Monday, March 1, 2010

National Nutrition Month

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Now is a great time to adopt some healthier habits. Eating healthy plays a large role in reducing the risk of many diseases. It is important to eat a variety of foods in order to give your body all the healthy nutrients it needs.

Fruits and vegetables provide many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is important to eat a variety of different types and colors. This will help boost your immune system. Choose fresh, frozen, canned or juice. Some great ones are:

Carbohydrates are great for energy. Breads, cereals, pasta and rice are all good examples. Try to make half of your daily servings of carbohydrates whole grains. Some great examples are:
Quinoa ( keen-wah, kee-noh-uh)
Brown rice

Proteins are good in helping build lean muscle mass. Lean meats, fish, eggs, beans and nuts are great sources of protein. Some great examples are:
Black beans
Lean turkey

Fats are also very important in your diet. They provide essential fatty acids and help with vitamin absorption. Choose monounsaturated fats like avocados, olive oil and peanut butter; Polyunsaturated fats like soybean and sunflower oil; and Omega 3 fatty acids like tuna, flaxseed and tofu.

Drink plenty of water. It will help keep you full in between meals and keeps you hydrated. Aim for 6-8 glasses per day.

Watch your portion sizes. Choose to fill up on fruits and vegetables while adding modest amounts of meats and starches.

Avoid too many processed foods. These can be high in saturated fats, cholesterol, trans fats and sodium. Shop the parameters of the grocery store. This is where most of your healthy foods are found.
Remember everything in moderation. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, you can afford to indulge in the occasional treat now and then.

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