Healthy Eating and Drinking

When you eat well, you feel well.

A healthy balanced diet helps to keep up your immune system. It includes plenty of fruit, water, veggies and starchy foods – plus some dairy, meat, fish, pulses and other kinds of protein too.

There are 3 areas worth paying attention to in lockdown. These are starchy foods, staying hydrated and vitamin D.

1. Starchy Foods

Starchy stuff like potatoes, bread, rice and pasta should make up around a third of what you eat. They’re a great source of energy and essential fibre, calcium, vitamins and iron. You can also choose wholegrain versions, which usually have more vitamins and fibre.

Good examples of whole grains are brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole oats, wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholemeal bread and if you’re feeling fancy, tasty chapatti.

2. Staying Hydrated

Your body constantly loses fluid through breathing, sweating and going to the toilet. Lovely. The water you lose has to be replaced. So aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day to keep your body healthy and hydrated.

The good news is it’s not just water that counts towards hydration. Lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, are fine too. Remember to go for sugar-free options instead of sugary drinks.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’ because you produce it in your skin when exposed to sunlight. It helps to keep your bones and teeth healthy. Many people are likely spending more time indoors at the moment so might not be getting enough vitamin D.

Although vitamin D can be found in certain foods, such as oily fish and eggs, it’s difficult to get the recommended daily amount our bodies need from food alone. To make sure you’re all fully topped up on vitamin D, Food Standards Scotland recommends that you take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D, especially in the winter months. Be sure not to take a stronger supplement with more than 100 micrograms (or more than 50micrograms if you’re under 10). You can buy these easily in most supermarkets and chemists throughout Scotland.

For more information on vitamin D during isolation, visit the Food Standards Scotland website.

Handy Healthy Recipes

Need some meal inspiration? Food Standards Scotland has you covered. The Eatwell Everyday menus have yummy examples of week-long meal plans that show what a healthy balanced diet looks like. Check it out.

Head back to the Food Standards Scotland hub for more information on food safety, healthy eating tips and more.