Marching into Good Health.

Image by The National Resource Centre on Nutrition and Aging.

Did you know that March 2016 is the National Nutrition Month? Well, if you didn’t know, then now you do. But if you knew, are you eating right?

Sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the program is dedicated to helping Americans (and basically everyone in every corner of the world if they wanted to live long and prosper) to eat more healthily. This year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” so come one, come all, and let’s develop a healthy habit of eating well and eating right!

Here are five tips to get the ball rollin’:

Fiber Up!

According to the Mayo Clinic, fiber can provide a wide array of health benefits, from aiding with weight loss to lowering your risk of contracting diabetes and heart diseases. Fiber is understood to keep you full from meal to meal, regulate blood sugar levels and remove the bad cholesterol from your body.

The recommended daily intake for men and women is 38g and 25g, respectively. People, don’t forget to eat your vegetables! Kids, that broccoli isn’t going to do the homework for you, so you better eat up if you want to excel in life! Other forms of fiber include: whole grains, fruits and legumes.

Improve Your Bone Health

Osteoporosis and low bone mass are extremely prevalent in adults as they get older, and to prevent bone diseases, one is recommended to consume an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium. Take charge of your bone health and add vitamins and mineral-rich foods to your diet.

Try to incorporate at least three (3) ounces of salmon or two (2) cups of dairy as your daily calcium recommendation. Otherwise, you could perform strength training on a regular basis to improve your bone health and bone structure.

You are What You Eat

People always say that you are what you eat. Too much junk food and your health will dive to an all-new low. More healthy choices and you will see less of the back of the last person in a queue at the check-in counter in a hospital.

Track your daily food intake. Be more aware and accountable of what you’re heaping into your plate. This practice allows you to see what you’re actually eating, which areas you can improve on, as well as your eating behaviours. Have you always been a late-night snacker? Or are you a social eater? By knowing which category you fall into, you will feel empowered to make better dining decisions and live a healthier life.

Become the Mistress of Spices

Spices have always been the top of the pyramid of condiments as chefs worldwide (including your spouse who prepares meals for you in that cosy little kitchen of yours) often use them to delectify and tastify (not sure if these words exist but they sound pretty luxurious when it comes to describing cooked food…) the food they cook.

But they can also be used for other reasons, and they’re good ones too! Add spices like turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon to your meals and enjoy the vibrant flavors that they provide. The former trio are said to contain valuable anti-inflammatory properties which can help to remove toxins that exist in the foods that we eat or the air that we breathe, while the latter fourth is known and has proven to help in controlling our blood sugar levels as well as boosting our metabolism.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t just use salt and pepper. Cast your net wider, throw your fishing line further and be adventurous with your spices. It’s time to experience the difference!

Mind Your Plate!

In today’s fast-paced society, many people are now practising the “on-the-go” routine as they are too busy to sit down and have a proper meal. Also, there have been an influx of 24-hour restaurants nowadays which means that people can eat whatever they want, whenever they want.

In health terms, it’s not a good sign. Your body requires the time at night to recover and rebuild itself (roughly between 10:00pm and 3:00am), and that is not the time to be driving out to the nearest 24-hour fast food chain because you suddenly feel like having a cheeseburger.

Taking the time to sit down and have a proper, balanced meal will make you more aware and mindful about what you’re shovelling into your mouth, while reducing your calorie intake and giving your body a chance to digest and register that you are getting full. Whatever you do, wherever you are, meal times should not be associated with work times. For example, during lunch, do not have your meals at the desk while juggling a phone call and replying an email. It is wise to pay attention to what you’re eating and eat slowly.

Don’t be a glutton and gorge yourself. Don’t look like you’ve not eaten in years. As your body takes 15-20 minutes to register that you’re full, that should be the minimum amount of time spent eating your meal.

Having said all these however, that doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy yourself while having your meals. These are just little habits that you can slowly integrate into your daily lives, and once it becomes a habit, you won’t even think of it as a chore. After all, you do want to live long and prosper, don’t you?


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