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March 2022

Support Your Health Thru Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is designed to promote a better awareness of nutrition and to make informed food choices in developing a healthful eating pattern. This, along with an active lifestyle, are key to overall health. It is never too late to improve eating habits and gain health benefits through nutrition.

Nutrition Link to Health

  • It has been known for centuries that food has the power to heal the body. Numerous studies have linked nutrition and dietary patterns to decreasing the risk for chronic diseases and supporting healthy aging. The food we eat not only provides enjoyment and fuel for the body, it can promote health and well-being.
  • Food contains an array of nutrients, from macro nutrients (protein, carbs and fats) to vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. The body relies on these nutrients to run, day in and day out. If nutrients are lacking or out of balance, the body’s functioning can be impaired. This may lead to chronic illness, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
  • As with certain foods, dietary patterns also play a role in nourishing and protecting the body. Evidence-based studies have shown that diets rich in vegetables and fruits are linked to lower rates of chronic disease. The Mediterranean style eating pattern that includes fish, healthy fats, produce, whole grains and legumes is associated with longevity. 

Aging Well and Nutrition
An eating plan for aging well includes a variety of colorful foods from all of the food groups.

  • Fruits & Vegetables- should make up 50% of your plate. If you are diabetic have more vegetables than fruit.
  • Protein Rich Foods- should be 25% of your plate.  Have fish at least twice a week, limit red meats and avoid processed meats.
  • Grains– should make up the remaining 25% of your plate. The majority of grains need to be whole grains. Minimize processed foods.
  • Healthy Fats in Moderation- Replace saturated fats (those solid at room temperature) with unsaturated fats such as olive or avocado oil.
  • Dairy Products - Include reduced-fat dairy, such as plain Greek yogurt and vitamin D fortified milk.
  • Spice Up Your Life!- Use herbs and spices to reduce sodium. Experiment with basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage, ginger, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon. They will enhance the flavor of your meals and may have hidden health benefits.

Other Things to Consider

  • Optimize Protein – to offset muscle loss associated with aging. Loss of muscle is linked to weakness and loss of mobility. Include protein with each meal.
  • Maintain Strong Bones – include nutrients important to bone health: vitamin D and K, calcium and magnesium.  Dairy products, sardines, salmon, and dark green leafy vegetables provide these nutrients. Ask your physician if you take a vitamin D supplement.
  • Drink Water -  sugary drinks promote inflammation, increasing the risk of heart disease & diabetes.
  • Be Active - physical activity can maintain muscle and strong bones.  Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.


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