processed sugar and saturated fats. Therefore, good nutrition shouldn’t ever feel boring or monotonous; eat a variety of foods and you should be on track!
5 is the magic number
To get all our required macro and micronutrients, it’s recommended we choose a variety of foods from five food groups; starchy carbohydrates, fruit and veg, lean protein, dairy and alternatives and oils and spreads. The Eat Well Guide is a government guideline that visually represents what proportions of each of these food groups we need in our diet.
The five food groups that we should consume from every day are:
-vegetables and legumes/beans
-lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds
-milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives
Variety is the spice of life (obviously)
You don’t want to eat the same thing every day and nor does your body. Variety is key to helping you get all the nutrients that your body needs. This can be achieved easily by creating meals and snacks throughout the week that average out to look something like the Eat Well Plate. Mix and match have never made more sense!
Age well with good nutrition
It’s not just our physical appearance that changes as we get older, but our nutritional needs do too. But don’t worry, knowing the right things to eat and what they are used to makes the whole process less scary and a lot more empowering!
Muscle mass starts declining the older you get but with a good amount of protein in your diet you can make up for it. Having a good protein source with every meal or snack can work wonders; aim for 20-30g protein each time. As the body can only process a certain amount of protein at any one time, it’s better to ‘space’ your protein throughout the day. For example, eggs or yoghurt with breakfast. Chicken salad or baked potato, beans and low-fat cheese for lunch. Some nuts as an afternoon snack and a lean piece of meat, fish or legumes in the evening.
Weight changes can occur around menopause due to the oestrogen levels shifting and this can increase the chance of women storing more body fat around their abdomen that’s harder to shift. One of the main health challenges with this is the increased risk of developing insulin resistance. This means the body’s cells don’t absorb glucose as well as they should, and blood sugar levels can rise more after consuming food. But never fear, there is a way to keep an eye on those pesky levels! Like eating high fibre carbs with minimal processing (think oats, brown rice and quinoa); choosing whole-grain bread over white, and whole fruit instead of juices and smoothies. Also add healthy fats and protein to your carbs; such as extra virgin olive oil to potatoes, avocado and low-fat cheese to bread and natural yoghurt and nuts to fruit. By doing this you are helping to slow the digestion of carbs in food and lower the GI levels (i.e. the blood response to food) to help with blood glucose control. Take that, insulin resistance!
Swisse Me & good nutrition
If we had a middle name, good nutrition would be it! For nutrition and workouts, all of our products in our healthy low-calorie snack ranges, from Start Me breakfast blends and the energy-boosting snacks of Boost Me, to our Replenish Me post-workout range have been created with carefully selected ingredients with nutritional benefits in mind. From pear health benefits to ginger health benefits, quinoa nutrition and spirulina nutrition, all you have to do is try them and tell us your favourite!