|Bulbs peeking through|
March is Nutrition Month
Nutrition provides the essential macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins and Minerals), micronutrients and other substances in food that provide our bodies' needs for energy, maintenance and health. Good nutrition is the proper proportions of these; poor nutrition is when these are out of balance.
Poor nutrition has been linked to chronic problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, unhealthy eating and inactivity contribute to well over 300,000 deaths each year! That's about the same as tobacco, and 13 times as many as are killed by guns.
Good nutrition is key for optimal health, athletic performance, disease prevention and overall well-being. There are many guidelines about what constitutes a healthy diet, with a fair amount of debate on many of the details. But one thing is consistent-
"Eat your fruits and vegetables!"
Fruits and vegetables are at the top of nearly every set of healthy eating guidelines and recommendations, for good reasons.
-Vitamins Minerals Fiber AntiOxidants Phytochemicals
-Most fruits and vegetables are lower in fats and calories, and are filling
-Diets high in fruits and vegetables are linked to lower incidences of cancer, cardiovascualar disease and diabetes
Try these fun printable activities for your kids, from the USDA:
Fresh produce is at its peak of flavor and nutrition!
Farmers Market Season is also just around the corner. These are a great opportunities to get super fresh fruits and vegetables. They also are a good chance to get to know your farmer and their growing practices, which builds community and gives you a chance to learn their growing practices. You can also find fresh produce through a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm or roadside farm stands.
For the ultimate in freshness, consider growing your own! No one can grow and deliver fresher fruits and vegetables than you can get from your own yard. Herbs gathered from the deck or patio plantings, tomatoes picked out of the vegetable garden, or even the apple you pick and eat as you walk around your backyard will be bursting with flavor and loaded with nutrition. You'll also know its history and all that went into its production, giving you peace of mind.
Now is the time to be planning your garden layout and starting your peppers, tomatoes and other things that need to be given a head start indoors. It's also a good time to order that fruit tree you've been wanting as nurseries still have most varieties available. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is this year!
|Apples sliced for homemade applesauce|
If you don't think you'll have time or are afraid you'll put it off again this year, now is also a perfect time to contact me to plan a design and landscape installation. Like I said before, most varieties of trees are still available and selection will become more limited as time passes. I can also install compost bins or rain barrels to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.
"Healthy, sustainable food production methods give us food that is nutritionally better and with fewer pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones." Marion Nestle