Our daily routines may not (or they may) include punching a large slab of meat in an icy meat-packing plant, or waking up at the fanny split of dawn to run down some chickens like Rocky Balboa, but nonetheless these words ring true: “You are what you eat.”

by Max Fisher

Try not to neglect your diet this winter! Healthy, vitamin-rich dietary choices are often the first line of defense against fighting disease

Since the winter months are quickly approaching, and as a result of the ongoing situation we are all dealing with combined with the forthcoming cold weather, we’re going to spend a lot more time inside this season. So it’s imperative that we’re in the best shape we can be.

Make no mistake, I’m no doctor or physician of any kind. I’m just a guy that for quite awhile now has used the vast amount of time on his hands, along with his internet connection (which admittedly is sort of spotty) to unearth a few health and nutrition facts that will better fuel you throughout your day and hopefully for the rest of your life.

Veg Out

Having a variety of veggies in your diet is important for fighting off a range of diseases

Food really is medicine – it’s not a hyperbolic title, but more of a slightly hidden fact, and just like any medicine there’s many different kinds, so lets just focus on the essentials, starting with vegetables. Now I know some are letting out a collective “EWW”, but bear with me. Vegetables are low in calories (the average person should eat 2000 calories to maintain weight and eat anywhere between 1500 to 1900 to lose weight in a healthy manner). They are also vitamin rich, for example cooked Asparagus has only 20 calories per half cup, and is rich in Vitamin C (which boosts your immune system) vitamin A (which also boosts your immune system and helps strengthen your eyes) and vitamin E (which contains antioxidants that help cells fight off infection).

Another great vegetable that many may not be all that keen on but nonetheless has wonderful benefits is broccoli. Considered a super food, broccoli has a host of vitamins and minerals that support it’s placement in the super food category, some of those being Calcium which promotes strong bones, Vitamin C which along with boosting your immune system as previously mentioned also helps to fix damaged skin and helps prevent wrinkling due to aging. Broccoli is also under the category of cruciferous vegetables, which may help stop the cell damage that eventually leads to different types of cancer. That’s just two vegetables in an entire world of veggies to discover so hopefully this’ll persuade you to try some. A great place to take care of your veggie needs is the locally owned Farmers and Artisans, where all veggies are organically grown without added chemicals, so if your looking for a great spot to get more greenery in your diet among other things you can’t go wrong here! An added incentive is that Farmer’s and Artisans works hard to provide shoppers with choices from local growers and producers so your money stays in the community where it belongs. Health, wellness and community: the coveted trifecta.

Nature’s Candy

Eat whole fruits rather than juices to get the maximum benefit while limiting your sugar intake

Fruits are something we should all consume in our daily lives on a regular basis. Whether that be fresh fruit we pick up weekly or the fruit at the bottom of pre-made yogurt (which actually isn’t that good for you, since that fruit in the bottom is soaking up all the sugar, and not the good kind). Since I’m sure where all consuming fruit already for this portion I want to discuses how fruit can be substituted as a sweet as opposed to candy.

Fruit naturally has sugar fructose and glucose but this natural sugar is actually very good for you. Things like bananas (which have 105 calories) and apples (which range from 80 to about 100 calories depending on size) are low in calories and high in things like fiber and minerals. Added sugars, which can be found in pretty much everything, especially candy, can be rather bad for you if you don’t watch out for it. According to the American Heart Association men should have no more than 9-teaspoons/35 grams of added sugar per day. Women should have no more than 6 teaspoons 25 grams of added sugar per day. Now I’m not saying break out out your magnifying glass and stress out over the sugar content of everything you buy, but just be mindful because a lot of foods that you would think are pretty healthy are actually sugary traps due to added sugar. An great example of this is something like most store bought fruit juices. If you want a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth try dry fruit. A lot of the same benefits are still present despite the fruit being dry and it goes without saying it’s a lot sweeter, just watch your portion sizes. If you’re looking for a fresh fruit fix and a little vegetable thrown in there for good measure, why not stop by Ashker’s? They have great fruit juices with shots like lemon grass to give you a boost plus delicious smoothies (I’m partial to Piña colada myself, and no it’s not spiked) and they also have a wide selection of great food they can deliver right to your door, so if you want something flavorful, and healthy for dinner Ashker’s has you covered.

Lean & Mean

Incorporating different kinds of proteins into your diet helps keep your muscles healthy, while also helping to make you feel full

Protein is the main building block for muscle growth, but protein is also a great way to feel full. Protein rich foods like almonds, Greek Yogurt, eggs and fish are all great choices, and help you stay full without over doing it with the calories. Great organic eggs and organic fish along with all the other things just mentioned can be found at The Lexington Co-Op. And if you’re looking for just a boost of a certain vitamin or you need a little help reaching your personal health goals, why not check out Feel Rites multitude of vitamins and supplements? I’m sure they have whatever you need.

‘Tis the Season to Get Healthy

This is a slightly more than cursory look at nutrition, not a hard and fast road map. Still I hope you got something out of it and maybe reading this will help you create or reinforce healthier eating habits. Just remember take care of yourself in the present so you’re taken care of in the future. It all starts with nutrition and these fine establishments that will help get you there!

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