March is national nutrition month.
National nutrition month is a nutrition education campaign sponsored yearly by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). This year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color.”
Here are some tips to help you eat healthier:
- Include fruits and vegetables at each meal. Sprinkle in berries to your yogurt, add a colorful green salad to your lunch, and include vegetables with your dinner.
- Eat a variety of foods from each food group.
- Aim for color!! Choosing a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables is best, as different antioxidants exist in the different color spectrums. The deep red pigment found in tomatoes and watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene, for example. The deep orange color found in cantaloupe and sweet potatoes contains beta carotene.
- Include whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal instead of refined grains.
- Choose locally grown produce that it is season.
- Include plant based proteins such as beans, nuts, and legumes. They not only give you protein, but they have an added bonus as they are chock full of fiber.
- Try new foods. A huge assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables are available to us. But we often get into a rut and stick with the usual fare. Give a new food a try. You may actually love it!
- Spring is coming, so use this as an opportunity to get more active and take advantage of outdoor activities such as walking and bike riding.
UPDATE 2012: The ADA has been renamed to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).