To Celebrate National Nutrition Month®, Vitamix Shares 31 Healthy Eating Tips—One for every day in March
CLEVELAND – Each year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics declares March National Nutrition Month®. This year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” To celebrate, Vitamix, a manufacturer of high-performance blending equipment for both commercial and home use, is sharing a healthy eating tip for every day of the month.
“Vitamix salutes the great work the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is doing to promote healthy eating,” said Jodi Berg, Vitamix president and CEO. “This year’s theme of enjoying the taste of eating right is important because when people enjoy the full flavors of fresh ingredients and healthy foods, they’re more likely to include them as part their daily eating plan.”
Vitamix offers the following 31 healthy eating tips to help inspire people to make better food choices every day throughout National Nutrition Month.
- Color my world. Think of your plate as a palette and the more rich colors on it, the better. Go for veggies like dark green leafy kale, collard greens and spinach; orange sweet potatoes, purple eggplant, yellow squash and red tomatoes.
- ‘Tis the season. The faster food gets from where it’s grown to your table, the more nutritious it is and the better it tastes, so eat locally grown, in-season produce whenever you can.
- Spinach for breakfast? Yes! A green smoothie is not only delicious—it’s a great way to start the day with servings of both fruits and vegetables.
- The whole (grain) is better than the sum of its parts. A whole grain includes three parts: the bran, germ and endosperm. Studies show people who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a lower risk of some chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Now and later. Next time you cook dinner or blend up a soup, double the recipe and freeze half in individual serving portions. That way you’ll have something healthy to eat now and later, when you may be pressed for time.
- The spice (and herb) of life. Fresh herbs can make all the difference in a dish, but if you only need a small amount, the leftovers may spoil. But not to worry; you can freeze herbs like basil, parsley, dill and cilantro in a small amount of healthy oil and pull them out when you need them.
- Two if by sea. The USDA recommends eating seafood twice a week. Check out The Super Green List issued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see which seafood is best for both your health and the environment.
- Ripe for the picking. Fruit that might look a little past its prime can still be delicious and nutritious. For example, slightly overripe bananas can be great for banana bread or smoothies.
- Soup’s on! Have a few veggies left over at the end of dinner? Don’t throw them out; instead, add them to tomorrow’s soup for added flavor and nutrition.
- Fermentation nation. The first thing that may come to mind when you think of fermentation is the process of turning grapes into wine, or hops into beer. But fermentation applies to foods, too, like sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi. Eat fermented foods to improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
- That’s a wrap! Instead of wrapping up your burrito in a tortilla, try substituting collard greens. This sturdy nutritional powerhouse also works great for wraps, such as Thai Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce.
- Ch-ch-ch-chia! Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. Blend them into smoothies, sprinkle them on salads, or add them to quick bread or pancake batter for added nutrition.
- “A” is for almond. With plenty of fiber and B and E vitamins, almonds are definitely on the “A team” when it comes to nutritional value. Eat them raw, or use a high-performance blender to turn them into almond milk, almond butter, or even vegan “Not-so cheese sauce” for drizzling on vegetables.
- Take the chill off with warming spices. Did you know certain spices can actually make you feel warmer on a cold day? Try recipes featuring cardamom, cayenne, chili, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry, garlic, peppercorn or turmeric.
- Preparation is half the battle. When a snack attack strikes, you may be at work, on-the-go, or simply not in the mood to chop up fresh vegetables for a snack. The solution? When making dinner, take a few minutes to chop up some extra carrots, celery and bell peppers and put them in bags for later, so they’re ready when hunger strikes.
- Smart substitutions. Oftentimes you can substitute lower-calorie, lower-fat ingredients for less healthy ones and not even tell the difference in the finished recipe. Try substituting some of the butter in baked goods with applesauce or prune puree and, to add a creamy texture to a smoothie, toss in half of an avocado.
- Ring around the grocery store. At most grocery stores, the healthiest food choices, including fresh produce and seafood, are around the perimeter of the store, and packaged food is in the middle. Concentrating your shopping around the perimeter will ensure your grocery basket is filled with more healthy choices by the time you reach the check-out line.
- The way nature intended. Food that is eaten close to the way it started in nature tends to have more nutrients and be better for you than food that has been processed, such as by enriching or adding extra sodium, fat, sweeteners or preservatives.
- A well-stocked pantry. The last thing you want to do when you start preparing a meal is run out to the grocery store to get an item you’re missing. Make sure your pantry is well-stocked with essentials like oils, vinegars, condiments, herbs, spices, nuts, dried fruits and canned goods.
- Eat for health. Consider becoming what Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls a “nutritarian” and choose foods based on their levels of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals) per calorie, macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) and the avoidance of potentially toxic and harmful substances.
- Save the mystery for novels. Mystery may be fun when it comes to the latest bestseller, but not when it comes to what you’re putting into your body. Make your own food so you know exactly what’s in it.
- Expand your horizons. Culinary traditions from places like the Mediterranean to Asia to Latin America often focus on whole grains and produce and rely on herbs, spices and unsaturated oils for flavor. South American cuisine includes vibrant, spicy dishes using indigenous healthy foods like sweet potatoes, avocados and chili peppers.
- Beware of portion distortion! Twenty years ago, a bagel was 3 inches in diameter and 140 calories compared with today’s average bagel, which is double that size and has more than twice the number of calories. Check out the federal government’s portion distortion web site for more examples and keep them in mind when determining how many calories you really need based on your activity level.
- Go nuts for seeds. Actually, go nuts for nuts and seeds, which contain protein, fiber, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. But limit the amount to a small handful since they’re relatively high in calories.
- Pick your protein. Choose plant-based proteins more often, including beans, soy products, nuts and seeds – many of which are naturally low in saturated fat and high in fiber.
- Eat clean. Some people prefer organic produce to reduce their exposure to pesticides, but it can be more expensive. Consider the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists to determine which produce is best to buy organic.
- Pass (on) the salt, please. The USDA recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (or about one teaspoon of salt). Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try alternative seasonings like herbs, spices and garlic.
- Make sense of servings. Most people know to eat several servings from each of the basic food groups, but sometimes it’s a challenge. For example, a tuna salad sandwich may include various-sized servings of grains, protein and vegetables. Check out this chart to see how many servings of different food groups are in many popular dishes.
- Skip the sugar. Added sugar has no nutrients, and the extra calories can contribute to weight gain and associated health risks. One easy way to cut down on sugar is to avoid soft drinks and drink water instead.
- Juicy Fruits. Instead of reaching for a carton of orange juice or a can of vegetable juice, increase the nutritional value and amp up the flavor by making your own whole food juice instead. A Vitamix releases the juice while retaining the nutritious whole food fiber that traditional juice extractors leave behind.
- Think small. The secret to maintaining a healthy weight is to eat what you need and no more. To avoid over-indulging, eat slowly, savoring every bite, and stop when you start to feel full. And to avoid the “eyes are bigger than the stomach” syndrome, try using a smaller plate.
Vitamix, privately owned and operated by the Barnard family since 1921, manufactures and markets superior blending and mixing products directly to the public and the restaurant/hospitality industry. Vitamix is recognized as a leader in innovation in the direct marketing industry, having created the infomercial genre in the late 1940s and developed the first true commercial blender in the early 1990s. The company’s commercial customer list reads like a “Who’s Who” of major restaurant chains, and gourmet chefs worldwide say their Vitamix machines are more important to them than their knives. Nestled in the valley of picturesque Olmsted Falls, Ohio, the company employs more than 700 people, assembles all products in NE Ohio, has a global presence in more than 100 countries and continues to win awards for product innovation. For more information, visit vitamix.com.