Get in Shape with a Summer Nutrition Plan

It’s summer and time for a glass of cold fruit juice or ice cream instead of hot soup! The shift from winter foods to summer foods is an interesting aspect of the season. For many people, summer vacations mean family outings and picnics that are heavy on food. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your diet. Developing and following a healthy nutrition plan this summer will shape up your diet and body so that you have more energy for summer activities and can also survive the sweltering heat.

Get in Shape with a Summer Nutrition Plan

Fuel your summer diet with nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. There’s also an abundance of fresh, delicious and healthy summer fruit and vegetables this amazing time of the year. Here are important summer time nutrition tips to stay healthy and get in shape:

  • Snack on Summer Fruit: Summer fruits are full of nutrition and natural sweetness. Fruit provides nutrients vital for health, such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Focus on whole fresh fruits instead of juice because the sugar naturally found in fruit does not count as added sugar. Instead of overloaded sweet desserts, snack on healthy natural produce whenever you want.

    Summer fruits include apples, avocados, bananas, lemons, plums, peaches, strawberries, watermelons and so on. These summer fruits are also low in calories.
  • Eat plenty of veggies: Include summer fresh vegetables such as greens, green beans, squash, peppers, and snap peas in your diet. These foods support good health with their vitamins (ranging from Vit A to Vit K), minerals, and anti-inflammatory capabilities.

    Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange, or dark green as they are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, or collard greens, all of which taste great and are good for you too.Eat a fresh vegetable salad with a delicious dip like beetroot hummus or spicy guacamole.
  • Cut down extras from your diet: While eating for summer energy, reduce or cut down on the extras that may weigh you down, like too much added sugar and alcohol. Maintain a balanced diet with whole foods like vegetables, fruits, plant-based or lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Indulge in healthy, cool snacks: Create some cool snacks – freeze berries, grapes, sliced bananas and sliced kiwi. These snacks not only cool you down, but are also nutritional and healthy. You can make ice cubes with fresh herbs and use it in your water or tea.
  • Too much of barbeque is a big “NO”: Summers is known for partying, beaches and barbeque. But don’t overdo BBQs as too much of it is not healthy. Include vegetables and fruits in BBQs and eat in moderation.
  • Avoid overdoing: The key to healthy dieting is eating in moderation and knowing when you’re full. Fill your plate with healthy stuff such as fruit and fresh, green salads.

In addition to following these nutritional tips, remember that hygiene is the key to a healthy body. You are prone to get bacterial infections from the utensils in restaurants and even at home. Make sure that whatever you eat or drink is clean and prepared hygienically.

Nutrition Tips for Healthy Aging

Healthy AgingGiving your body the right nutrients and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can promote healthy aging. As you grow older, your metabolism slows down and you may more of certain nutrients than before. This means you have to choose foods that can give you the best nutritional value. Good nutrition can lower your risk of chronic disease and can help you enjoy a long and healthy life. Here are some nutrition tips for healthy aging:

  • Maintain a healthy diet: According to Forbes Custom, new studies show diet and nutrition may indeed promote healthy aging and reduce risk of age-related disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines good nutrition as an adequate, well-balanced diet and stresses that poor nutrition can result in reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. So the first rule for healthy aging is to maintain a healthy diet.
  • Eat more fresh produce: Fresh fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals essential for good health. Many studies have shown that people who consume diets high in fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Avoid processed or canned vegetables and fruits as they may have lot of preservatives and may include large amounts of salt or sugar.
  • Stick to recommended servings: Eating the right food in the right proportion will provide the fuel needed to perform daily activities and at the same time help maintain your weight. The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60+.
  • Keep an eye on saturated fats: Saturated fats can increase your risk of chronic diseases such as increase in blood cholesterol level and heart diseases. Limit intake of these unhealthy fat foods and include unsaturated fats such as olive oil, semi-skimmed(1%) or skimmed milk, lean or extra lean mince, chicken without skin, reduced fat cheddar, reduced fat spread, and plain biscuit.
  • Lower sodium intake: Too much sodium intake can be a risk factor for developing heart disease. Healthy adults need only 1500 mg of sodium per day, however, 60% of older adults consume closer to 3400 mg. Limit sodium and try to flavor your foods without using salt or with less salt.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D: As you age, your body needs both calcium and vitamin D for the maintenance of the bones. Milk, cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium. Other sources include fish with edible bones (e.g. salmon, sardines), green leafy vegetables like kale, calcium fortified soy products, white bread and fortified breakfast cereals. Physicians may recommend vitamin D supplements for those who are unable to get the needed calcium and Vitamin D from their diet.
  • Drink plenty of water: Drink water as much as you can. According to the Mayo Clinic, your intake is probably adequate if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow. Avoid sugary cold drinks and keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.

Even though you are taking vitamin supplements, it is important to have a balanced diet too as supplements can replace its benefits. Remember that taken in excess, supplements may be harmful. Make exercise a part of routine as it keep you physically and mentally fit.

Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding MomsA healthy diet that meets nutritional requirements is important to stay healthy and fit. When it comes to breastfeeding moms, meeting daily nutritional needs is even more important. These requirements are similar to those recommended during the pregnancy. Generally speaking, compared to the pregnancy period, a breastfeeding woman needs an additional 200 calories per day.

If you are a breastfeeding mom, the following dietary tips can help you meet your special nutritional needs:

  • To stay off unhealthy foods, keep off hunger by having small meals every two to three hours throughout the day.
  • Make sure that your diet gives you the vitamins and nutrients that both you and your baby need. Include a vegetable or fruit or both with each meal or snack.
  • Nursing moms are supposed to have heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, anchovies, and tuna. Avoid any type of fish that is high in mercury content.
  • Breast milk is about 87 percent water. So lactating women need to drink plenty of fluids. Drink plain water and herbal teas, and avoid alcohol or alcohol containing drinks. Restrict caffeinated drinks to 2 to 3 cups a day.
  • Have two to three servings of protein everyday. Good sources of protein include eggs, cheese, milk and yogurt, meat, poultry, seafood, cottage cheese, tofu, and dried beans.
  • According to University of California San Francisco, a lactating woman needs 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day. They also recommend 115 milligrams of vitamin C for those who are 18 years of age or younger, 120 milligrams of vitamin C for those who are 19 or older, 10 milligrams of iron for those who are 18 years of age or younger, and 9 milligrams for those over 19.
  • Vitamin B-12 is necessary for your baby’s brain development and found in animal products. If you are a vegetarian, consider taking vitamin B-12 supplements.

Many women want to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight as soon as possible after birth. Experts advise waiting until the baby is at least two months old before making a specific effort to lose weight. You need to lose weight slowly as you need enough energy and nutrients to be healthy and active, and to take care of your baby.

Top Nutrition Tips to Help You Stay Healthy

Nutrition TipsProper nutrition is simple, not complicated as most of us believe it to be. Unhealthy eating habits are an important reason for the rising incidence of obesity and serious medical conditions. The following nutrition tips can help weight loss, boost your energy and keep you healthy.

Eat breakfast every day: Kick start your day with a healthy breakfast as this is the meal that fuels the body and brain after an overnight fast. Experts recommend that breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking up. Make sure you have food that includes important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as lean protein and fiber. Studies have shown that many people who skip breakfast tend to end up eating high sugar and fatty snacks mid-morning.

Go natural: Avoid processed food and eat more whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Some processed items like milk and juices have added calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. If you do buy anything processed, check out the fat, sugar and calorie count on the food label.

Don’t rush into a new diet: It is not advisable to change your entire diet all of a sudden. Bring in some small changes first and gradually work toward a proper healthy diet. This will help you achieve your long-term healthy weight and nutrition goals.

Don’t completely avoid your favorite food: Abstaining from eating your favorite food would only make you unhappy. You may even end up eating more in the short run. Instead, reduce the portions and replace them with tasty and healthier options.

Eat healthy fats: Not all fats are bad. Healthy fat options include olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, fish, and flaxseed.

Keep portions small: Instead of three big meals a day, have smaller portions of food spread evenly across the day.

Stay hydrated: To stay hydrated, drink plenty of fresh water. Green tea and other non-caloric beverages are also good choices, but stay away from sugary drinks and sodas.

Reframe your environment: You should have an environment that will help you to stick to your healthy diet. So fill your cupboard with healthy ingredients. Cooking your own food is healthy as this keeps you in control of what you eat.

Keep a food diary: Keep a note on the food you take every day and how your body reacted to it. Every week or month, turn back the notes to see how you met the target all these days. This will motivate you to stick to your plan and also work out more effective changes in the long run.