We’ve all heard about the importance of eating five portions of fruit and veg every day, but studies now show that increasing your intake to 10 portions per day will have an even healthier benefit to your body. Doubling your fruit and vegetable intake, to around 800 grams, could have a considerable effect – not just to the way you feel, but to how your body functions.  (Source: School Of Public Health)

Also when we feel overworked and run down, we are more susceptible to viruses and none of us want to go there. So, as well as drinking lots of water and getting the rest your body needs, you can also feed your body foods that are proven to boost your immune system? Eating a varied diet is so important, and it can help prevent, fight and cure illness, which is why it’s imperative that you eat your full quota of fruit and vegetables.

1. Keep it balanced

Eat a wide variety of foods to ensure all your micronutrients are met. Get used to combining protein, fat and carbs in each meal or snack. You need starchy carbs for breakfast and lunch to fuel activity, but in the evening the carbs should be replaced by vegetables.

2. Snack smart

Don’t snack on unhealthy munchies like crisps and chocolate bars (yeah, we know they taste nice!). The good choices are fresh fruit (especially bananas), natural cereal bars, nuts and raisins. These are good pre-surf snacks as they keep your energy levels up. Start to refuel as soon as you can after exercise.

3. Proteins

Protein helps to build and repair muscle after a workout, plus protein-rich foods break down more slowly and keep you fuller for longer. Peanut and almond butter are good sources of protein to fuel you during a two-hour surf session. They also contain healthy fats, which are an important part of our diet. Spread them on sourdough toast, rye bread or rice cakes. Always look for healthy nut butters that dont contain palm oil.

4. Stay hydrated

Start each training session well hydrated and after exercise aim to drink around 1.5 litres of fluid. Carry a water bottle with you during the day and top it up as you go. Sports drinks provide both carbohydrate and hydration, but watch out for the sugary ingredients – try something healthier like coconut water, which is a good source of potassium.

5. Meal prep

Spend Sunday’s prepping your meals for the week ahead. Sounds boring, right? However having daily meals already planned out will help reduce snacking and will encourage you to eat more healthily. Try these easy weekday meals: black bean chilli, chickpea curry, chicken soup, salmon tart, veggie stew and butternut risotto. Make 2-3 portions of each main meal and freeze the rest.

6. Daily food plan

  • 5-10 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • 2-3 portions of dairy food (or alternatives)
  • 3 portions of protein
  • 4-5 portions of carbs