Health tip of the week
Try to plan ahead and take healthy snacks to work
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