Sharon Courtney - Lidl Brand Ambassador Lecturer (DKIT & ITB), Sport Nutritionist & Monaghan, LGFA player with 3 All-Stars shares her top tips for eating well, and ensuring your body gets enough of what it needs.
Protein is an essential nutrient in the diet. It is needed to build connective tissue, cell membranes and muscle cells and this is important regardless if we are physically active or not. Protein is used in many vital processes and thus needs to be consistently replaced. Exercising individuals require extra protein and this is dependent on the type and amount of activity they do. A little bit of protein goes a long way and with a well-planned diet we can get sufficient protein from the diet alone. Many people typically turn to meat, poultry and dairy products to obtain protein. These food sources are of high value due to the protein in the food containing all the essential amino acids required to build muscle tissue. Plant foods such as bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal, legumes, lentils and nuts also contribute significant amounts of protein to the overall diet. These protein sources are incomplete and are missing some important amino acids. It is important to mix these incomplete proteins together to ensure adequate amino acid balance. Mixing and matching foods is a good way to team up protein, carbohydrate and other nutrients. Ideally, a mixture of protein sources should be included in the diet, and distributed at each meal and snack over the day, to ensure the full complement of amino acids is consumed on a regular basis.
The new year is a great time to start a new healthy regime, whether it be choosing to eat better or become more physically active Lidl has you covered. Eating well is very important. It can help us to feel good about ourselves, give us the energy to do everyday tasks, and help us to maintain a healthy weight. In the long-term, a healthy balanced diet can reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. A simple improvement / target that could be made is to ensure that you eat the recommended 5 – 7 portions of fruit and veg per day. Stocking up on a variety of fruit and veg when doing your weekly shop in Lidl will make it easier to hit this target. The benefits of physical activity for our physical, mental and social health are huge. Being active is beneficial to our heart, lungs, muscles and bones, as well our mood and stress levels. It is important to invest in good sports gear, not only will it make you feel more confident in your training, but it can also have a role to play in your performance – Lidl have some great value sports gear in store which will help you tick this box. Finally, if you don’t want to make the commitment of joining a gym etc. why not pick up some pieces of fitness equipment in Lidl that will allow you exercise at home when it suits you.