Wellness Week 2017 is running across our restaurants this week for our June health event. Overall wellbeing comes from paying attention to different aspects of your health and we want our food to help you do that. The food you put into your body has a direct impact on all its functions. That’s why our message this month is to look after your Gut, Mental, Heart and Physical health.
You are what you eat, digest and absorb. If your gut is not equipped to deal with the food you put into it, the absorption of nutrients will not work at its optimum. The gut houses billions of different bacteria that help to digest food. These little beings can be given a leg up by consuming prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the tummy and can be found in onions, bananas, artichokes and natural yoghurt. Probiotics are found in a supplement form and can help to repopulate the gut microbiome, important if experiencing digestion problems or after a course of antibiotics. Since much of the immune system is found in the gut, healthy and happy bacteria is important for a strong immune system also.
The diet affects mental health as the gut is directly linked to the brain. This is easy to understand if you transport yourself back to anytime you felt nervous. When you feel nervous, it is felt in the gut as “butterflies in the tummy”. There is now emerging science that diet can be used in addition to other therapies to help with feelings of sadness. Increase your happy hormones by eating whole foods like fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
Heart disease is Ireland’s number 1 killer and is a preventable disease through healthy diet and lifestyle. Despite this, heart disease and stroke is projected to rise by 40% by 2020. Reduce your risk by keeping your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Increase plant based foods like wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables and decrease your consumption of animal based foods such as butter, cream and red and processed meats. This will help to increase fibre and decrease fat in the diet and help to keep blood vessels clean and supple. (P.S. junk food should also be kept to a minimum).
Exercise is essential for the mind, body and soul. It can reduce your risk of chronic disease and support a positive mindset. To help make time for exercise in our busy lives, it is important to fuel yourself with energy sustaining foods. Choose high fibre foods such as wholegrains and pack your diet with vegetables and a small amount of lean protein. Nuts and seeds are good snacks as they are rich in fibre, protein and fat to sustain your energy for longer.
Happy Wellness Week!