It’s mid-March and we’re halfway through National Nutrition Month. Created by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to promote the transformative powers of healthy food choices, National Nutrition Month is a perfect time to take an important look at creating a balanced diet at home and in the office. And with a few small tweaks to your shopping routine, it’s not too hard.
Meet Your Daily Protein Needs
According to this study, 1 in 3 adults over the age of 50 don't get enough protein in their diet. Protein is essential to good health. You need it to put meat on your bones and to make hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, and more. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To determine your daily protein intake, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36, or use this online protein calculator.
But you can’t eat your RDA for protein in just one sitting. Science says that we can only absorb up to 25 grams at one sitting, which means you need to distribute your protein needs throughout the day. Fortunately, researchers from Waseda University in Japan found that front-loading the day with enough protein at breakfast leads to a larger increase in muscle size and function than consuming more protein at dinner.
Eat The Rainbow
Eating the rainbow involves eating fruits and vegetables of different colors every day. Plants contain different pigments, or phytonutrients, which give them their color. Different-colored plants are linked to higher levels of specific nutrients and health benefits. While eating more vegetables and fruit is always a good idea, focusing on eating a variety of colors will increase your intake of different nutrients to benefit various areas of your health. Most colorful fruits and veggies have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that may benefit different aspects of your health.
Cut Out Sugar
According to the American Heart Association, “Too much added sugar can place you at a greater risk for heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions.” Almost half of the added sugar in the American diet comes from sugary drinks, but other sources include baked goods, candy, cereals, dairy products and desserts. Sugar also sneaks into snack foods, nut milks, condiments, yogurts and more. And while cutting sugar out of your diet takes a lot of ingredient label reading, the benefits, from regulating your blood sugar to lowering your risk of depression, are worth it!
Eat More Fiber
According to this 2022 study, “Intakes of total fiber, soluble fiber, and insoluble fiber were associated with lower risks of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality.” Essentially, this means eating more fiber gives you a better chance at extending your lifespan. Additionally, getting more fiber in your diet helps to foster a diverse gut microbiome, promotes regular bowel movements, keeps you feeling full longer, helps lower high blood pressure and balances cholesterol levels.
Shop The Perimeter
Maintaining a healthy diet means watching what is added to foods, as well. Many foods in the center aisles contain preservatives. Preservatives are chemicals or additives in food that keep them shelf stable and make them last longer. If foods don’t have any added preservatives, then they need to be refrigerated to keep fresh. That’s where the perimeter comes in: This is where you’ll find the freshest foods in the grocery store, including produce, meat and dairy. “Everything that is probably going to cause most of your health challenges and inflammation and issues is processed food in the middle aisles,” says nutritional therapy practitioner Cait Crowell in her 9 Elements Podcast episode. “Whole foods are based in the perimeter of the grocery store, so go around the grocery store first and then bop in the middle aisles for rice or high quality potato chips if you need them.”
Try The March #RestoreDoMoreChallenge
Our March #RestoreDoMoreChallenge focuses on the element of nourishment. At home: add a fruit or vegetable to each meal this month. At your local Restore: try a new IV Drip! Share your progress on Instagram using our hashtag!