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Eat for Wellbeing

Eating a balanced diet will improve your health and can give you more energy throughout your day. Balance is the key to getting your diet right.

It can be easier than you think, and it doesnít have to be expensive.

Here are some tips to help you feel at your best and improve your health.

5 a day

  • Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre which may help reduce the risk of certain conditions.
  • Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced fruit and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day.
  • A smoothie or glass of unsweetened, non-concentrated fruit juice count as one of your five a day and vegetables added into dishes also count.
  • An apple is not only healthy but it costs around 20p - around a third of the price of a chocolate bar!

Visit the NHS pages to discover more reasons why you should eat your 5 A Day

Meal times

  • Donít skip breakfast! Itís the most important meal to start your day and will reduce snacking before lunch. Try wholemeal cereal, such as Weetabix, with a handful of fruit. Itís filling, nutritious and tasty.
  • Lunches are usually cheaper and healthier if you prepare something at home and take it to work or lectures with you, that way you also know exactly what is in it.
  • Aim to feel satisfied, not stuffed! Eating healthy is about eating the right amount of food for your energy needs.

Snacks

  • Prepare healthy snacks that you can carry with you, such as nuts and seeds, chopped fruit or veg with dips, these will provide a quick energy fix and prevent you grabbing a high fat or sugary snack.

Shopping Tips

  • Shop at the 'cheaper supermarkets' such as Aldi and Lidl
  • Buy own brand products and keep an eye out for special offers
  • Try not to shop when you are hungry to avoid buying unhealthy snacks, or food you donít need.
  • Before you go shopping work out the meals you want that week, write a list and stick to it.
  • Frozen and tinned vegetables and fruit are healthy and can keep the costs down, but avoid fruit in syrups or vegetables in salted water.
  • Buying fruit and vegetables that are in season will keep the costs down. For example, strawberries and raspberries grow in the summer months and corn on the cob the Autumn months.
  • Avoid ready meals as these can be expensive and usually high in fat and sugar

Eating out? Try swapping:

  • Egg fried rice for steamed rice
  • A stuffed crust pizza for a thin crust
  • Have rice rather than naan bread with your Indian

Some essential items for the student cupboard:

  • Pasta, rice and noodles
  • Gravy Granules
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried herbs
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Dried fruit or nuts
  • Baked beans
  • Canned soups with beans or lentils
  • Cans of beans and chickpeas
  • Cans of sardines, pilchards or tuna
  • Jar of pesto
  • Tomato puree
  • Cereal such as porridge/Weetabix
  • Long-life milk or soya milk

Exam TimeÖ

Good nutrition is even more vital at times of stress when you may be run down, and it is important that you do not let healthy habits slip. Here are a few ideas to help you through exam and assessment weeks:

  • Remember to eat a healthy breakfast
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat foods such as; Blueberries, Goji Berries, fatty fish and nuts as they have been found to improve brain functionality
  • Avoid foods that contain sugar, fat and carbohydrates when you are trying to study as these can make you feel tired and sluggish once you have eaten them

Poor nutrition can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. If you are concerned about your diet or have any conditions that you think are affected by your diet then you can arrange an appointment to see a nutritional therapist at the McClelland Centreís Nutritional Therapy Clinic.

The content of our Eat for Wellbeing page has been reviewed by our Healthy Eating Champion, Alison Winson.