Nutrition is a crucial factor in influencing the way we feel. A healthy balanced diet is one that includes healthy amounts of proteins, essential fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. The food we eat can influence the development, management and prevention of numerous mental health conditions.
Along with regular physical activity, diet is extremely important for health and feeling good. The food we eat affects our ability to maintain a healthy weight, it has an impact on our risk factors for many inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
There is a lot of information out there about food, nutrition and diets and it can all get a bit overwhelming. The following basic nutritional guidelines will help work good nutrition into your daily life:
- Follow a diet with high vitamin and mineral content of fruits and vegetables (such as tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, dark leafy greens and legumes)
- Minimize saturated fats from animal sources (such as meat and cheese) and maximize good fats and complex carbs (such as wholemeal rice and pasta and wholegrain breads)
- Limit intake of highly processed foods that are high in sugar and added salt (such as biscuits, pastries, sweets and chocolate)
- Hydrate your body and drink 2 liters (8 glasses) of water per day
- Limit alcohol to no more than 14 units per week and have some alcohol free days (6 pints of beer or 7 medium (175 ml) glasses of wine)
- Limit caffeine intake to no more than 400 milligrams (mg) per day (4 cups of coffee or 8 cups of tea)