WHAT MAKES A HEALTHY LUNCH?
Ever experienced a mid afternoon energy slump? – it may well have been as a result of what you ate for lunch. Make the right choice and you will be on top form all afternoon.
A healthy lunch should comprise of 5 main components which in turn contain all the nutrients to provide you with the energy you need to get through the day.
Carbohydrates in the form of bread or pasta is the main provider of this energy – wholemeal or wholegrain bread or pasta is recommended as these will provide slow release energy throughout the afternoon and are full of nutrients.
Good lean protein is also important as this too provides a slow release of energy throughout the day – so lean ham, lean chicken, egg or tuna or pulses beans such as chick peas.
It is always a good idea to add some salad leaves and salad vegetables such as cucumber or tomatoes as these are a good source of fibre to help the digestive system function effectively in the afternoon.
Fruit as part of your lunch is also recommended. A fruit salad at the end of the meal is energising and refreshing but do try to wait at least half an hour after eating your sandwich to maximise digestion.
Calcium should be eaten with every meal; a low fat yogurt is therefore an excellent choice as it is also a good form of protein.
Fluids will really help you to maintain concentration levels throughout the afternoon so make sure you have a bottle of water or a fruit juice in your lunch box.
It is important to point out that where the above are ‘energy providers’, excess sugar in the form of chocolate, cakes and carbonated drinks is an ‘energy drainer’ and may therefore cause your energy and concentration levels to fall rapidly during the afternoon.