Because March is Nutrition Month, we wanted to share some simple nutrition tips for a healthy, active lifestyle. Nutrition is important because it can affect your body in positive or negative ways. When we eat healthy foods, our bodies become stronger and we have more energy.
- Food is fuel: If you go to the gas station, you wouldn’t put sugar-water in your car’s engine right? It would destroy the inside and make your car unable to run. We should think about food in the same way. Certain things we put into our bodies are better for us than others. Nutrient-dense foods should make up a majority of our diet. When your body is hungry, it craves nutrients. Fill up on fruits, veggies, and lean proteins to give your body the fuel it needs to function properly.
- Your body’s cravings mean something: Sometimes you get a sudden craving for a particular type of food. Most of the time, cravings result in unhealthy food habits. Instead of reaching for a candy bar or bag of chips when you get the munchies, try taking a drink of water. Often times, our bodies are dehydrated before they are hungry. If the water doesn’t help, WebMd has a great resource on what to eat when craving certain junk foods: (http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/food-cravings-diet-wreckers)
- Eat colors: By colors, we don’t mean Skittles. To make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs, aim for foods that are rich in color. Foods like spinach, peppers, broccoli, salmon, and lean red-meats are a great start.
- Stock your pantry: The most common way that people cheat on their health goals, is by bringing junk food home. Keep your pantry stocked with foods and snacks that support your diet goals. Try setting out a bowl of carrots or grapes on the counter to help you push past that mid-day craving.
These tips won’t take a lot of time or effort but can greatly improve your mental and physical health. In addition to eating a balanced diet, our therapists recommend a lifestyle of exercising regularly (at least 30 min/day) and getting adequate sleep. By doing the small things each day, large changes can happen in your life.