The winning recipe for a healthy lifestyle includes a combination of both good nutrition and physical activity. Your body needs a variety of nutrient rich foods to grow and prevent illness. And your body also needs to move and exercise every day.
Key things you need to know about leading a healthy lifestyle are:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grain products
- Control portion sizes and never "supersize"
- Get active for at least 60 minutes, five times a week for ages 6-18
- Avoid tobacco and illegal drugs all together
Well-nourished students have higher test scores, increased school attendance, improved concentration, and improved classroom behavior. Students, who are physically fit, sleep better and are better able to handle the physical and emotional challenges that they encounter during the day.
Good nutrition has a positive and direct impact on your ability to do well in school. When your nutritional needs are met, you have the cognitive energy to learn and achieve. You will be better prepared to learn, more likely to attend school, and are more apt to take advantage of learning opportunities.
Protein – Choose a variety of foods with lean protein
Protein is an indispensable nutrient and can be found throughout every tissue in our body. Protein is a vital source of energy but the most important function of protein is building and repairing tissue. We also need protein for our immune function, proteins transport vitamins and minerals throughout our body.
Grains – Make half of all the grains you eat whole grains
Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides health benefits. Dietary fiber from whole grains, may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including several B vitamins, magnesium and selenium.
Vegetables – Make at least half of your plate fruits and vegetables
Eating vegetables provides health benefits — people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
Fruits – Make at least half of your plate fruits and vegetables
Eating fruit provides health benefits — people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
Dairy – Always choose fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
Milk and dairy products are especially important to bone health during school aged years, when bone mass is being built. It provides important sources of calcium, potassium and vitamin D, and help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and help to lower blood pressure in adults.