Keeping safe from the effects of poor nutrition and hydration

Outlined below are some key points to give you a greater understanding of what your body needs to function effectively and improve your health.

DO eat regularly, this will provide your body with the nutrients it needs and may help to improve your mood, health and, in particular, your immune system.
DO drink as much fluid, water or fruit squash as possible*. Water helps the body to absorb much needed nutrients and can help reduce the discomfort of constipation and dehydration.
DO try to replace sugary foods with starchy ones such as pasta, rice, bread and cereals. If possible try to choose wholegrain varieties, these will provide your body with valuable nutrients and help to prevent constipation.
DO try to eat fruit which will help to stabilise your body’s blood sugar levels for greater periods of time than other snack foods like chocolate, cake etc.
DO try to include foods from all four food groups, breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy products and meat, fish and nuts.

DO NOT skip meals, your health may become compromised and your blood sugar levels will fluctuate which can affect your mood.
DO NOT confuse low blood sugar levels with a craving, this will result in increased drug use and continuing poor health.
DO NOT replace fluids with alcohol, these can be high in sugar which will increase your weight, deplete your body’s vitamin B levels and can affect the body’s ability to store vitamin C and iron.
• DO NOT eat a diet of fast/takeaway food, fatty or sugar rich foods. They are particularly low in vitamins and nutrient and will not help you maintain a healthy immune system.
• DO NOT consume large amounts of stimulant drinks during the evening or before you go to bed.

Try to reduce your overall intake of caffeine, this will help you get the amount of sleep your body requires.

*4 X 250 ml glasses of water per day is recommended by the Department of Health

Remember it is possible to achieve a well-balanced diet which provides essential vitamins and minerals which will contribute towards your overall health and wellbeing.

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