Did you know it’s National Nutrition Week? Well incase you didn’t, from the 11th to the 17th of October, Australia is celebrating healthy foods and raising awareness about the importance of fresh fruit and veggies which contain a vital and rich source of nutrients for a balanced and healthy diet.
Unfortunately, Australians do not eat anywhere near the recommended serve of fruit and vegetables a day, which is two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables a day.
This can be attributed to the cheap processed foods which are readily available from supermarkets and fast foods outlets.
Let’s make sure out kids don’t grow up thinking eating this way is the norm. With national weeks like National Nutritional Week, we hope to educate Australian children about healthy foods, the numerous benefits they have for their bodies and brains and how to incorporate more of them in their diet.
Have a look at the revisited Healthy Eating Pyramid from Nutrition Australia to ensure you are getting a balance of food groups in your diet each day.
Evidence supports a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can greatly improve mood and brain function. For overweight or obese kids with poor nutritional habits, they experience low energy, low moods, a lack of motivation and cannot function at their optimum.
By eating a range of nutrient dense fresh fruit and vegetables incorporated in their breakfasts, lunches and dinners, they will not only experience better moods and see an increase in their self-esteem, but will be able to experience life as an average weight child – with higher energy levels. Their ability to focus, retain information and their overall cognitive function can be improved tenfold just by giving their bodies and brains the correct nutrients and energy it needs.
To celebrate, here are 10 brain and body boosting foods:
One of the best vegetable sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Also a great source of antioxidants, B vitamins and folate.
A rich source of beta carotene which supports mood and mental wellbeing. Cantaloupe, sweet potato and red capsicums also high in beta carotene.
Good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as chromium which helps the body and brain work productively.
Packed with B6 which supports mood and energy production. One serve (half a cup) of canned chickpeas contains about 40 per cent of the recommended daily dose of B6.
A great plant source of vitamin D which helps lift mood.
All berries are packed with mood-boosting vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants and folate.
The best fruit source of Vitamin B6.
Contain tryptophan which forms the feel-good hormone serotonin and low levels of tryptophan in the brain have been linked with depressive symptoms.
One of the richest sources of the antioxidant lycopene.
High in betacarotene and B vitamins that improve mood.