Looking at nutrition and your well being

March is National Healthy Nutrition Month. Good nutrition is important to your physical and mental well being for everyone.

Della wanted to lose weight and keep it off. She didn’t want to “diet.” She decided it would require “a lifestyle change.” She set her goals and stayed true to them because it was important to her to feel good, look good, and perform at her best. She cut out sodas and other empty-calorie foods and snacks. She began to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water and started to run with a jogging group. She gets 10,000 steps minimum every day. She is still selective about what she eats because she wants to be healthy now and in the future as she ages.

Healthy food choices come from the food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. These provide the nutrients your body needs. You shouldn’t obsess over calories, but have an awareness of them by knowing how many calories per day you need for your good health and gaining knowledge of the calories and other health factors of each food selection you make. Reading product labels is a good beginning place.

Change comes slow, sometimes in small increments. When you plan your meals, make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Whole grains are more favorable, as are low-fat or fat-free dairy. Don’t eat the same protein all the time. Change it up because all of them don’t provide the same benefits.

A food diary may be helpful, recording what you eat, how much physical activity your are getting. When you can see these things in writing it helps you to stay on course. Plan your meals before you go shopping. Know what you have on hand and what you need to buy. Healthy eating is affordable when you do your homework. There are a lot of tips to help you begin your lifestyle change at www.choosemyplate.gov. Another resource to help is www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating. The 14 keys to a healthy diet are found online at www.berkeleywellness.com/.

Substance use has negative effects on the body. The use has its own effects but poor diet and irregular eating contribute to the persons poor physical and mental condition advises the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

“Recovery from substance use also affects the body in other ways, including metabolism (processing energy), organ function, and mental well being. Proper nutrition may help the healing process. Nutrients supply the body with energy. They provide substances to build and maintain healthy organs and fight off infection.”

Columbiana County has a great resource for low income women, infants and children, WIC. WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program for low income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. WIC, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been helping families meet nutritional needs with food supplements, health care referrals and nutrition education for 40 years. To contact WIC in our county, phone 330-424-7293.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org.

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