Hydration and nutrition are important factors in physical, mental and emotional health. Our brain is always working as it takes care of our thoughts and movements, our breathing, our heartbeat, and so much more. Because it is working ALL THE TIME, our brain requires a constant supply of fuel that comes from food. What we eat makes a big difference in how our brain functions. Food has an impact on sections of the brain (i.e., if you consume too much sugar and fat over a period of time, it can affect your hippocampus – a part of the brain that stores memories and helps you learn). Food can also impact how our brain functions (i.e. glucose from certain some foods you eat plays a part in serotonin production – a neurotransmitter responsible for balancing our mood and anxiety). These impacts can affect our moods too! Learn more about how the food you eat can have a direct impact on you.
Eat fruits and vegetables!
The Nunavik Food Guide recommends that you eat many different vegetables, berries and fruit of various colours because they contain different vitamins and minerals. Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruit are all healthy choices.
Water makes up about 60% of the human body! The exact amount of water we should drink a day depends on who we are, how much exercise we do, and where we live. A common recommendation is 6-8 cups a day, as a general guideline. Put this table on your fridge or desk to help you keep track of how much water you drink this week! What else needs to be hydrated? Consider the hydration needs of your skin and nasal passage. What about houseplants in your classroom and/or home? Houseplants and pets have hydration needs too!
Enjoy country food!
Country food is good for our body as it has many different vitamins and nutrients. Iron carries oxygen through the body, helps fight infections and is essential for our brain. We can get iron from eating seal, caribou, clams and mussels. Vitamin D helps protect against infections such as colds, flu and tuberculosis. We can get Vitamin D from these country foods: fish (lake trout, whitefish, Arctic char, etc.), fish eggs, marine mammals such as beluga and seal, maktak and birds’ eggs. Learn more about the benefits of eating country food.
Berries are a healthy choice and are often easy to find in Nunavik in the fall! Send us photos of you berry picking! Some of the berries you might find in the North are: aqpik (cloudberries), paurngaqutik (crowberries), urpik (Bartram’s chuckleypear), aupaalutuk (Northrn bunchberry), mirqualaqautik (skunk currant), kimminaqutik (mountain cranberry), miqqualiqautik (swamp red currant), and many more! Feel free to bring along some whole-wheat bannock as an extra snack! Once you have picked your berries, you can try this recipe for suvalik.