National Nutrition Month is a great time to focus on making smart food and exercise decisions for better health. With so much information out there, it can be hard to sort through trends and get to solid, reliable advice. Here are 8 tips that can help you make better health choices to improve your chances of healthy fertility, prenatal nutrition, and a healthy postnatal experience.
Know thyself: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all nutrition plan, as nutrition needs differ depending on age, gender, weight, physical activity, and whether you’re expecting a baby or are in the throes of postpartum. Talk to your healthcare provider and a registered dietitian to come up with a meal plan that fits your budget and needs.
Choose good information sources: Steer clear of fashion magazines and trends, and turn to reliable sources like Harvard Health, Health At Every Size, The Ellyn Satter Institute, Nutrition Action, and Choose My Plate for solid information.
Keep it simple: Shiny packaging is often a sign of high-sugar, high-salt, high-fat products. Become a food-label reading expert and shop the parameters of the supermarket, avoiding the inner aisles where you can easily get sucked into a trap of color.
Choose good carbs: Carbs are essential for providing our bodies with energy and all of our cells have something called antigens that are made of carbohydrates joined to proteins. Choose whole grain breads and crackers, pastas and rice, quinoa, fruits, and vegetables to feed your brain and cells and give you the energy you need.
Power up with healthy protein: Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, and are the building blocks of muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, and blood. Choose fish, lentils and beans, lean meats, and nuts for healthy protein choices. Replacing red meats with vegetable-based proteins is also a great way to reduce cholesterol and save money.
Pile your plate with color: Increase your fruit and vegetable intake, the more colorful, the better. Add shredded veggies to sauces, soups, chili, and meatloaf, and make fruits or veggies your go-to snack or mid-morning treat.
Drink up: Water is the key to hydration and critical for colon and gut health, as well as your skin and overall well-being. Keep a bottle of water at your desk, set a timer to remind you to drink water, and log your water intake. Avoid sugary drinks like sodas.
Make it matter: Celebrate life with its vast array of flavors and incredible moments that take your breath away. Every moment, every bite, every movement is nourishment, so make them matter.This is your shot at a beautiful life. Be well.