Which foods are best for your body?
The food we eat plays a big role in how we feel and how our bodies function, it fuels our mind and body and is central to our health. Whether you eat a plant based or meat diet, healthy, balanced meals can help to combat illness and leave you performing at your best both mentally and physically. The key to nutrition is in variety and we need to make sure we are packing in the foods high in vitamins and minerals to get a balanced and healthy diet.
Here is a list of foods which are known to help each body system
- Hair – Green vegetables, salmon, seaweed
- Skin – Spinach, sardines, avocados
- Brain – Walnuts, blueberries, broccoli, chia seeds
- Eyes – Carrots, seeds, sweet potatoes
- Heart – Oats, leafy greens, black beans, oranges
- Lungs – Apples, flaxseed, garlic, cayenne pepper
- Muscle – Coconut water, eggs, meat, legumes and nuts
- Bones – Citrus fruits, tomatoes, green beans, nuts and seeds
- Bowels – Basil, Black pepper, garlic, green vegetables, berries
- Digestion – yogurt, fennel, kombucha, ginger, peppermint
What’s important in keeping a healthy diet is in making versatile, colourful meals packed with goodness from the 5 major food groups.
- Carbs: Each meal should be made up of predominantly carbohydrates, which includes bread, rice, pasta and potatoes.
- Protein: Is vital for our body’s growth and repair, we need to make sure we are getting 2 or 3 portions of protein each day to maintain iron levels and overall health and well-being. Meat, fish, eggs, soya, beans, peas and nuts all provide us with protein.
- Dairy (or fortified non dairy alternatives): The national guidelines advise 3 portions of dairy per day, to boost calcium, vitamins A, D and B12 levels. Yogurt, milk and cheeses made with or without animal products can provide these nutrients.
- Fruit and vegetables: Eat 5 portions of fruit and veggies every day, from fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced sources, it all counts towards your 5 a day. Fruit and veg is bursting with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre which keeps your digestive tract healthy and your gut feeling fuller for longer.
- Fats and oils: Use fats and oils sparingly, especially saturated fats from animal products such as lard and butter as these can raise your cholesterol. Unsaturated fats such as olive and sunflower oils are better for your body.
Be mindful of your sugar, salt and saturated fat content – eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure, increasing your risk of stroke and heart disease. High cholesterol equally raises your risk of heart disease, as can too much sugar in your diet, which also increases inflammation in your body and can lead to tooth decay and obesity.
Make sure to keep hydrated, another important factor to staying healthy and feeling at your best – aim for 6-8 glasses of water per day. This is especially important after your Osteopathy appointment, to avoid dehydrated, achy muscles and benefit fully from your treatment.
If you are normally fit and well but are concerned about your health, get in touch with your GP or book an appointment with your local osteopath who can refer you to a nutritionist if they feel it is necessary.