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How to get the nutrients we need for healthier, longer lives

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on March 22, 2022

How to get the nutrients we need for healthier, longer lives

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on March 22, 2022

What are essential ingredients to healthy and balanced diet? Nutrients, the source of energy that fuels our bodies. Nutrients are classed as carbohydrates, fats, fibre, minerals, proteins, vitamins and water. They can contribute to the formula for body growth, metabolism and repair — even a longer, healthier life — provided we make smart choices when it comes to the ones we consume.

Good nutrition means consuming the right amount of nutrients from healthy foods in the right combinations.

Good nutrition can help:

  • Reduce the risk of some diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers, and osteoporosis
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Lower high cholesterol
  • Improve your wellbeing
  • Improve your ability to fight off illness and recovery from injury

Poor nutrition can lead to:

  • lack of energy
  • digestive problems
  • food allergies
  • weight gain
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • many of today’s most prevalent chronic diseases like coronary heart disease and cancer

How do we load up our plates with nutrients?

The next time you make your grocery list, think of the whole plate method to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. That means half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, while a quarter should have a protein-packed food such as a chicken breast or legumes, The remaining quarter should include whole grains like quinoa, bulgur, or brown rice.

How can nutrients boost our immunity?

The body’s immune response relies on the presence of many micronutrients that we get from food. Fill your grocery carts with lots of colourful foods — the brighter the food, the more nutrition and immune-boosting ingredients they contain.

What foods are packed with fibre?

Make sure you have fibre in that grocery cart. Fibre slows the digestion and absorption of your foods and can help you manage cholesterol and blood glucose levels. You can get fibre from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, as well as nuts and seeds. Chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp hearts are all easy options for adding fibre to your diet. Sprinkle these seeds on cereals, yogurt and salads, and add them to smoothies or baked goods.

March is Nutrition Month, an annual event promoted by the Dietitians of Canada to engage in meaningful conversations about food and nutrition issues that matter to Canadians. Nutrition Month also showcases the skills and expertise of dietitians who are the best source for food and nutrition information. To find a dietitian near you visit Find a Dietitian.

Having nutritional knowledge and making informed choices about the foods you eat can help you feel well and live well. Take this opportunity to learn ways you can make your future a healthier one. Start by exploring the information, tools and resources available on the Nutrition Month and Health Canada webpages. Make it a habit to eat a variety of healthy foods each day by consulting Canada’s Food Guide.

Looking for delicious and nutritious recipes? Download a download a free copy of the Nutrition Month 2022 Recipe e-book, which contains 15 recipes handpicked by dietitians from across Canada!

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