So now that everyone is hopefully staying active and sleeping well after our last two posts, let’s get into the next topic: Nutrition.
A good, healthy and balanced diet has many benefits for not only our body composition, but also plays an important role in strengthening our immune systems and improving our body’s ability to heal and recover. This can in turn help to protect you from chronic diseases and infectious diseases, such as the current COVID-19 virus. Having an unhealthy diet may lead to deficiencies in certain nutrients which puts an individual at higher risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. A diet consisting of fresh food and unprocessed foods provides the body with the necessary nutrients that are required.
- Include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, etc)
Daily portion recommendations:
2 cups of fruit
2.5 cups of vegetables
180 g grains
160 g meat and beans (red meat 1-2 times/week and poultry or fish 2-3 times/week)
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
- Eat moderate amounts of healthy fats and oils
- Eat less sugar and salt
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states, “that physical activity, athletic performance, and recovery from exercise are enhanced by optimal nutrition.” Athletes should track the amount of energy that they are expanding daily and replace this energy with a balanced diet consisting of:
- Carbohydrates – providing energy and maintaining blood sugar levels which are vital for athletic performance, especially in high intensity, anaerobic athletes
- Fat – Essential for athletic performance, health and growth and an energy source especially for aerobic athletes
- Protein – Needed for the growth, repair and maintenance of muscles.
Now that most fast food restaurants are closed, this is a great time to start working on our healthy eating habits to strengthen our bodies and immune systems.
Eat Well, Sleep Well, Be Well!