Adolescence is a stage in life in which there is incredible growth. A teen is developing physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Their minds, hearts, and bodies are changing – and rapidly. Furthermore, the teen brain is exploding in its growth too. To best support this development, a good deal of sleep is needed (teens need up to 9.5 hours each night) as well as the right foods. This article will discuss the foods that can best promote healthy minds and bodies of adolescents.
Healthy meals should include a variety of food groups. For instance, ideally on a daily basis, a teen should be eating at least 4 servings of fruits, 5 servings of vegetables, and 4 servings of dairy products. Furthermore, consider these suggestions:
Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains: This should make up ¾ of every meal. These foods provide carbohydrates, which is primary fuel for working hard at practice. You only have a limited supply of this food source in your body so being sure to replenish this food type is essential. If you don’t, you’ll notice yourself dragging in practice.
Protein Foods: This food group should make up the other ¼ of your meal. These are foods like meats, chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, beans, and tofu. They provide amino acids, which are the building blocks for making other types of protein, and help you build muscle tissue. This food group is also a good source of iron. This is an important mineral you need to maintain your energy level.
Dairy Foods: The best recommendation for this food group is to have 3-4 servings per day. This includes milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese and ice scream. Remember to choose lower fat options as best you can. These foods provide high quality protein, carbs, calcium, and Vitamin D as well. During the growth of adolescence, you’ll be adding on 40% more bone to your body, requiring all the calcium you can get.
Fat: This is the primary muscle fuel you use during low intensity activities. Be sure to steer clear of the unhealthy versions and instead choose the healthy fats such as those found in fish, like salmon; and a variety of plant sources, such as nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils.
Drink plenty of fluids: Water is best but flavored sports drinks can be used if they do not contain a lot of sugar. This will help replace what is lost when your teen sweats during his or her physical activity. Stop drinking regular soft drinks. These drinks contain a high amount of sugar and create a high. However, after the high subsides, a low period follows.
Avoid cigarettes, drink alcohol, or do drugs. This might require an ongoing conversation with your teen. He or she might be tempted to experiment or even may engage in ongoing use of drugs and/or alcohol. Yet, for his or her optimal health, it’s best to avoid these.
These are suggestions for keeping your teen physically healthy, which in turn, can lead to emotional balance and clarity of mind. And with so much going on during adolescence, a teen who is emotionally, mentally, and psychologically healthy can face the stressful moments in life with greater ease.