March is National Nutrition Month and the perfect time to put the focus back on your diet and overall health. Today, more than ever, families are constantly busy and on-the-go leaving little time to cook and eat healthy foods. With all the things families do each day from work and school to sports and activities, many of us could be lacking the proper vitamins, nutrients and iron needed to supply the body, leaving you tired, fatigued and feeling unhealthy. Here are a few simple ways you can make sure you’re making healthier food choices even with a packed calendar.
12 Simple Tips for Healthy Eating
Cook with Avocado Oil
Boasting high levels monounsaturated fatty acids (the healthy fats), avocado oil helps to reduce harmful levels of inflammation in the body and helps reduce cholesterol, it also protects cholesterol, which is far more important. Use avocado oil in place of olive or canola oil when cooking.
Eat a Banana Daily
Bananas may be one of the best foods for energy. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost energy levels in your body and sustain you through daily slumps.
Swap out White Potatoes for Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of fiber and vitamins for those looking for an extra boost. They also include 3.8 grams of fiber and ton of vitamin A. Just swap out white potatoes for the much healthier sweet potatoes.
Include Eggs for Energy & Protein
Eggs are packed with protein, which can give you a steady and sustained source of energy because it does not cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin when it is digested. Eggs are also abundant in amino acids and vitamin B.
Start Your Day with Oatmeal
Oats are rich in vitamins and minerals that help the energy production process. These include B vitamins, iron, and manganese. Oatmeal is also high in fiber which keeps you feeling full longer. Toss in some nuts and berries to add even more nutritional value.
Grab Hummus & Veggies On-The-Go
When you’re busy and in a hurry, hummus and veggies make the perfect fast lunch or snack. Hummus is made with chickpeas, sesame seed paste, oil, and lemon. The combination of these ingredients makes hummus a good source of energy packed with healthy fats. The go perfectly with celery, carrots and cucumber slices.
Grab Seeds for an Easy Snack
Seeds, such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds, are high in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Seeds are also a good source of fiber and protein.
Eat a Leafy Green Salad Daily
Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are excellent sources of nutrients that are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Additionally, they are packed with folic acid, fiber, and antioxidants that provide so many important health benefits. Make up a few salads ahead of time for the week, grab one and go for an easy, healthy lunch.
Toss Beans into Meals
Beans are an amazing way to help boost your plant-based protein and fiber intake for the day plus many beans include heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Toss beans into rice and pasta, casseroles, soups and stews and Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and salsa.
Grab a Handful of Nuts Every Day
Nuts have gotten a bad rap over the years but in all actuality, nuts are super healthy for you and a simple way to get loads of good fats and vitamins daily. Plant omega-3s, selenium, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, and protein.
Make sure you have enough iron in your diet
Unfortunately, many of us are only able to absorb about 10% of our daily iron needs from our diet but are hesitant to take an iron supplement (iron sulfate) due to the unpleasant side effects such as nausea, upset stomach, constipation and more.
Check out Active Iron, new to the U.S., it offers twice the absorption of standard iron sulfate but is so gentle it can even be taken on an empty stomach. It’s gluten-free and sugar-free and contains 138% of daily iron needs, the equivalent of 17 cups of spinach in one capsule. Iron plays an important role in oxygen transport, cognitive function and immune function. It also helps your energy levels!
Don’t eat mindlessly. Mindless eating often results in unhealthy eating, filled with empty calories that leave you still hungry and dissatisfied. We recognize time constraints are often the cause but instead of checking emails through breakfast, working through lunch and focusing on how quickly you can scarf down your dinner so you can get your child to soccer, be intentional and present when you are eating. Allow yourself to taste and enjoy the meal so that you feel full and satisfied and aren’t reaching for a bag of chips 30 minutes later.