National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.
With so many opposing opinions, it’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and nutrition, yet, despite all the disagreements, many wellness tips are well supported by research. In today’s blog, we are sharing health and nutrition tips that are based on good science.
- Don’t drink sugar calories. Since your brain doesn’t measure calories from liquid sugar the same way it does for solid food, sugary drinks are among the most fattening things you can put into your body.
- Eat nuts. Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy. They’re loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and various other nutrients.
- Avoid processed junk food. Processed foods have been engineered to trigger your pleasure centers. Ultimately, they trick your brain into overeating. They’re low in fiber, protein, and micronutrients but high in unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined grains.
- Eat fatty fish. Fish is a great source of high-quality protein and healthy fat.
- Get enough sleep. Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance.
- Take care of your gut health with probiotics and fiber. The bacteria in your gut are incredibly important for overall health. A disruption in gut bacteria is linked to some of the most serious chronic diseases, including obesity. Good ways to improve your gut health include eating probiotic foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, taking supplements, and eating plenty of fiber.
- Drink water. Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits, including a boost in the number of calories you burn. The optimal time to drink water is before each meal.
- Eat vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals, and many antioxidants.
- Eat protein. High protein intake can boost metabolism significantly while making you feel full enough to automatically eat fewer calories. It can also reduce cravings and your desire to snack late at night.
- Use extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants that can fight inflammation.
- Minimize your sugar intake. Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet, as large amounts can harm your metabolic health. High sugar intake is linked to numerous health conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.
- Limit your refined carbs. Refined carbs have been highly processed to remove their fiber. They’re relatively low in nutrients and can harm your health when eaten in excess.
- Avoid artificial trans fats. Artificial trans fats are harmful, man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease.
- Use plenty of herbs and spices. Many herbs and spices are great for your health. For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
- Track your food intake now and then. The only way to know exactly how many calories you eat is to weigh your food and use a nutrition tracker. It’s also essential to make sure that you’re getting enough protein, fiber, and micronutrients.
Taking a few simple steps can go a long way toward improving your diet and wellness. This month, try applying some of the tips above. You may be surprised at the quick benefits you may experience as you serve and care for your body.