Nutrition matters when it comes to your everyday wellness. If you fail to give your body the vitamins, minerals, and care it needs, it could harm your health. As we continue to celebrate National Nutrition Month, here are our top ten tips for better and healthier living.
1. Eat Breakfast
Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Try making a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, salsa, and a whole wheat tortilla or a parfait with low-fat plain yogurt, fruit, and whole-grain cereal.
2. Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies add color, flavor, and texture plus vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Experiment with different types, including fresh, frozen, and canned.
3. Watch Portion Sizes
Use half your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains and lean protein foods. Complete the meal with a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt. Measuring cups may also help you compare your portions to the recommended serving size.
4. Be Active
Regular physical activity has many health benefits. Start by doing what exercise you can. Children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults at least two hours and 30 minutes per week. You don’t have to hit the gym – take a walk after dinner or put on music and dance at home.
5. Fix Healthy Snacks
Healthy snacks can sustain your energy levels between meals, mainly when they include a combination of foods. Choose from two or more of the MyPlate food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein. Try raw veggies with low-fat cottage cheese or hummus or a tablespoon of nut or seed butter with an apple or banana.
6. Drink More Water
Quench your thirst with water instead of drinks with added sugars. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially if you are active, an older adult, or live or work in hot conditions.
7. Get Cooking
Preparing foods at home can be healthy, rewarding, and cost-effective. Master some kitchen basics, like dicing onions or cooking dried beans.
8. Enact Family Meal Time
Plan to eat as a family at least a few times each week. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV, phones, and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition.
9. Reduce Added Sugars
Foods and drinks with added sugars can contribute empty calories and little or no nutrition. Review the new and improved Nutrition Facts Label or ingredients list to identify sources of added sugars.
10. Slow Down at Mealtime
Instead of eating on the run, try sitting down and focusing on the food you’re about to eat. Dedicating time to enjoy the taste and textures of foods can have a positive effect on your food intake.
These tips were brought to you by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing dietetics through research, education, and advocacy. For a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist and additional food and nutrition information, visit www.eatright.org
At Foothills, our goal is to get you back to the activities you love. If you’re looking for more tips on how to live a healthy life, contact a Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy clinic near you to schedule an appointment.