March is National Nutrition Month. 117 million Americans, about half of the population, have one or more preventable chronic diseases.1 Some of these diseases include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and poor bone health. The aforementioned diseases have been shown to be related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity.
So how can employers help address some of these issues? They can start by educating their employees about National Nutrition Month and its annual campaign centered on nutrition education and information. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed and better food choices and becoming more physically active. This year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. During this month everyone is encouraged to take the time to enjoy food and its traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors that food adds to our lives.
Here are four ways to start savoring the flavor:
Use spices. Add spices like turmeric, cardamom, and ginger to meals and enjoy the vibrant notes they add to the dish. These 3 spices have anti-inflammatory properties that help remove the daily toxins we take in from our food and air. Cinnamon is also a great spice to explore. It has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and assist in boosting metabolism. The benefits of a range of spices is endless, try out a new one today!
Eat slower. This is quite the task! By eating slow one can improve their digestion and absorption of nutrients. Start slow, take smaller bites and chew each bite at least ten times. Notice the texture of the food being eaten and appreciate what it adds to the meal.
Track what you eat. Tracking food intake makes one more aware of what is going into their mouths. It can show what someone is doing well, areas where that can be improve, and helps with accountability. There are a number of ways to help track food intake. Download a smartphone application such as myFitnessPal or keep a handwritten journal.
Eat mindfully. Eating mindfully is the act of taking the time to sit down and enjoy a nice quiet meal completely unplugged from distractions. It can help with becoming more mindful of what is being eaten, reducing calorie intake, and allowing the body to register that it’s getting full. Create a space to eat that will encourage a new focus on the look, smell, and consideration of the food in front of you.
The month of March is an excellent time to start new healthy habits! We encourage everyone to spring into the actions of being more adventurous with and more mindful of the delicious healthy food they eat!