Saturday, December 12, 2009

Healthy Eating for every Ballerina

Healthy Eating for every Ballerina

I spend my university days studying about medicines and pay a lot of attention learning the importance of essential nutrients for our body to function well, so that our body can work at it’s best capacity.

Forget about dieting, a true ballerina do not starve themselves! In actual fact, you need to make sure you eat well to replenish all the energy burned out during dance and rehearsals. I would like to share some important notes on eating well.

Eat protein

About 25% of your daily food intake should come from protein because it is essential little building blocks known as amino acids, for building strong bones, muscles, healthy teeth, hair and nails. Dietary source of protein include meat, eggs, grains, nuts, legumes, soy products and dairy products such as milk and cheese. I’m not a meat person, so how do I include protein into my diet? Spirulina is an excellent antioxidant and protein source without calories or cholesterol. Ideal for sportsmen and ballerinas. A healthy diet rich in protein will not only satisfy your appetite and stimulate your hormones to burn fat in your body.

Here is a guide to protein sources:-



Nuts and seeds

Dairy products


Cooked beans, lentils, chickpeas

Steamed edamame (my favourite Japanese snack)

Green garden peas



Bean curd (Tofu)


Soy Milk

Whole wheat pasta

Wheat germ

Oat bran

Whole-grain bread

Whole-grain cereal

Buckwheat noodle



Sunflower seeds

Ground flaxseeds

Cottage cheese



Whole egg

Egg white

Skinless Chicken

Fresh Fish


Lean beef



Eat Omega-3 fish oil

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have a various benefits to our body. Fish oil provides an anti-inflammatory action within the body which may reduce inflammation in dermatitis, psoriasis and joint swelling associated with arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for cardiovascular health. As a dancer dancing all the time, we need to maintain healthy joints and make sure our heart gets the essential nutrients.

In addition to these wonderful benefits, DHA is necessary for the normal function of our eyes, brain, and nervous system.

Drink more water

It is all about choice, when it comes to water. You can make a conscious decision in grabbing the carbonated sweet drink or just plain water. Your healthy choice will make a difference in a long run. Water help to keep your skin soft and supple, eases constipation, flush out toxin and waste products from your body. As we spend much out our time wearing leotards and essential to have flawless skin on and off stage. You’ll notice a better complexion and clearer skin by drink enough water to hydrate your body.

Recommended fluid intake is about 1.5 litres. Dehydration in dancers can lead to tiredness and a tendency to snack for energy! (as thirst receptors often get mixed up with hunger receptors)

Eat a least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Seriously!

I know, we are not all rabbits that are born to love to eat carrots. Some even may say vegetables are an acquired taste. Well, the fact is that vegetables are packed with essential carotenoids, fat soluble Vitamin A, D & E as well as water soluble vitamins B, C and folic acid, numerous minerals, provide a good deal of disease fighting phytochemicals and constipation fighting fibers that are very vital for a dancers body.

Carbohydrates are a complex issue

Some dancers, concerned about gaining weight, mistakenly drop carbohydrates from their diet. There’s no doubt that refined carbs such as white bread, crackers, pastas, white rice, cakes, cookies and potatoes, are nutritional slackers. But unrefined complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, brown rice, wholemeal pastas and green vegetables supply essential B vitamins, trace minerals, they are filling, and provide energy for dancing. Again it is about choices.