How much do you think about the foods you eat every day? Has it been a while since you evaluated the nutritional value of your go-to meal choices? Food is fuel for our bodies, and the more we learn about what nutrients we need, the better we’ll be at giving our bodies the proper fuel to run smoothly! National Nutrition Month was created to spread awareness of healthful eating and the many benefits of incorporating nutrient-dense foods into the average American diet. Not sure where to begin? We’ve created five simple tips to guide you on your nutrition journey!
1. Learn About Nutrient-Dense Foods
Many diets focus on what not to eat. Let’s look at things a little differently, and highlight some of the amazing foods that you might need more of in your diet! Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, and few calories. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins. Foods that are rich with nutrients do not contain added sugars, saturated fats, or excess sodium. Here’s a quick trick: create a colorful plate for each meal! Red strawberries, orange carrots, purple onions, white eggs, green kale, pink salmon, blueberries, just to name a few! These colorful foods are dense in nutrients and make for a healthful (and visually appealing) plate.
2. Plan Ahead
There is so much variety in food, and no two healthy diets look exactly the same. Still, people that eat right often have one thing in common: they plan ahead! It takes preparation- and a thorough grocery list- to succeed. Try to prepare a week’s worth of meals on Sunday evening to make sure that the busy weekdays do not hinder your commitment to eating right! Start by preparing a big batch of quinoa, several pounds of chicken breast, and chopping a dozen veggies in advance of the week ahead. With these components, you can quickly throw together a variety of dishes with nutrient-dense foods as the base. Perhaps you’re not accustomed to cooking at home, and that’s okay! Don’t give up. There are resources all over the internet, and a variety of entry-level blogs with recipes dedicated to healthful eating. Try www.pinchofyum.com or www.cookieandkate.com for some healthy recipe suggestions! If you tend to eat out, opt for salads with lean proteins and dressing on the side.
3. Focus on Whole Health
As soon as you start focussing on nutrient-rich foods, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You may start to notice increased energy, a clearer complexion, and more restful sleep – just to name a few! Nutrition works hand-in-hand with other healthy choices. Drink plenty of water, aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, and work in 30 minutes of exercise a couple of times per week. Together, these simple choices will have you feeling your best!
4. Introduce Vitamins & Supplements as Needed
Most essential nutrition can be found in your diet, so we always recommend you start there. However, as we age, it can often become more difficult to retain the nutrition from our foods. Many doctors suggest a multivitamin that includes Vitamins D, B, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Look for well-trusted brands and consult your doctor for suggestions tailored specifically to you.
5. Speak with Your Doctor About Nutrition
We love to speak with our patients about nutrition, and want to partner with you on your journey as you implement healthy choices in your daily life. Make an appointment to speak with your doctor, and plan to bring a list of questions, like; how is my weight impacting my health? What specific nutrient-dense foods do you recommend for me? Can you help me set realistic, attainable nutrition goals for this year?
It takes time and perseverance to form healthy eating habits, but the benefits are incredibly impactful. As always, we’re here to support you!