With March being National Nutrition Month we wanted to take a few minutes to shed some light on your overall health and the vitamins, nutrients and food your body needs to stay active and healthy!
4 Ways to Make Your Meals Healthier
Add more vegetables: Adding lots of veggies to your meals won’t hurt! It’s a great way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Reduce the use of salt: Too much sodium is a recipe for high blood pressure and heart disease. Avoid eating too many processed foods, as they use a high amount of sodium for preservatives and taste. Instead, try and cook more from scratch and find some herbs and spices you love rather than defaulting to salt.
Go meatless: Try to go one day a week without eating meat. Eating too much meat can increase cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Try to get a mix of protein from other plant-based sources like beans as well.
Reduce your portion size: You don’t have to give up EVERY unhealthy food in the world, but if you do want to splurge, reducing your portion size will help. Your stomach is not as big as you may think, so remember to keep portions a reasonable size for all meals. If you are going out to eat, don’t feel like you have to eat your whole meal. Save half for later or split your meal with a friend!
How to Get Important Vitamins through Food
Although there are a variety of great supplements to help provide your body with the nutrients it needs, getting your daily recommended vitamins from food first is always best! Filling your meals with vitamin-rich food is a natural way to strengthen your body, without having to spend the extra money on supplements!
Below are some of the most important vitamins you should be consuming on a daily basis, and which foods serve as good sources for each!
Vitamin B6 & B12
What it does: The B complex of vitamins (especially B6 and B12) keep blood, nerves, and the immune system functioning properly. A deficiency may be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
What to eat:
B6 – nuts, beans, poultry, bananas, fish, avocados
B12 – dairy, poultry, eggs, fish, beef and cheese.
What it does: Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and provides antioxidants.
What to eat: kiwi, red and green peppers, brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes
What it does: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that lowers cholesterol and is known to have health benefits for your skin and eyes.
What to eat: seeds, nuts, avocados, plant oils and fish.
What it does: Vitamin D helps to prevent conditions of the bones such as osteoporosis, and it also keeps your immune system regulated.
What to eat: Salmon and other oily fishes, dairy, mushrooms, eggs and foods fortified with vitamin D.
What it does: Folic acid is taken during pregnancy to prevent certain birth-defects. It is also needed to protect the body from certain cancers and heart disease.
What to eat: Dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, carrots, avocados, and whole grains.
What it does: Iron prevents anemia and supports your immune system!
What to eat: red meat, egg yolks, poultry, beans and dark leafy greens.
By maintaining a well-balanced diet that incorporates these vitamins and minerals, your body will start to feel healthier and stronger!
Check out this graph that shows what you can eat daily to get your vitamins!
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