Healthy Bytes

Posted on March 07, 2018 in Fitness, Social Responsibility, Healthy Living, Youth Development

March is National Nutrition Month

March is the time to celebrate healthy eating with National Nutrition month, and YMCA of the Suncoast is ready with ideas to help you improve nutrition and overall health. After all, regardless of whether you’re old or young, what you eat matters. Not only is good, nutritious food essential for fuel to make it through the day, it is the foundation for a healthy mind and body.

Begin with Breakfast: We’ve all heard someone spout the cliché that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” What many haven’t heard is that research agrees. The American Dietetic Association determined that children who ate breakfast were able to concentrate and solve problems better than those who did not eat breakfast. Additionally, children and adults who passed on breakfast were likely to weigh more than those who didn’t, possibly due to hunger later in the day.

YMCA of the Suncoast healthy breakfast

Size Matters:  While some younger individuals can indulge in large portions of fast food or other unhealthy eats without consequences, adults know this phase won’t last. That’s why youth is the time to learn about nourishing food choices and right-size portions. Teaching children and teens what a portion really looks like on their plate will help them balance their diets for optimum health throughout their lives.

Diabetes Prevention: Food is at the center of preventing diabetes and a host of other health concerns. A diet filled with sugary foods and simple carbohydrates can pack on the pounds, cause inflammation, and ultimately, affect the body’s natural ability to produce and release insulin. Simply changing eating habits ­to include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of protein, and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado can help defend your body against infection and disease.

Weighty Worries: Without a doubt, one of the most important reasons to eat a balanced diet is to prevent unnecessary weight gain. Excess weight is a contributing cause of diabetes and other diseases. Additionally, all those extra pounds stress joints, causing pain and making it increasingly difficult to move.

Exercise Regularly: Now that your diet includes more nourishing foods, pair it with some exercise for even greater health benefits. Regular movement will not only help you feel better physically and mentally, it will work in conjunction with your diet to ward off disease and aid in losing or maintaining weight.