For youth engaging in physical activity and sports, healthy eating is essential for good performance. Supplied

For youth engaging in physical activity and sports, healthy eating is essential for good performance. 

Combining good nutrition with physical activity can lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Health and wellness expert, Vanessa Ascencao shares tips on how as a young person you can plan your meals the healthier way.

  • Plan meals ahead of time: this saves time, money and encourages healthier eating.
  • Make healthier food choices: aim to eat whole, natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. Read the ingredients label on foods and cook your own food.
  • Drink lots of water: keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well being and can help aid digestion, improve metabolism, eliminate toxins and promote weight loss.
  • Avoid processed foods and sugar-laden drinks as it can lead to over consumption, it is low in nutrients and contains artificial ingredients.
  • Start becoming healthier by making small changes that add up to better habits and nutrition over time.

Additional tips for improving health in young people:

  • Exercise: keep moving. A sedentary lifestyle may lead to weight gain, health problems and negative thoughts. Exercise also helps boost energy, promotes better sleep and can be fun and social.
  • Sleep well: Lack of sleep affects the body’s ability to defend against infections and disease. Try to get eight hours of solid uninterrupted sleep a night. This will impact positively on your well-being.
  • Manage stress better: Identify stress triggers and avoid them. Be mindful of where you focus your thoughts and energy.