A combination of poor nutrition and stress from a hectic work life can lead to fatigue, which in turn affects work performance and productivity.
More often than not, working professionals find it a struggle to find time to buy and prepare nutritionally balanced meals. It is therefore important to make every meal count by making sure you have what your body needs in each meal. In this post, Nutritionist Jean Tong from Halley Medical Aesthetics shares three tips with busy professionals on what you can do to make the most of your daily meals.
Nutrition Tip #1: Eat your breakfast
Breakfast is a meal often overlooked by the busy working professionals. Contrary to what many believe, breakfast is important because by eating first thing in the morning, you are less likely to snack on not-so-healthy treats later on in the day. You will also not overeat in your next meal.
Nutrition Tip #2: Eat according to my healthy plate
Whether you are dining at home or outside, a very useful and simple tip is to eat according to “My Healthy Plate” guidelines. “My Healthy Plate” was launched by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) to encourage healthy eating habits amongst Singaporeans. It is a simple-to-use educational visual tool designed specifically for Singaporeans, which guides us on planning a nutritiously balanced healthy meal when we dine in at home or when we are out.
The guideline advises that when eating off a plate at home or outside, fill half your plate with a variety of fruit and vegetables, a quarter of your plate with whole-grains, and the last quarter of your plate with meat and other foods. Additionally, use healthier oils such as olive and canola oils, and choose water instead of sweetened beverages.
Nutrition Tip #3: Enjoy 2+2 servings of fruit and vegetables the easy way
Include enough fruit and vegetables daily to stay in the pink of health amidst the hectic, stressful work day. A good guideline is to have two servings of fruits and two servings of vegetables a day. Examples of a serving of fruit include a small whole fruit such as an apple or a slice of cut fruit such as a wedge of papaya. A serving of vegetables includes a quarter of the round plate of cooked vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in calories, fat, and salt. To top it off, they are great sources of dietary fibre and contain an array of vitamins, minerals, as well as phytochemicals, which are natural components that offer health benefits beyond nutrition. Consumption of an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables daily improves our immunity systems. Also, extensive scientific evidence shows that people who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of many chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and cancers.
Most busy professionals will prefer to keep food preparations to a minimum. Some great ideas for incorporating fruits and vegetables into your daily diet the easy way include the following:
- Buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables.
- Purchase ready-made salad with dressings by the side.
- Store prepared fruits and vegetables in ready-to-grab places such as the refrigerator and fruit bowls.
- Have fruits and vegetables such as apples as a snack in between meals when hunger pangs strike.