How do I gain weight and muscle the healthy way?

Healthy weight gain requires the following:

1. A wide variety of nutrients to help the body build healthy tissue.

2. Exercise to stimulate tissue building.

3. Rest/sleep for recovery where tissue building occurs.

When looking to gain weight, you should be eating at four to six hour intervals and drinking plenty of water. Your diet should include food from all the food groups to give you the complete array of macro and micronutrients. The right exercise regimen is one that challenges muscles with weights, or at least body weight exercise plus cardio. Exercising on five out of seven days of the week keeps the body in build mode. Finally, rest and recovery is crucial. Make sure you’re feeding your body before, during, and after workouts and getting plenty of rest and sleep. This will allow the body to generate fresh tissue to replace and repair what was challenged during exercise.

Are there any types of food/diet or supplements that can help improve my mood?

Diet plays a very big role in our overall health and definitely can affect mood. Here are some nutrients that are particularly important for brain health:

• Water: Our mood can swing pretty quickly if we are under-hydrated. Water is a necessary component of a healthy functioning body. Symptoms of under or dehydration can be fatigue, irritability, and unclear thought.

• Omega 3: Our brains are a vast network of neurons and transmitters which rely on Omega 3 fatty acids to function optimally. It is very important to support our brain tissue with adequate amounts of Omega 3 fats that our bodies cannot produce on its own! Fish, nuts, seeds, and healthy plant based oils are good sources of Omega 3.

• Vitamin B: There are lots of vitamins that make up the Vitamin B family. Each one may have a unique food source.

Should I avoid fruits that have too much sugar?

The number one source of added sugar is sweetened beverages – items such as soda, lemonade, fruit punch and energy drinks. Fruit provides one per cent of the added sugars we consume. Even if we met our daily fruit intake, it wouldn’t come close to the volume of sugar we get from ultra-processed foods and beverages. If you need to cut back on sugar, swap sweetened beverages for water. Keep enjoying fruit, and aim for one or two cups per day.