Don't have time for breakfast?
Eat fast food?
Tend to skip meals?
Good nutrition can help you juggle your busy work, home and social life. The way you eat can affect your mental agility in a number of ways.
Smart food strategies
Get enough dietary iron - work productivity and attention is lower in women with iron deficiency. Almost half of Irish women aged between 18 and 50 have inadequate iron intakes*. Lean red meat is one of the best sources of easily absorbed iron. Try to include it in your diet three to four times a week.
Eat breakfast - studies show that even in young healthy adults with reasonable diets, eating breakfast helps them to address a problem more creatively.
Eat smaller meals - large meals can make you feel over full and tired.
Avoid crash diets - very low energy diets can cause memory and attention problems and lead to poor reaction times.
Keep well hydrated - drink water frequently throughout the day to help prevent dehydration.
*Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance 2001 www.iuna.net
Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas
You don't have to be a great cook or spend a lot of time in the kitchen to prepare quick and easy meals which are high fibre, low in fat, and full of vital vitamins and minerals. Some processed foods and ready meals can be high in salt and fat.
Try these simple ideas:
- A grilled steak or chop with some potatoes and salad couldn't be much easier and is ready in minutes.
- Beef stir fry is a great way to use all sorts of vegetables, it is high in iron too!
- Make your own ready to eat meals by cooking extra bolognaise, stews and casseroles in advance and freezing for another day.
The more active you are, the easier you will find it to cope with the demands of your day:
- Try to walk to work.
- Aim to maintain a healthy body weight for your height.
- Take the stairs rather than the lift
- Try to get outside for a short walk during your lunch break
- Include some form of activity at the weekends
Lean red meat is low in fat and contributes to a healthy, balanced diet.
The fat content of lean red meat is similar to that of chicken.
The iron in red meat can be absorbed up to seven times more easily that the iron in vegetables, cereals, fruits or nuts.
About half the fat in lean red meat is unsaturated fat (better for your heart).
Red meat is a good source of vitamin A and the B group vitamins as well as iron, zinc, copper potassium, phosphate and magnesium - all essential for a healthy body.