Tips, advice and easy to follow recipes, updated monthly, along with loads of other fun and interesting foody facts.
Eating well is essential for good health and wellbeing, and contributes to reducing the risk of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers and osteoporosis. When it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the key to getting it right.
This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Preserve your muscles and bones with tomatoes’ high potassium levels. Potassium helps keep your blood pressure at the right level by widening your blood vessels. Tomatoes are also high in lycopene’s which support men’s prostate health.
Onions are high in vitamin C, which is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.
Cheese is a rich source of protein that is key for keeping your muscle bulk and repairing any damage to your body.
Go easy on the portion. Get the benefits of calcium, zinc and vitamins A and B12 too with a thumb sized slice as a portion. This ensures the fat and saturated fat that makes cheese high calorie and a health risk is kept down.
Kidney beans are a double provider of fibre. They give us insoluble fibre which is the best mix for good digestion. They also contain prebiotics which allows the good bacteria in your bowel to make useful nutrients.
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C which is important for us to heal, absorb iron, and have good immunity. They are naturally low in fat and stick to boiled or mashed, jacket or wedges and use only a little oil or spread to keep all the benefits.
Mushrooms give us zinc and selenium. These powerful antioxidants support our immune system and prevent damage to our cells and tissues. Mushrooms are one of the few vegetarian sources of vitamin D which is important for our bone health.
Fight off superbugs with superfoods. Include these foods regularly as part of a healthy diet to sail through winter feeling strong and germ-proof.
Highly Hydrating Facts
- We get 20% of the water we need from food You can survive weeks without food but only days without water
- Fill your water bottle and take it with you
- Do your bit for our planet and choose a reusable bottle
- The Human body is nearly two thirds water
- Drinking enough water each day can help reduce heart disease and cancer – water helps flush toxins out of the body
- Adults need to drink at least 6-8 glasses of fluid per day
- Although water is the best source of fluid, milk, fruit juice, tea and coffee count
- Drinking enough keeps you alert and able to concentrate so you are at your best
- Cucumbers are 95% water – slice them up and chuck them on sandwiches, salads, or infuse them in water to stay hydrated!
More hydrating facts and tips
Make your own hydrating ice lollies
|Pick fruits that have high water content like these watermelon or strawberries.
The good, the bad and the ugly - facts on fats
Research shows some types of fat and eating too much fat can lead to heart disease. Some fats are good for you and keep you and your heart healthy. It’s all about finding the balance.
Eat more of these [Good fats]
- Use olive oil for cooking and dressings
- Eat mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, fresh tuna once a week
- Add a handful of walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin or flax seeds to your morning bowl of cereal or to replace a less healthy snack
Eat less of these [Bad fats]
See if there’s any you can swap them for from the list above, or have them less often.
- butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil
- cakes and biscuits
- fatty cuts of meat
- sausages and burgers
- bacon, salami, chorizo and pancetta
- pastries, like pies, quiches, sausage rolls and croissants
- cream, crème fraîche and sour cream
- ice cream
- coconut milk
- milk shakes
- chocolate and chocolate spreads
Salmon with spring onion mash
Delicious, and a winner with the family. Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fats, good for you heart and cholesterol.
Easy to make fishcakes.
Get the kids involved.
Mackerel contains vitamin D which is good for our bones.
|Research shows red meat: beef, pork and lamb are linked to heart disease as they are high in saturated fat.
A quarter of the bad fats we eat come from meat or meat products.
The benefits of red meat
Iron and vitamin B12 to keep nerve and red blood cells healthy. Zinc for the immune system and protein which helps build bones and muscles.
- Choose leaner meat such as 5% mince, trim visible fat
- Opt for lower fat burgers and sausages
- Bacon, ham, chorizo and pancetta are cured so eat occasionally
[Recommended intake - Men 2 palm sized pieces / Women 1 palm sized piece for a main meal]
Super stew and dumplings
Traditional and tasty - who knew this could be good for you!
A good source or iron, with vitamin C in the mash to help your body absorb the iron better.
Sausage and mash with a twist.
Lean beef is a good source of zinc to keep up your immunity and fight off winter germs.
Good nutrition can protect your mental health
Grapes contain antioxidants needed in the body which have mood enhancing properties, prevents tiredness and helps with memory loss.
Sweet potatoes are extremely high in vitamin B6 which is known to improve depressive symptoms. It is also rich in fibre which can assist with weight loss as you feel full for longer, keeping your body satisfied and making you feel good.
Brazil nuts contain high levels of the mineral selenium which plays an important role in mood and behaviour and prevents depressive symptoms.
Bananas contain serotonin which is a hormone in the brain known to control your mood. They also have properties to aid sleep which overall, improves your wellbeing.
Oatsallow energy to release more slowly into the blood stream, keeping blood sugar levels and mood more stable.
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g rolled porridge oats
- 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
- 50g mixed berries (try frozen)
- Drizzle of honey (optional)
The night before serving, stir the cinnamon and 100ml water (or milk) into your oats with a pinch of salt.
The next day, loosen with a little more water (or milk) if needed. Top with the yoghurt, berries, and drizzle of honey if wished.
Research shows the omega 3 oils found in oily fish can help to reduce depression rates. Include 2-4 portions of oily fish per week (just two if you are pregnant or breastfeeding).
Oily fish are salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, fresh tuna and trout.
If you don't like fish you may decide to take an omega 3 supplement. If so, choose a fish body oil (these do not contain vitamin A) rather than fish liver oils. Too much vitamin A is stored in the liver and can build up to toxic levels. Make sure it has lots of the active ingredients - eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Take up to 1g/day of these essential fatty acids.
Vegetarian/vegan supplements are available.
Poached salmon and bacon
- 2 skinless salmon fillets (about 8 ounces each)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 2 slices bacon, sliced into ⅓-inch strips
- 1 courgette, cut into half-moons
- 7 ounces broccoli, any bigger stalks sliced in half lengthwise
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Finely grated Parmesan, to serve
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Carefully slide the salmon fillets into the water and reduce the heat to just simmering.
Poach the fish for 10 minutes or until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the fish out of the water and drain well.
While the fish is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the bacon for 1 minute, then add the courgette and broccoli and fry for another minute.
Throw in the cherry tomatoes and cook for another minute or until the tomatoes start to burst open and leak some of their delicious juices. Add the spinach and let it wilt down, then season with a little salt and a generous amount of pepper.
Divide the bacon and vegetable mixture between two plates, top with the poached salmon, and finish with a scattering of pine nuts. Serve with a little finely grated Parmesan.
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cook: Pan
- Level: Easy
- Serves: 2
Help and advice
Eat 3 regular meals
Would you expect your car to run without fuel?
In the same way your brain will work properly with regular and the right mix of foods.
Your brain can only use glucose as fuel. Therefore, a steady supply of carbohydrates from the yellow food group is essential. The body breaks these down to produce glucose. Choose from cereals, rice, potatoes, bread and pasta.
Get the right balance of fats
Our brains are made of around 40% fat. A supply of unsaturated fat is needed to maintain our brains and body cells.
- Find unsaturated fats in olive oil or rapeseed oil. Small amounts are great to cook with.
- Nuts and seeds are useful snacks or cereal toppers.
- While increasing unsaturated fats decrease trans fats. These are harmful to the brain structure and heart. Trans fats are found in processed and packaged foods such as burgers, sausages, takeaway foods, ready meals, pre-packed cakes and biscuits.
- Instead use fresh foods and ingredients whenever you can.
Include some protein at every meal
Tryptophan is one of the building blocks of protein. It has been shown to play a role in depression. Make sure that your diet contains tryptophan by ensuring you eat protein with each meal.
- Fresh meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, low fat cheese, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans are the best sources of protein.
- Fill around a quarter of your plate with protein such as:
Cereal and banana with a cup of milk.
A sandwich with a slice of lean meat or fish, chopped fruit and a pot of yoghurt
Pasta with lean mince or Quorn and vegetables
Picnic pick me ups
Cheese is a good picnic food because it contains calcium which helps strengthen your bones and teeth- 1 portion size is about the length of your thumb
Cooked chicken is a great picnic food because it contains protein which helps maintain your strength and helps your body repair itself. It is also a good source of iron.
Mixed vegetable stick snacks are loaded with vitamins which keep your body energized and help to fight illness
Tortilla wraps contain carbohydrates which is what your body uses for energy. Go for the whole meal versions to add more fiber
Boiled eggs make a good item for a picnic because they are rich in vitamin D. This helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and these nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C which helps your body function properly and fight off coughs and colds.
Sweet chilli chicken wraps – serves 2
- 100g raw chicken breast or pre-cooked chicken
- Sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tortilla wraps
- Quarter of a lettuce
- If using raw chicken: turn on the hob and heat up a pan
- Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces then put into the pan and cook through
- Chop the lettuce up
- Open up the wraps and layer them with the lettuce. Divide the chicken up into the 2 wraps
- Put the sweet chilli sauce on top, then fold the wraps up and serve
Traffic light vegetable sticks
- 3 large carrots
- Half a cucumber
- Half a pepper
- Get a clean knife and chopping board
- Slice each carrots down the middle (length ways) so it halves them, and then do the same again down the halves.
- Slice the cucumber into sticks
- Then slice the pepper into sticks
- Put a little bit of water in your container to keep them juicy
Eat these to keep up energy levels and keep the party going!
Eat wholegrain rice to provide the B vitamins needed to unlock all the energy from you food.
Peppers are packed with vitamin C. New research shows vitamin C reduces fatigue and boosts performance.
Sweetcorn is magnesium rich which is great to activate your energy cycle, to release energy into your body. It’s full of vitamin C too so a double energy boost.
Calcium is needed for cells to produce energy properly. Include calcium rich foods such as natural or low sugar yoghurt every day.
Energy boosting carbohydrate combined with fibre, potassium and vitamin B6. A fantastic energy food that research shows improves endurance exercise.
Get lasting energy with sweet potatoes due to their complex carbohydrates and fibre. Sweet potatoes are a great source of manganese too which helps your body break down nutrients to release more energy.