Nutrition and Hydration

Nutrition is about taking foods into the body and absorbing the nutrients that are required for health and growth.

Hydration is the process of replacing water in the body to levels that are necessary for it to function at it’s best. Encouraging a well-balanced, healthy diet and adequate hydration helps to maintain normal functioning of the body and prevents people from becoming run-down or unwell.

What we eat and drink is vital to our health and wellbeing and how we look, feel and function. To stay healthy, we need a diet that contains the correct balance of the following:

Carbohydrates – These provide energy for our bodily functions e.g. for our hearts to beat, our lungs to breathe and our blood to circulate. Examples of carbohydrates include bread, potatoes, rice and pasta.

Vitamins – these allow the body to absorb nutrients from food and support functions such as the immune system to keep us healthy. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins.

Minerals – These include calcium, which create strong bones, and iron, which transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Dairy foods provide us with calcium and foods such as green leafy vegetables and liver provide us with iron.

Fibre – This promotes a healthy bowel and helps to remove waste from the body. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are high in fibre.

Protein – this helps for muscles and cells to repair and be replaced. It is an important diet component for those who have been unwell or have had an injury or surgery. It can be found in dairy products, meat, fish and beans.

The Eatwell Plate has been designed by SafeFood to assist people in understanding portion sizes and foods that are good and not so good for you! How do your meals compare with the guidelines below?