At MVP we love to see motivated members participating in classes or tackling the treadmill. Exercise is an important component of overall health, but what you lift to put in your mouth is just as important as what you lift on the weight rack. Dig into each of the five food groups below, and fuel up your body to become healthier this year and every year after.
Fruits: The colorful array of nature’s candy is sure to spark your eye any time you walk into a grocery store. The recommendation is 2-3 cups per day for men and women. Fresh is great, but don’t be afraid to try syrup-free frozen options as well. Fruit provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates which our body needs for fuel. Plus, it’s a great sweet treat when sugar cravings hit.
Vegetables: Your mom was right, eat those vegetables! Vegetables are categorized into 5 different groups: dark-leafy greens, red-orange, starchy, beans & peas, and other. The recommendation is 3 servings per day, but a good starting point is to try and eat from each vegetable group 1-2 times per week. All varieties are packed rich with fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and minerals. Veggies are a great guest on your plate, but won’t linger on your waist.
Grains: If you haven’t heard, whole grain is the new white. Whole grain and whole wheat products include foods such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain crackers, quinoa, barley, and wheat berries. Consuming six ounces for women and eight ounces for men per day adds important B-Vitamins, fiber, and iron. An example of one ounce of a whole grain is a half cup cooked quinoa. Whole grain products help to keep blood sugar levels consistent, control hunger levels, and provide energy necessary to the body for an active life.
Protein: A healthy adult requires 0.8g/kg per day. For example, a healthy adult weighing 160 pounds only needs 58 grams per day. Americans tend to over consume protein which can turn into fat. Eating a consistent amount throughout the day is proven to help with muscle strength. Eggs, beans, peas, seafood, low-fat meat, poultry, soy, nuts, and seeds are all sources of protein. When filling up your plate, aim for ¼ lean protein source and the rest from the other food groups listed.
Low-Fat Dairy: Rock the milk mustache! Choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy options three times per day provides Vitamin D and Calcium. The nutrients found in low-fat dairy help support immune function and bone and muscle growth. Chocolate milk after a workout, Greek yogurt with breakfast, and a cheese stick with your afternoon snack are three easy, healthy, and dairy-licious ways to add nutrients to your plate.
Lift your fork full of veggies and grains, and raise your low-fat glass of milk to a healthier, more fit, and energetic body!