In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, The William Breman Jewish Home’s Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Julane R. Contursi, MS, RDN, LD, offers some tips for eating healthier.
Eating healthy can feel like a journey. Harvard Health Publishing notes older adults can experience changes in taste, smell and hormones that can affect overall diet. Making small, and delicious, changes to your diet is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t feel so complicated. Even if you’re not an older adult making good choices now can decrease the overall risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues and more. It’s never too early or late to start practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Cherries are a great choice, whether fresh or dried. Did you know they are rich in fiber and vitamin C? Cherries are also associated with heart health and reducing the risk of cancer. This amazing fruit is also rich in melatonin, which may help with sleep! Cherries are generally in season from May to August so get ready!
Taste the rainbow. Perhaps blue and purple. Fruits and vegetables that are blue and purple contain flavonoids, power phytochemicals found in nature. These compounds can decrease cancer risk, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and much more! Try incorporating eggplant, blueberries, grapes, and prunes into your meals for a well-rounded diet.
Carbohydrates aren’t the enemy! Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy and to help organs such as the brain, kidneys, and central nervous system run properly. So it’s not about cutting out carbs it’s about choosing the right ones. Choose fruits and veggies which are high in fiber, whole grains and legumes (you know beans, peas, and lentils). The National Institute on Aging says you should read food labels to choose grains low in saturated fat and added sugar.
Nutrient-dense whole foods are best. Try to avoid foods that are over processed. Supplements, in many cases, are incomplete substitutes for nutrient-dense, whole foods. Grown from the ground up, real food offers a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, protein, and phytochemicals that work together in your body. Spring is around the corner! You know what that means? Farmers market and gardening season. This is a great way to not only move your body but try your hand at growing your own “real food”.
You can lose weight in a healthy way. 100-calories a day is the way to go. By cutting just 100 calories a day you could lose up to 10 lbs a year! It’s easy to do. Promise. Here are a few ways – drink water instead of a regular soda, replace rice with cauliflower rice or order your salad dressing on the side. Making small healthy choices is a great way to achieve your health goals in a maintainable way.
These are just a few tips to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle or start one. It’s never too late to start thinking healthy. Don’t forget, it’s ok to have a piece of cake or your favorite chips, it’s all about balance. You got this!