Feeding a healthy body and brain

Feeding a healthy body and brain

To ensure healthy physical development and a well-functioning brain, your diet needs to balance sources of nutrients and vitamins – as these are essential to maintaining good concentration and energy levels, in addition to ensuring healthy bones and teeth.

Focussing on your bones and teeth, it is important to understand from which food your body can obtain calcium and Vitamin D. The traditional sources of calcium are dairy products, which in present times do not work for everyone’s diets. However there are a number of calcium rich dairy alternatives available, these include almond and soya milk. Other plant based sources rich in calcium are lentils, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and nuts, for example. Beans are a great source of calcium and they also provide magnesium – which is beneficial for the body because calcium and magnesium work well together to improve absorption. Magnesium promotes muscle performance, combined with calcium in the bones and teeth they provide all round physical benefits.

The food industry has made great progress in offering dairy alternatives, which they fortify with calcium, amongst other nutrients, to provide consumers with their required daily amounts. However, did you know that if you consume an organic alternative to dairy, that the manufacturers of these organic dairy alternatives are not allowed to fortify their products in the same way? Accordingly organic dairy alternatives will not be fortified.

Consuming Vitamin D is another way in which we maintain healthy bones and teeth. However, Vitamin D is made within our bodies, through exposure to sunlight or UV rays, which of course we must be very mindful of. Public Health England has recommended taking a Vitamin D supplement in winter, to sustain the sufficient levels within our bodies. However it is worth remembering that Vitamin D can also be consumed all year round from oily fish (such as salmon) and eggs.

Concentrating for a moment now on our brains – the eight B vitamins are essential for ensuring good brain function and development. B vitamins also promote good energy levels, in addition to their benefits for the brain.

Vitamins B1 and B2 can be found in food such as fish, beans, broccoli, chicken, tomatoes, cabbage, strawberries, bananas and kidney beans. Mushrooms are a great source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B9. Also, salmon is high in a number of B vitamins, making it a great choice. B12, which is particularly good for the nervous system, is found in tuna and cottage cheese. For those of us that maintain a vegan diet, a B12 supplement may be recommended, as all natural sources of B12 are derived from animals.

It is important to understand that B Vitamins cannot be stored in the body for long, which means that we need to include food rich in B vitamins in our diet on a daily basis. 

A responsible approach to vitamins and nutrients. As a responsible caterer, Fresha has carefully selected high quality suppliers of local fresh produce to ensure our meals and menus offer high levels of vitamins and nutrients. Our chefs and certified nutritionist work together to ensure our menus are tasty and appealing, whilst providing our customers with healthy nutritious choices.

Many manufactured processed foods available today are fortified with man-made nutrients and vitamins. For example, numerous highly processed popular cereals are fortified with B Vitamins. Fresha’s selection of natural fresh ingredients ensures that our customers benefit from naturally occurring nutrients and vitamins in all of our meals and menus.  Fresha is determined to provide tasty and nutritious food that keeps our customers satisfied and healthy. To ensure high quality and health benefits, we use food preparation methods that retain as much nutritional value as possible. 

Being aware of the importance of calcium, Vitamin D and B Vitamins and ensuring that these are a regular part of your diet will inform healthy eating choices, supporting a healthy body and brain.