Eat For Tomorrow

by Andre Frois
02 Nov 2017

Follow these golden rules, or at least try to, to enjoy more energy throughout your day

Bosses have good reason to be invested in what workers consume. A fifth of the calories you consume go to your brain. Recent studies have concluded that working adults are 20 per cent more productive if they eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables at least four times a week, and highlighted that employees who exercise regularly and eat healthily are a third less likely to be absent from work.


Go With the Flow

Hydration is a vital aspect of nutrition; often overlooked, it has become a trending troublemaker. "Hydration is an aspect that is crucial to body functions, and is often overlooked," elaborates Dr. Eve Anwar, a physician with the OneCare Medical Group in Singapore. Problems such as lethargy, irregular bowel movement, or even bad breath may be resolved by drinking more water.

"The symptoms of dehydration include headaches, tiredness and decreased productivity," warns Dr. Tan Ker Fern. "We should minimize excess sugar and salt intake," Dr. Anwar advises. "And avoid caffeine, alcohol, sodas and sweetened fruit drinks. Instead, opt for water and ensure that your body is getting eight glasses of water a day." Our bodies are about six to seven tenths water after all, and the percentage gradually decreases as we get older.


Super Salvos

"Several superfoods are getting mostly deserved acclaim," Dr. Tan explains. "There is scientific evidence behind some of these, including açai, chia seeds, and spirulina. Açai has been shown to improve cellular antioxidant enzymes and decrease oxidative damage. It also has been shown to improve vascular function in overweight men, reduce muscle stress, and improve effort tolerance in athletes," he shares.

Dr. Tan also notes that chia seeds have been shown to improve adiposity (body fat percentage) in lab animals, as well as normalize high triacylglycerolaemia (the lack of fat) and insulin resistance. "Chia seeds have also been shown to have good antioxidant activity and to improve liver and intestinal structure in animal studies," he says.

"Spirulina has also been shown to have antioxidant property; it can modulate the immune system, and also reduce inflammation," he discloses. "There have been some studies suggesting potential chemoprevention of certain cancers."

Dr. Anwar adds, "Superfoods like chia seeds are now in vogue, as well as natural food rich in anti-oxidants, such as berries and kale. All these superfoods are great food choices and should form part of the variety of foods that makes up your balanced diet."

"If one is on a well-balanced diet with a good variety of foods from each nutrient type, there is little need for supplements." - Dr. Eve Anwar

A Balancing Act

"I'd recommend a moderate and well-balanced diet as a first approach," Dr. Anwar says. A good variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and healthy protein sources forms the basis of any good food plan.

"If one is on a well-balanced diet with a good variety of foods from each nutrient type, there is little need for supplements. Only certain medical conditions and special dietary restrictions require specific supplements, and are best discussed with a doctor to determine what best suits the requirement. Inappropriate supplements from non-approved sources can have a deleterious effect on health."

"Of the several diets being studied, the most extensively researched has been the Mediterranean diet," highlights Dr. Tan. "It has been consistently shown to decrease metabolic syndrome, increase cancer resistance, and improve longevity. Its concept is simple: Eat more bread, cereals, legumes, potatoes, vegetables, fruits nuts, fish, wine and vegetable oils; eat less milk, cheese, meat, eggs, animal fats and margarines, sweet beverages, cakes, pies, cookies and sugar.

"Eating plans are highly specific to an individual's age, gender, body type and specific needs, such as weight loss, increasing muscle mass, or specific medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol or gout," Dr. Anwar explains.

"In general, I encourage a diet based on whole foods with minimal processing, preservatives, and additives. A variety of foods from each food type ensures that the body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs. Eating regularly, and paying attention to meal portion sizes are also important," she divulges. "If you have specific dietary requirements or are planning to embark on a lifestyle change, speak to your doctor to plan a diet that suits your needs to help your body stay healthy and functioning optimally."

For the latest Special Report stories, click here