1.3 How does healthy eating help me?

Why is nutrition important?

Food is fuel for your physical health  

Which of the following are ways that eating healthily can help our bodies? Eating well......

⇒  Boosts immunity.

⇒  Protects our bodies against certain types of diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

⇒  Helps prevent some types of cancer and bone conditions.

⇒  Helps keep our teeth healthy.

⇒  Helps keep our bodies a healthy weight.

Good food choices and healthy, balanced meals can help manage our weight and prevent disease.  Eating the right things can improve our health and help our bodies respond better when we are ill.  All the above are true.

Food is fuel for your mental health 

Food is linked to your mood.  Research suggests that the food we eat can help with how we cope with our feelings1, for example dealing with anxiety.

Write down some example foods that you like to eat when:

1) You are sad or stressed.

2) You have been working hard.

3) You are relaxing with friends or family at home.

Compare this with the person next to you.  What do you notice about the foods you eat when you don't feel good?

How we feel can sometimes influence what we eat, and we don’t always make good choices. 

For example, when we’re feeling stressed or sad, or when we’re busy, we might eat too much or too little.  We might also be more likely to eat snacks or ‘fast food’.  These foods are often very high in sugar, salt, or bad fat and we like to eat them because they trigger the parts of our brain that are linked to reward and pleasure.

This makes them highly addictive and can mean we eat more than the recommended amounts of sugar, salt, bad fat, and calories.

Studies have shown that eating lots of these foods is particularly bad for our health, as it increases the risk of many diseases (e.g., diabetes, heart diseases, obesity).

If we slowly reduce the amount of these foods that we eat, or replace them with healthier alternatives, we can begin to change the way our brains work.  This helps reduce how much we want them.

Food is fuel for energy and focus

True or false? Chosing the right foods can help us be safe.

A healthy, well-balanced diet can