Posts Tagged ‘national nutrition month’

Nutrition Tips to Get You Back On Track

March is National Nutrition Month®. This is a perfect month to promote the importance of wellness and nutrition. For most people, the motivation of continuing their New Year’s resolution is wearing off by now and we all could use a little push heading into the second quarter. With the endless marketing ads we encounter from billboards, to television, to digital media, the concept of eating healthy can seem confusing and downright overwhelming. Every week, there seems to be a new diet or superfood with claims of increased vitality and health. Maybe you’ve tried a few, maybe you haven’t. The truth is, eating healthy is easier than you think, once you know the basics.

Here are a few nutrition tips to help you stay on track to reaching your New Year’s resolution.

  1. Eat whole foods – No, that does not mean eat the whole pizza! Whole foods are foods that are free from additives and have been processed or refined as little as possible. This includes mostly foods that do not come in packaging, such as fruits and vegetables. However, meat, eggs, beans, and grains such as rice are also whole foods, but may be sold in a package.
  2. Eat plant-based – Now this one is often interpreted as eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, but keep in mind that animal-derived foods are rich in protein, B vitamins, zinc and iron. The tricky part is that red and processed meats are high in saturated fats and sodium, so they should be limited. Aim to consume a largely plant-based diet while including small portions of lean meats, like poultry and also fish, which have been linked to lowering health risk. Remember that frozen produce is just as nutritious as fresh produce, so stock up!
  3. Follow an 80/20 rule – This rule applies on so many levels that it really should be the first tip. First, apply this rule to filling your plate to only 80% full and leaving 20% clear to avoid over-eating. Dinner plates are almost 1/3 larger now than they were in the ’60s. Second, aim to make 80% of your plate plant-based, which will help you with tip #2! Third, you can use the 80/20 rule throughout the day by making 80% of what you eat healthful and reserving 20% as a treat. Finally, don’t over-exercise to compensate for an unhealthy diet. Health is 80% nutrition and 20% activity.
  4. Get moving – As stated above, 20% is about moving. Even though it is only 20%, it is still vitally important. If you are not ready to carve out an hour to go to the gym or attend a fitness class, then take advantage of the many opportunities throughout the day. Find the farthest parking spot from the door, take the stairs, walk to the farthest bathroom at work, get up once an hour and run in place or do some squats. Aim to move at least 10 minutes at a time. Every bit counts!

About Carrie Claiborne

carrie claiborne, rd, ldCarrie Claiborne, RD, LD, joined Emory at Johns Creek Hospital in December of 2017. Carrie grew up in Tampa, Florida and moved to the Atlanta area in 2008. She gained her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and completed her internship from Life University in Marietta, Ga. She lives in Alpharetta, Ga., with her husband and their two children. Carrie believes that understanding our relationship with food is the most important step in making changes in eating habits.

 

Nutrition Month Facts: Fruits & Vegetables

Fruit Vegetable FactsMarch is National Nutrition Month! You’re probably seeing lots more tweets about ways to boost your vitamin and mineral intake and a whirlwind of Facebook posts  about the latest fad diets and weight loss trends. What you might NOT being seeing quite as much of, is a focus on what we know to be the most overwhelmingly potent, natural source(s) of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in our world– fruits and vegetables!

To celebrate National Nutrition Month and the nutrition found naturally in fruits and vegetables, we’ve put together a list of vegetable and fruit facts, specifically related to the fruits and veggies that are in-season in March!

Fruit Fact: Citrus Fruits (in peak season in March)
We all know that citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines and kumquats are high in Vitamin C. Many citrus fruits are in the peak of their season during March, and they’re one source of MANY impressive nutritional benefits. Citrus fruits contain limonins, a compound which is shown to have preventive effects against certain cancer types. Heavy hitters in the potassium, folate, calcium, niacin, phosphorous, and Vitamin B categories, citrus fruits pack nutritional punch that shouldn’t be overlooked this month.

Vegetable Fact: Artichokes (in peak season in March)
A study conducted by the USDA back in 2004 found that artichokes rank 7th on their list of fruits, vegetables and nuts with the highest antioxidant content, and placed as the vegetable with the highest disease fighting antioxidant levels out there. Artichokes also contain substantial levels of calcium, potassium, iron and are rich in Vitamin B. Artichoke, anyone?

Fruit Fact: Berries (peak season winds down in March)
The antioxidants in berries have been shown to have anti-aging, memory, and urinary tract health benefits. Berries are also high in fiber, which means that despite their sugar content, they can safely be counted as a serving of fruit for people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), berries are actually a diabetes superfood because of their low-carb count and their high antioxidant, vitamin and fiber content.

Vegetable Fact: Broccoli (in peak season in March)
Broccoli is high in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin A, and many other vitamins and minerals. Studies have found that the nutritional content of broccoli can help prevent colon cancer, and even lower risk for cataracts! Pound for pound, it contains more calcium than a glass of milk and more Vitamin C than oranges. When you’re shopping for fresh produce this month, make sure you have broccoli on your list.

These are just a few fruit and veggie facts that relate to closely to the produce you can find in-season this month, but we encourage you to seek opportunities to try new fresh fruits and vegetables every month! It’s a fact that fruits and veggies purchased while fresh and  in-season come with more flavor and boosts in nutrients; oftentimes, you can find fresh fruit at an even lower cost!

We’d love to hear what your favorite fruits and veggies are! Let us know in the comments section below! And let us know if you give any of the above fruits and veggies a try!