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The Basics of Good Nutrition

By Sara Butler

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t need a fancy formula or complicated plan to eat right; you simply need to refresh your mind when it comes to the good stuff. When you prepare healthy snacks and meals for you and your family, these food groups help to serve as a guide to provide you with the nutrients and calories you need to stay healthy.

Fruits

Fruit makes a great snack for the whole family. Plus, they’re a great way to add nutrition to your meals. Make sure to get a variety of fruits in all different colors to ensure you get what you need. You can get the servings of fruit you need each day by:

  • Have it on hand - Keep a bowl of whole fruit in your refrigerator, on the table or on the counter.
  • Buy seasonally - Fresh fruit will be most affordable and at its peak of freshness when you buy it in season.
  • Go frozen - There’s no problem with buying frozen fruit to keep on hand as long as they don’t have any added sugar.

Vegetables

Not all vegetables are created equal. There are four basic vegetable groups you need to keep in mind -- red and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, legumes, and dark-green vegetables. You can keep your kitchen stocked with the good stuff by:

  • Buying fresh and in season - As with fruit, the vegetables in season will cost less and taste the best
  • Check out farmers markets - You can get inexpensive and tasty vegetables that are grown locally
  • Frozen is OK - Also just like with fruit, frozen vegetables are great to keep on hand so you can bust them out when you need them
  • Get variety - Make sure to vary your choices of veggies at each meal to keep your taste buds alert and so you don’t get bored

Whole Grains

Grains are in many foods and can be an excellent source of nutrition. Just make sure to buy whole grains so that:

  • You feel full - Whole grains will help you feel fuller for longer
  • Read the label - If the first or second ingredient on the list isn’t whole grains or whole wheat, put it back
  • Snack on whole grains - Popcorn is a great whole grain snack

See? It’s not as hard as you remember. These simple facts can help guide you and your family to healthier eating habits.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Northbrook, Ill.

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