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Living a healthy lifestyle is central to maintaining wellness throughout your lifetime. In fact, healthy habits not only help you to feel good and manage illness today, they can also help prevent future disease. There are many behaviors that influence your health - what you eat, how you sleep, if you smoke, how active you are, how you manage stress - to name just a few. You can improve your quality of life by making simple, positive changes to your daily routine.
Where to start?
We've collected useful facts and tips to inform, motivate and support steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, small changes are powerful. Start today!
Sometimes the heat and humidity of summer get to us and we just can’t feature eating a full meal. That’s the perfect opportunity to opt for a cool salad! Start with some dark greens, like spinach or romaine lettuce, and add a variety of colorful vegetables on top. Lean meat such as turkey or grilled chicken can be added for more flavor, protein, and taste. Opt for low-fat cheese and low-fat dressings to keep calories and fat to a minimum.
Cherries come into season in the month of July. This fruit is known as a “super fruit” because of its very high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re also packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, and folate. Recent research has also shown that cherries might reduce risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. So take the family cherry picking this summer and indulge in this “super fruit”!
According to recent studies, there are nearly 400 million people worldwide who suffer from hepatitis. In light of July 28th, which is World Hepatitis day, we encourage you to learn more about impact and prevention of this life threatening disease.
Viral hepatitis affects the liver, and can lead to both acute and chronic liver disease. Liver disease causes the body to process nutrients improperly, which can result in severe nutrient deficiency. Since the symptoms of liver disease may interfere with appetite and ability to eat, monitoring your diet is crucial to helping control the symptoms of the disease.
The signs and symptoms of cirrhosis, which is the development of scar tissue on the liver due to liver disease, can differ from person to person. However, there are a few tactics you can use with the help of proper nutrition and exercise to manage the symptoms you may experience. For instance, if eating three larger meals per day is uncomfortable, try to eat four to six smaller meals instead. Another important tip is to avoid alcohol, not only because it can become dangerously toxic but also because it can lead to the progression of cirrhosis and total liver failure. In addition to this, it is beneficial to minimize your fat consumption, especially saturated fats, because they are difficult for the liver to process. Limiting your sodium intake can also help if you are experiencing swelling such as edema or ascites. Remember that staying active and fit can help you feel better!
Within fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins, there are many choices that support liver health. Below is a list of foods that may help to alleviate the signs of liver disease:
- Vegetables: asparagus, plantains, beets, garlic, romaine lettuce, bitter melon, tomatillos, mustard greens, broccoli, onions, soy beans, cabbage, peppers
- Fruits: lemons, papayas, avocado, melons
- Grains: barley, whole grain bread, brown rice, ground flaxseeds, quinoa, wheat germ
- Proteins: eggs, tuna, halibut, mackerel, sardines, brazil nuts, walnuts
- Others: green tea, turmeric, dill, flaxseed, cayenne pepper
Corn is the largest agricultural crop developed in the United States, and has been grown in North America by the Native Americans for over 7,000 years. Not only is corn is a versatile summer vegetable, great for barbeques, but it’s also good for our bodies too! Corn is chock-full of fiber, vitamin C, zeaxanthin and antioxidants, and makes for a nutritious snack, side dish or addition to any meal. Eating foods that are high in dietary fiber helps to keep us feeling full, satisfied and regular, while vitamin C is responsible for the growth, development and repair of our body tissues. The antioxidants found in corn work to strengthen your immune system and fight free radicals and zeaxanthin is especially beneficial to the eyes. Corn can be used to make a variety of foods such as popcorn and tortillas, but in the summer enjoy your corn fresh—think corn on the cob. Remember, the fresher the corn, the sweeter the taste!
As we prepare for the 4th of July holiday, let’s keep healthy cooking techniques in mind as we enjoy the hot weather, picnics, and barbecues! Many studies suggest that cooking meat at high temperatures can increase the risk of cancer – more specifically colorectal cancer. If you like to grill, fry or broil, here are some ways to do it in a more healthful way:
Make It Colorful. Focus on grilling colorful vegetables and fruits, and limit portions of red and processed meat to 3 ounces or less. Plant foods contain a variety of naturally occurring compounds called phytochemicals, many of which provide anti-cancer protection.
Try a Marinade. Marinating meat for even 30 minutes can decrease the amount of toxins that are produced during the cooking process. Also, because this tenderizes the meat, the meat does not have to be cooked as long. Marinades can be made with some of your favorite herbs along with vinegar or lemon juice.
Partially Pre-cook. Less time on the grill means less time exposed to high heat.
Keep Burning and Charring to a Minimum. Use a low flame and flip the meat often. Trim charred portions off the meat.
Keep Down the Smoke. As fat drips into the fire, the steam rises and carries toxins back to the meat. To reduce this effect, keep temperatures down, avoid charring, cut off visible fat, cook food in the center of the grill and move coals to the side.
What will the dietitian and I talk about during a nutrition assessment?
What is Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)?