With summer on the doorstep, we asked Nutrition student Susanna for her advice on eating and feeling well over the holidays. Here are her top tips and recipes for making the most of your break.
Lots of us want to get in shape and may be exercising regularly over the summer, but consuming nutritious foods is also vital for feeling good. Exercise alone is not as effective as maintaining a healthy and balanced diet alongside regular physical activity. Healthy eating should be a priority, not only for the short-term benefits, but also for lessening the risk of developing diseases later in life. Many students tend to choose convenience foods, but eating healthy isn’t all that difficult with the help of vitamin-charged fruit and veggies to keep you fighting-fit!
An example of an accessible “superfood” is the avocado – known as the Mediterranean “Alligator Pear”, this fruit is jammed packed with goodness. They are not expensive to purchase and have a long shelf life, so don’t be afraid to stock up! With nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in each serving, avocados are a good source of vitamin B, which helps your body fight off disease and infection. Other benefits of this fruit are that they are good for the skin and help to look after the heart.
The best thing about avocados is that they can be added to lots of recipes. Here are a few cheap ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Mash up one boiled egg and one avocado, mix the two together and spread on some wholemeal toast or a bagel.
It’s as simple as that! This is a perfect post-workout meal as it contains plenty of protein for your body. Also, avocados contain fibre, which helps us feel fuller for longer and makes us less likely to snack and spoil all that hard work at the gym.
A.B.C. Smoothie (Avocado Banana Coconut)
A great way of obtaining your ‘5 a day’ is through a smoothie. This recipe provides plenty of goodness and all you need to do simply blend the following together:
- ½ cup coconut water (or almond milk)
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 ripe banana, peeled
- ½ medium avocado, peeled
- 4-5 ice cubes
As well as the advantages of eating avocados, the health benefits of spinach include restoring energy, increasing vitality and improving the oxygen-carrying quality of the blood. These benefits are due to the high iron content of spinach, which improves the function of red blood cells that transport oxygen around the body. Furthermore, adding a banana to your daily diet can help keep your bowels healthy, and provide nutrients that regulate heart rhythm.
This guilt free recipe is great for those with a sweet tooth who want to replace their usual dessert with something a little healthier.
- 1 ripe banana, peeled and frozen
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon of honey
Simply blend together, add crushed almonds on top and chill in the fridge.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard work – in fact, it can be enjoyable! The best part is feeling the difference in your body after you’ve tried eating healthily for a while. It takes about 3 weeks for your body to adapt to dietary changes, so it requires a bit of determination but it will pay off. Why not give it a go?