Good healthy and peak physical fitness are key to our military community’s force readiness. One of the best ways to build strength and stamina is to eat nutritious foods that will provide your body the energy and nutrients it needs in order for you to perform at your best. Here are some tips on how to build a better diet and improve your overall well-being:
- Develop and maintain healthy habits
- Eating healthy usually requires developing new dietary habits, but that doesn’t have to happen overnight.
Small changes over time can make a big difference. You might begin with some of these suggestions:
- Limit your sugar. Water is essential to keep the body hydrated. Replace soda, sugary sports drinks and large quantities of juice with water.
- Lower your sodium. High sodium consumption can raise blood pressure, which can contribute to stroke and heart disease. Start reading labels to raise your awareness of hidden sodium. Buy reduced sodium items whenever possible.
- Eat lean protein. Reducing fatty red
meat and increasing lean proteins such as chicken, seafood, beans, eggs, nuts and seeds can aid in building muscle, losing weight and maintaining a healthy heart.
- Choose whole grains. Whole grains are packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Whenever possible, eat whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat over refined grains like white bread, pasta and anything made with bleached flour.
- Snack on fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and their high fiber content can help you maintain a healthy gut. Replace high fat, high sodium snacks such as chips or roasted peanuts with sliced carrots or an apple.
- Explore the farmers market. Not all foods are equal when it comes to nutrients. The fresher your produce is, the more nutrition it offers. Your local farmers market is a great place to shop for fresh produce at a reasonable price.
Whether it’s just a roadside stand or a gathering place for local producers, these farmers markets will help you build a better diet. Find local farmers markets in the United States by searching the National Farmers Market Directory. Some of the beneftis of buying local include:
The food is as fresh as you’ll find anywhere. Most produce is brought to market within hours of being picked.
Eating food grown close to home and recently harvested has many health benefits, including increased nutrients.
Local farmers grow seasonal foods, which tend to be less expensive and allow you to cook seasonal dishes.
Farmers — your food experts — can teach you how to use the produce, grow your own food or share some great recipes.