Happy New Year! The beginning of the year is a perfect time to set health goals and continue on the journey of a healthy lifestyle. This year strive to keep your health a top priority and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Our food choices have the power to decrease disease risk, reverse some chronic conditions and keep you energized. Here are some ideas of nutrition goals to set for yourself this year:
- Eat the rainbow daily. This year set a goal to eat more fruits and vegetables of different colors. The more colorful your plate the better! Getting a variety of fruits and vegetables is an essential part of a healthy diet to get all the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals your body requires to thrive. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring substances in fruits and vegetables that give them their colors and work with the vitamins and minerals to support good health and decrease disease risk. The five color groups include:
Examples: kale, brussel sprouts and broccoli
Benefits: high in vitamin K and isothiocyanates a phytochemical which may help prevent cancer
Examples: tomatoes, beets and red grapefruit
Benefits: good source of vitamin C and antioxidants such as lycopene which decrease the risk for some cancers and protect against heart attacks
Examples: Banana, sweet potatoes and carrots
Benefits: good source of vitamin A and C and beta-carotene which boost immune system and support eye health
Examples: grapes, red cabbage and eggplant
Benefits: good source of anthocyanins a phytochemical that may support blood pressure control, and lower the risk of cancer
Examples: garlic, mushrooms and cauliflower
Benefits: Contain potassium, magnesium and sulfuric compounds that help support heart health and decrease cancer risk
- Cook one more meal at home. Cooking meals at home is a great way to experiment with new healthy recipes and also control what goes into your food. Remember to prepare a balanced meal with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Keep a food journal for a few days a month. Food journals increase your awareness of the food choices you are making. They are also a great tool to help you evaluate your current diet and identify opportunities to make healthier food options. Try keeping a journal for 3-4 days a month and observe the changes in your diet over time.
Ivy Mumo, RD