Top Ten Nutrition Tips for Everyday Health

Top Ten Nutrition Tips for Everyday Health
top-ten

Here are my top ten favorite tips for healthy eating all year long, with lots of amazing links to more helpful information.

This is by no means a complete list of guidelines but a few key things to get you started or keep you moving forward on the path toward healthy eating as a lifestyle.

1.) Drink plenty of water.
Our bodies are about 60% water – with muscle mass carrying much more than fat tissue!  We need to drink water to keep our body systems running smoothly, optimize metabolism, boost energy levels, and promote good digestion, just to name a few.  Besides water, electrolytes are important especially if you exercise.

2.) Eat plenty of plants.
These colorful gems provide essential phytonutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes – all of which are just as important for your health as the macronutrients we often hear about (think carbs, proteins and fats).

3.) Eat and drink often throughout the day.
The jury is still out on whether 6 small meals or 3 meals is best so try to figure out what feels right for you.  But overall, having high quality small snacks, “mini meals” or fresh juice during the day can help to boost energy and prevent over-eating.

4.) Eat mindfully. 
Limit distractions and take time to experience eating and engage your senses. Up to 30-40% of nutrients may not be properly absorbed if you are distracted while eating.  Like walking, watching TV, typing, working – all very common eating activities these days.  Digestion begins in the brain so by looking at, thinking about and smelling your food, you can help your body benefit from the wonderful nutrients locked away in that meal while enjoying the experience even more!

5.) Limit processed foods.
Read labels carefully. Make natural, homemade versions of store-bought foods.  Like hummus or granola bars, yum!

6.) Seek local foods often and organic foods sometimes.
Local eating not only has more nutrients it can also save you money.  You don’t have to get everything organic if that isn’t feasible, for some items it matters more (like apples and strawberries).

7.) Include healthy fats in your diet.
Eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat!  Many immune supportive vitamins, like Vitamin E or beta-carotene and hormones, like Vitamin D require some fat in the diet for absorption.  Pass the avocado, please!

8.) Include healthy protein rich foods, including plant-based choices.
Protein rich foods can help to reduce reflux and keep blood sugar levels stable while supporting healthy muscles and your immune system.

9.) For weight management focus more on inclusion of healthy foods and less on restriction of portions.

10.) Enjoy eating

Tell us, what are your favorite nutrition tips?!

Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN is a senior clinical nutritionist for Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Cancer Care, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy, PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC, that sculpts individualized plans for weight management, disease prevention and management and to promote longevity. Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and Integrative Nutritionist with the Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies. Stacy also serves as project manager and lead writer for Nutrition Services content on the Dana-Farber Web site www.dana-farber.org/nutrition and affiliated app. Stacy is regularly featured in TV, radio and print media. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and FSND2, www.fatsickandnearlydead.com and works as the Lead Nutritionist for its affiliated company Reboot with Joe. Stacy was a key member of the start-up team who opened and operated Stacy’s Juicebar in Needham, MA. Kennedy created and oversaw execution of the menu and cleanse program (2013-2014). Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist and works in private practice to help her clients get results with simple, healthy eating strategies. Stacy received a B.S. in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her Dietetic Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Stacy lectures on nutrition, weight loss, exercise and wellness behaviors to local schools, medical professionals and graduate universities. She has two sons, three dogs and lives in Wellesley, MA, just outside of Boston. Stacy enjoys cooking, juicing, hiking and yoga.