Up your nutrition game during National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® started 50 years ago as a campaign in March to stress the importance of a balanced diet and exercise.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, the Health and Wellness Council brings you the following articles that focus on improving your health and nutrition. We invite everyone to learn about making informed food choices and develop healthful eating and physical activity habits.

10 ways to observe National Nutrition Month

  • Eat a variety of foods from all food groups.
  • Set personal goals for healthy eating. If you’re unsure of where to start, consider working with a Registered Dietitian. If you have a Cigna medical plan through BAE Systems, make sure to look for an RD who is in-network to save on costs.
  • Buy produce when it’s in season (it’ll taste the best!), and consider visiting a local farmers’ market. Search local community resources through portals such as LocalHarvest CSA, USDA Local Food Directories, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Explore easy, low-cost, healthy recipes.
  • Learn how nutrient needs may change with age.
  • Have a food plan for every day.
  • If you’re going out to eat, make the healthy choice the easy choice. Research the menu online before you enter the restaurant, ask for salad dressing on the side, and don’t be shy about asking for a doggy bag.
  • Don’t go to the grocery store hungry! A rumbling tummy can lead to impulsive – and often, unhealthy – choices.
  • Drink more water.
  • Move your body. Try a new physical activity, and/or add in movement to your daily routine.

Small changes add up

Since March is National Nutrition Month, consider establishing (or maintaining) healthy eating habits. You don’t have to do anything drastic! Small changes can lead to big benefits, like switching out soda for water. If you’re a regular soda drinker, making the switch from soda to water could be intimidating, but it will seriously pay off. Your teeth, waistline, and skin will thank you. If you think water is boring and are craving flavor, try jazzing it up with lemon, lime, or cucumber, or try sparkling water if you miss carbonation.

Ready to make the change? Take it step-by-step, like upping your water intake by one or two cups per day without making any other changes. Once you get used to drinking more water, start cutting back on soda. If you normally drink two 12-ounce cans of soda per day, cut it down to one. If you drink one can, cut your intake down to six ounces. Before you know it, you’ll be soda free.

Magnesium: the mighty mineral you may be lacking

Having trouble sleeping? Feeling a little more anxious than usual? You might be low on magnesium, one of the most important minerals for your overall well-being.

Magnesium helps your body produce energy and build proteins, and it aids digestion. Even though it’s found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy greens, and legumes, you might not get the recommended daily dose (400 to 420 mg for men and 320 to 360 mg for women). Taking a magnesium supplement can help you meet your daily needs. While magnesium supplements are generally considered safe, check with a health care professional before taking them, especially if you have a medical condition.

Stop the stigma – Raising awareness of eating disorders

We would be doing National Nutrition Month a disservice if we didn’t address a silent and lonely topic that 30 million Americans struggle with daily: eating disorders.

Eating disorders can affect anyone. People of all ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses, shapes and sizes, sexual orientations, abilities, neurodiversities, races, and ethnicities can experience an eating disorder. And they’re more common than you might think. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their lives.

The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, but according to the National Eating Disorders Association, there are more than 10 different types of eating disorders.

It’s important to remember that no one with an eating disorder chooses to be ill, just like no one chooses depression or anxiety. Eating disorders are complex brain disorders with strong genetic, neurobiological, and psychological underpinnings. No single person, experience, or issue causes an eating disorder. They often co-occur with and can be hidden by anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorder.

Where to get help

Whether you’re interested in getting help for your eating disorder or would like to help a loved one or coworker, there are steps you can take to better understand the complex nature of eating disorders, locate treatment, or offer support.

Look to Beneplace for quick and healthy meals

No time (or desire) to cook after a long day of work? We don’t blame you! Our corporate discount site, Beneplace, offers discounts to many meal prep and meal delivery services as well as restaurants, including:

  • HelloFresh: America’s number one meal kit delivers easy, seasonal recipes and premeasured ingredients right to your door. Visit Beneplace to receive 65% off and free shipping on your first box, plus 15% off ongoing for 51 weeks.
  • Thrive Market: An online membership-based market on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. With member-only prices – up to 25% to 50% off traditional retail prices – Thrive Market makes shopping for healthy, organic, and sustainable food and products accessible. Plus, you can get free gifts, samples, and deals every day. Visit Beneplace to receive up to 30% off your first order, plus a free gift. 
  • DoorDash: Not a chef? Not a problem! Get breakfast, lunch, and dinner delivered to your door. It’s almost like room service! Visit Beneplace to get 25% off your first order.

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