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Nutritional Tips

It is important to eat at regular intervals, ideally every 3-5 hours as this helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to stay well hydrated and eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day for general health.

Beware the hidden fat foods which are normally those tasty party foods quiche, sausages, pork pie, salami, and dips are some examples. Of course biscuits, cakes and desserts should also be kept to a minimum and only eaten as a special treat.

When you buy yogurt, go for low 'live bio' versions. These help to restore the 'good' bacteria that aid digestion.

Bread, potatoes and pasta are all carbohydrate foods that have received bad press in the past. On their own, these foods do not make you fat. However, if you have a big cheese sandwich, knob of butter on your potato (or have chips), or make a rich cream sauce for the pasta you will increase the amount of fat you are eating.

Alcohol taken in moderation can be beneficial to health, but if you are watching your weight, it is relevant to know that the calories from alcohol cannot be used as fuel for exercise, nor do they provide any vitamins, minerals or fibre.

The butter vs. margarine debate continues to rage. The best advice is not to eat a lot of either, but to eat a little of both. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is ideal for salads and Canola oil for cooking.

Dairy products are a high source of fat and cholesterol, BUT they do provide us with other beneficial nutrients. The best approach is to buy "low fat" versions of milk, cheese, yogurt etc. as they will provide you with all the nutrients without the fat element.

It is not necessary to cut meat out of your diet. Instead, buy the leaner cuts and trim off any fat. It is also recommended to eat oily fish (tuna, mackerel and herrings) at least 3 times a week as they contain the beneficial Omega 3 oil.

Finally, whoever said "a little of what you fancy does you good" was probably right - exercise moderation in all things and you cannot go too far wrong. It is not what you eat between Christmas and New Year that makes the difference but rather what you eat between New Year and Christmas.

Immunity for athletes

Hamilton (2004)[1] provided the following advice for athletes wishing to maintain maximum immunity:

Carbohydrate intake - The normal diet should provide ample carbohydrate at all times, accounting for 60% or more of total calories. Low-carbohydrate diets such as Atkins or Zone should be avoided. For longer (90-plus minutes) or very intense sessions, 500-l,000mls of carbohydrate drink containing 60g of carbohydrate per litre should be ingested every hour.

Diet quality - Immunity can be adversely affected by any number of nutrient deficiencies. Athletes should ensure that their diet is rich in whole unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables, contains adequate high-quality sources of protein and is low in fatty, sugary, fast or processed food. A broad-spectrum multi-vitamin/mineral supplement may be beneficial in preventing a nutrient shortfall, but large doses of any single nutrient should be avoided as this could create imbalances leading to impaired immunity.

Vitamin C - The evidence is too mixed for a firm recommendation but, given its low toxicity and cost, athletes wishing to take a modest supplement (200-l,000mgs per day) have little to lose;

Glutamine - Although beneficial in the clinical setting, there's little hard evidence that it offers immune protection to athletes;

Echinacea - Athletes who contract a URTI may find that taking a standardised echinacea preparation shortens its duration. However, while echinacea does not appear on the lOC's banned substances list for 2004, those subject to drug testing should be aware that all herbs contain a number of biologically active ingredients which, under certain circumstances, may inadvertently produce a positive result;

Probiotics - Although the early indications are promising, very little data exists on the benefits of probiotics for athletes. Foods like live yogurt and other fermented products can be included in the diet if desired, especially as they are also rich in other nutrients; indeed, they are recommended after antibiotic treatment. To date there is insufficient evidence of the benefits of supplementing the diet with probiotics, although this may change in the near future;

Lifestyle- Athletes should ensure they get plenty of sleep and relaxation, minimising fatigue and emotional stress where possible. Good hygiene is also important, with regular hand washing recommended to reduce the risk of transferring virus particles to the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat.

Seven things not to do after eating

  • Do not smoke - Experiments from experts proves that smoking a cigarette after meal is comparable to smoking 10 cigarettes (chances of cancer is higher)
  • Do not eat fruits immediately - Immediately eating fruits after meals will cause stomach to be bloated with air. Therefore eat fruit 1 to 2 hours after meal or 1 hour before meal
  • Do not drink tea - Because tea leaves contain a high content of acid. This substance will cause the Protein content in the food we consume to be hardened thus difficult to digest
  • Do not loosen your belt - Loosening the belt after a meal will easily cause the intestine to be twisted blocked
  • Do not bathe - Bathing will cause the increase of blood flow to the hands, legs & body thus the amount of blood around the stomach will therefore decrease. This will weaken the digestive system in our stomach
  • Do not walk about - People always say that after a meal walk a hundred steps and you will live till 99. In actual fact this is not true. Walking will cause the digestive system to be unable to absorb the nutrition from the food we intake
  • Do not sleep immediately - The food we intake will not be able to digest properly. Thus will lead to gastric and infection in our intestine.

Potential benefits of some foods

Food Potential Benefits
Apples
  • Protects your heart
  • Prevents constipation
  • Blocks diarrhea
  • Improves lung capacity
  • Cushions joints
Apricots
  • Combats cancer
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Saves your eyesight
  • Shields against Alzheimers
  • Slows ageing process
Artichokes
  • Aids digestion
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Protects your heart
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Guards against liver disease
Avocados
  • Battles diabetes
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Smooths skin
Bananas
  • Protects your heart
  • Quiets a cough
  • Strengthens bones
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Blocks diarrhea
Beans
  • Prevents constipation
  • Helps hemorrhoids
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Combats cancer
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
Beets
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Combats cancer
  • Strengthens bones
  • Protects your heart
  • Aids weight loss
Blueberries
  • Combats cancer
  • Protects your heart
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Boosts memory
  • Prevents constipation
Broccoli
  • Strengthens bones
  • Saves eyesight
  • Combats cancer
  • Protects your heart
  • Controls blood pressure
Cabbage
  • Combats cancer
  • Prevents constipation
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Protects your heart
  • Helps hemorrhoids
Cantaloupe
  • Saves eyesight
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Combats cancer
  • Supports immune system
Carrots
  • Saves eyesight
  • Protects your heart
  • Prevents constipation
  • Combats cancer
  • Promotes weight loss
Cauliflower
  • Protects against Prostate Cancer
  • Combats Breast Cancer
  • Strengthens bones
  • Banishes bruises
  • Guards against heart disease
Cherries
  • Protects your heart
  • Combats Cancer
  • Ends insomnia
  • Slows ageing process
  • Shields against Alzheimers
Chestnuts
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Protects your heart
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Combats Cancer
  • Controls blood pressure
Chili peppers
  • Aids digestion
  • Soothes sore throat
  • Clears sinuses
  • Combats Cancer
  • Boosts immune system
Figs
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Combats Cancer
  • Controls blood pressure
Fish
  • Protects your heart
  • Boosts memory
  • Combats Cancer
  • Supports immune system
Flax
  • Aids digestion
  • Battles diabetes
  • Protects your heart
  • Improves mental health
  • Boosts immune system
Garlic
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Combats cancer
  • Kills bacteria
  • Fights fungus
Grapefruit
  • Protects against heart attacks
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Combats Prostate Cancer
  • Lowers cholesterol
Grapes
  • Saves eyesight
  • Conquers kidney stones
  • Combats cancer
  • Enhances blood flow
  • Protects your heart
Green tea
  • Combats cancer
  • Protects your heart
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Kills bacteria
Honey
  • Heals wounds
  • Aids digestion
  • Guards against ulcers
  • Increases energy
  • Fights allergies
Lemons
  • Combats cancer
  • Protects your heart
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Smooths skin
  • Stops scurvy
Limes
  • Combats cancer
  • Protects your heart
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Smooths skin
  • Stops scurvy
Mangoes
  • Combats cancer
  • Boosts memory
  • Regulates thyroid
  • Aids digestion
  • Shields against Alzheimers
Mushrooms
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Kills bacteria
  • Combats cancer
  • Strengthens bones
Oats
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Combats cancer
  • Battles diabetes
  • Prevents constipation
  • Smooths skin
Olive oil
  • Protects your heart
  • Promotes Weight loss
  • Combats cancer
  • Battles diabetes
  • Smooths skin
Onions
  • Reduce risk of heart attack
  • Combats cancer
  • Kills bacteria
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Fights fungus
Oranges
  • Supports immune systems
  • Combats cancer
  • Protects your heart
  • Straightens respiration
Peaches
  • Prevents constipation
  • Combats cancer
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Aids digestion
  • Helps hemorrhoids
Peanuts
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Promotes Weight loss
  • Combats Prostate Cancer
  • Lowers cholesterol
Pineapple
  • Strengthens bones
  • Relieves colds
  • ids digestion
  • Dissolves warts
  • Blocks diarrhea
Prunes
  • Slows ageing process
  • Prevents constipation
  • Boosts memory
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Protects against heart disease
Rice
  • Protects your heart
  • Battles diabetes
  • Conquers kidney stones
  • Combats cancer
  • Helps stops strokes
Strawberries
  • Combats cancer
  • Protects your heart
  • Boosts memory
  • Calms stress
Sweet potatoes
  • Saves your eyesight
  • Lifts mood
  • Combats cancer
  • Strengthens bones
Tomatoes
  • Protects prostate
  • Combats cancer
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Protects your heart
Walnuts
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Combats cancer
  • Boosts memory
  • Lifts mood
  • Protects against heart disease
Water
  • Promotes Weight loss
  • Combats cancer
  • Conquers kidney stones
  • Smooths skin
Watermelon
  • Protects prostate
  • Promotes Weight loss
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Controls blood pressure
Wheat germ
  • Combats Colon Cancer
  • Prevents constipation
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Improves digestion
Wheat bran
  • Combats Colon Cancer
  • Prevents constipation
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps stops strokes
  • Improves digestion
Yogurt
  • Guards against ulcers
  • Strengthens bones
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Supports immune systems
  • Aids digestion


References

  1. HAMILTON, A. (2004) Strategies to boost your natural immunity and keep infection and effects of exercise stress at bay. Peak Performance, 194, p. 8-11

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • VIRGILIO, S. J. (2006)  Active start for healthy kids: activities, exercises, and nutritional tips. Human Kinetics

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (1999) Nutritional Tips [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/nutrips.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

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