Health tip of the week

Try to plan ahead and take healthy snacks to work

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Health | Cancer -

By mid-af­ter­noon, most work­ers will be­gin to crave a lit­tle some­thing to keep pangs of hunger at bay or even to brighten their mood as the work­ing day rou­tine can get a lit­tle mo­not­o­nous.

But while most of us start the day with good in­ten­tions, when the three o’clock slump comes around, the lure of the vend­ing ma­chine can be too great.

This is why it is im­por­tant to plan ahead and in­stead of try­ing to ig­nore a rum­bling tummy all af­ter­noon, make sure you are pre­pared by bring­ing a se­lec­tion of fruit and veg­eta­bles from home.

It only takes a few min­utes to chop car­rots, ap­ples or cu­cum­ber or even peel and slice some juicy fruit and pop in a con­tainer – and if time is tight, just take the fruit whole, it will taste just as nice.

Dr Cliodhna Fo­ley Nolan, direc­tor of Safe­food Ire­land, says not only does bring­ing fresh fruit or veg­eta­bles to work help break the cy­cle of reach­ing for a choco­late bar, but the added nu­tri­tion can have a very pos­i­tive ef­fect on your over­all health.

“Strong ev­i­dence shows that fruits and veg­eta­bles con­sumed in the daily diet can help re­duce the risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease, stroke and many types of can­cer,” she says. “In 2014, re­search in the UK showed how small changes could po­ten­tially im­pact on health at a pop­u­la­tion level. A small re­duc­tion of trans-fats by 0.5 per cent and from sat­u­rated fat by 1 per cent, salt con­sump­tion by 1g per day, and an in­crease in fruit and veg­etable con­sump­tion by just one por­tion per day could re­sult in ap­prox­i­mately 12,500 fewer car­dio­vas­cu­lar deaths.”

And while this news should be in­cen­tive enough to bring a fruit med­ley to work, we can and do slip up – but psy­chol­o­gist Peadar Maxwell says we must keep on go­ing.

“Most peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence set­backs and that’s nor­mal so when this hap­pens re­mind your­self of your goal, and get back up again.”

Health Tip of the Week is spon­sored by Pfizer as part of its Healthy Town ini­tia­tive. Ev­ery year Pfizer se­lects a town to take part in a unique ini­tia­tive aimed at show­ing you – no mat­ter what age you are – sim­ple steps to im­prove your health. irish­times.com/spon­sored/ healthy-town

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