It’s the perfect time to reflect on your habits and make some positive changes. Maybe your New Year’s resolution fizzled out, or maybe you’re just ready for a fresh start. Whatever the case may be, it’s never too late to take-action.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled six tips that can make a big difference:
Eating seasonally means eating produce around the time it is naturally harvested. As the seasons change, the availability and variety of produce changes too.
Seasonal produce is fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than those out of season. In addition, it’s typically cheaper and helps our environment.
Get a fresh start to Spring by trying at least one seasonal fruit or vegetable. Some in-season produce includes parsnips and radishes, which can be used in tasty recipes like maple-glazed parsnips and spring vegetable sauté.
Refreshing your plate with different colored fruits and vegetables will provide your body with a variety of nutrients.
The more colors on your plate, the more nutrients you’ll be eating! A salad is a good example.
Consider adding dark leafy greens like kale for a dose of calcium, which is important for strong bones. Then, add fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and oranges for vitamin C, a nutrient that supports the immune system and wound healing.
Furthermore, fruits and veggies are great sources of fiber, which helps to keep you regular.
Kick up the flavor of your meals by using fresh herbs such as rosemary, cilantro, thyme, ginger, or garlic. In addition to great taste and aroma, herbs have a number of health benefits.
Parsley, for example, is a good source of vitamin K, a key nutrient in helping blood clot. It is important to note, however, that some herbs can interact with prescription medications.
Be sure to talk with your primary care provider before consuming herbs with your medicine.
With nicer weather, you may find yourself outdoors more often or less motivated to prepare meals at home. If you decide to eat out, limit processed foods containing added sugars, high amounts of sodium, and saturated fats.
Over time, these types of foods can increase your risks of developing chronic illnesses like obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. When ordering out, try to choose dishes that are baked, broiled, steamed, grilled, or roasted.
In addition, consider starting your meal with a salad or ask for additional veggies to help you get the nutrients you need and keep you full. This will, in turn, reduce your chances of overeating.
Physical activity is one of the most important ways to keep our overall health in the best shape.
Not only can it reduce your risk of many diseases, but physical activity can help with weight management, sleep, and brain health.
Consider taking a brisk walk after a meal, going for a bike ride, or taking an outdoor yoga class. Gardening is also a form of physical activity and fitting for the season!
Food safety is also an important part of wellness. Food that is spoiled, stored improperly, or damaged could make you sick.
The refrigerator, freezer, and pantry are places where most people store food; however, it may often be overlooked when cleaning.
Take some time this season to clean inside and outside of your appliances and check the thermometers to ensure they are working properly.
Refrigerators should be 40°F or below, and freezers should be 0°F to keep food safe. Take a moment to clean your pantries out.
Wipe up any crumbs or spills and throw out any foods that show signs of damage.
Finally, it’s worth noting that parsnips and radishes are now in season! Check out these two delicious recipes for Maple-Glazed Parsnips and Spring Vegetable Sauté.
Interested in learning more about meal planning or food safety? Our Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables program provides free, exciting workshops on a host of nutrition and wellness topics. Email our nutritionist, Alyssa Advincula for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other nutrition questions or inquires, e-mail our nutrition resource manager, Monique Marshall at: email@example.com.