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February Wellbeing Spotlight

This month’s wellbeing spotlight is on healthy eating and nutrition.That’s because eating a healthy, balanced diet is a key element of your wellbeing. A good diet can help to prevent diet-related illness and will give you all the energy and nutrients you need to keep active and maintain a healthy weight. If you have special dietary needs or a medical condition, speak to your GP for advice.

feb wellbeing

What is a healthy diet?

The below image is from the Eatwell Guide (a Government and NHS guide). It offers an indication of what a balanced diet could look like. Of course, your diet will depend on your tastes and dietary requirements, but this gives an indication of how to balance your meals. You can find more information on the Eatwell Guide on the NHS website.

eating well plate

Health benefits of eating well

Eating a well-balanced diet:

  • Provides you with the energy you need to keep active throughout the day
  • Provides you with the nutrients you need for growth and repair, helping you to stay strong and healthy and help to prevent diet-related illness, such as some cancers.
  • Helps you to maintain a healthy weight. You can use a BMI calculator to check whether you are at a healthy weight. If you are trying to lose weight, download the NHS Weight Loss plan, and let your GP know. It should be noted though that there are some limitations of the BMI calculator, which you can read about on the above link. If you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, results from BMI calculators do not apply. Please see more about this below.
  • Including key nutrients vitamins A, B, C and E, and zinc, iron and selenium, maintains your immune system – very important to keep you healthy during the winter.
  • Can help to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Can help to reduce your risk of heart disease by maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Can help to slow bone loss  (osteoporosis) associated with getting older

sport and exercise nutrition

The link between food and mood

Hopefully you can see from the above why healthy eating is important for our physical health. But what about the impact of what we eat on our brains and minds?

Watch this short video from the mental health charity, Mind.

If you have a few minutes more, watch this TED talk on the role of nutrition on mental health.

Read more about how to make healthier food choices on UniHub.

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