Why What’s on the Plate is so Important to Everyday Health
Among other things, March is designated as National Nutritional Month. Hippocrates perhaps said it best: “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And while Western medicine, science, and technology have done wonders for curing illnesses and diseases, and prolonging life, people can also take their health into their own hands by way of what they put into their mouths!
In honor of National Nutrition Month, Fellowship Square offers seniors tips for nutritional eating in the name of health.
It’s no secret that proper diet and lifestyle choices can lead to a long and healthy life. Books upon books and continual research point to the fact that nutrition is key for vitality, and in recent years, the gut-brain connection has been further studied and proven to help people with all kinds of health issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and OCD. An annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month serves to encourage people “to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.” This year’s campaign incorporates the theme “Personalize Your Plate” and messaging to help people with these habits.
For example, while there is no end to the diets out there that eliminate certain food groups or hours of the day in which people should eat (or not), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages people to include healthful foods from all food groups, to educate themselves on Nutritional Facts labels and to adequately hydrate. Eating a variety of nutritious foods in moderation can help people achieve a healthier lifestyle so unless there is a specific allergy or other health concern, there is no real reason to cut out any food group if a person doesn’t want to. It’s also important to practice mindful eating — which means limiting distractions while eating and taking the proper time to enjoy one’s meal.
There’s no need to deprive one’s self when focusing on nutrition. People should start their day with a healthy breakfast and enjoy healthy snacks throughout the day, too. But the Academy also stresses planning is key when it comes to grocery shopping, meal planning and preparation, and when dining out. When preparing the grocery list for the week, load up on healthy produce, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy, and don’t be afraid to try new foods and flavors. Experimenting is half the fun!
The Academy also recommends people looking to improve their health through nutrition consult a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). RDNs can provide people with personalized nutritional advice to help them meet their health goals. For specific dietary issues, there is likely a RDN that specializes in that specific need.
Achieving optimal health through nutrition is in the palm of every individual’s hands! It can take practice and daily dedication, but feeling better through food is the ultimate reward to a nutrition-focused lifestyle. Fellowship Square encourages seniors to focus on their nutrition not only throughout March, but all year long to experience the benefits of a healthy life!