National Nutrition Month

March 11, 2019 0 By admin

Besides it being Social Worker’s month, March is also National Nutrition Month! There are so many reasons you should eat healthy foods. Besides being less processed, so, therefore, have more natural ingredients, there are health benefits to eating your fruits and vegetables. Everyone tells you that eating healthy is important. It helps you stay in shape, lose weight, and keep it off.  But do you know why? The science behind these claims?

Healthy diets can lower the risk of health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Some forms of cancer, such as colon and rectal, are linked to eating too many processed meats. Meats have added salt and nitrates that help preserve color, flavor, and prevent the growth of germs in the packages. Another additive that has been linked to causing cancer are food dyes (cancer.org & hhs.gov).

Proper nutrition increases blood flow which protects brain cells and helps prevent Alzheimer’s. It allows for serotonin (a chemical in the brain that influences mood, sleep, and appetite) to have normal or natural fluctuations in the body. Serotonin is made in the gastrointestinal tract. If you’re not giving your body the right foods for that system to act normally, your serotonin is then off, and you don’t feel as good as you could (health.harvard.edu).

What is proper nutrition? Well, eating fruits and vegetables are number one. You also need to eat carbs. They are not bad for you when you eat the correct serving size for your body. Also, that is what your body uses to get its energy from. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body. It is the easiest for your body to breakdown and use. You can get carbs from fruits and vegetables, but it won’t be enough, especially if you don’t live a sedentary lifestyle. The most important thing you can do for your body is to stay hydrated. Hydration is important for your body to function properly, protect your brain, and other sensitive tissues from harm (everydayhealth.com). 

Whether or not you want to be a vegetarian or vegan is a personal choice. There are health benefits such as lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight. Studies have found that vegitarians/vegans take in more fiber and nutrients than those who eat meat. They are however at risk for not taking in enough of certain nutrients depending on body type. Some individuals naturally have more nutrients or need less in their body than others. It is advisable that you consult your doctor before changing your eating habits too drastically. 

The main principles that I go by for nutrition are pretty simple.  Because I believe in the mind-body connection, I use intuitive eating. When I feel hungry, I have a glass of water and wait about 10 minutes and change what I am doing since boredom can be mistaken for hunger. If I am still hungry after, I will go have a snack or eat a meal. I eat more vegetables than I do anything else. Frozen and fresh. You just have to make sure that the frozen vegetables don’t have additives in them. I also eat fruits for snacks and at breakfast as well as a serving of carbs at every meal because I live a more active lifestyle. I also try to make sure that I drink at least 11 cups of water a day or 80 0z.