Medical Corner: National Nutrition Month advocates healthy eating habits

  • Published
  • By Jennifer McMullen
  • 71st Medical Group
Although March is National Nutrition month, people can start healthy eating habits anytime of year.
Did you know eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day helps prevent certain diseases? So, load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only do they provide important vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin C and fiber, but they taste great too. People should visit the base commissary or local grocery stores to stock up on these natural goodies. 

Most fruits and vegetables have very little fat and calories, especially raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, radishes and lettuce. Each one cup serving of raw vegetables and 1/2 cup cooked vegetables is about 25 calories; fresh fruits are about 60 calories. 

Serving sizes vary in fresh fruit, canned fruit and fruit juices. The serving size for most fresh fruits is approximately fist size; for canned fruits it is 1/2 cup. Preferably, people should buy canned fruit packaged in light syrup. 

A fruit juice serving size is 1/2 cup or 4 ounces - that isn't much. Also, people should be aware of hidden fat in fruits. Not many fruits have fat, but there are exceptions. Avocados and coconuts have fat, so eat these fruits sparingly. 

A healthy recipe for the month is a fruity bagel sandwich:

  • 2 bagels, split and toasted
  • 3 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 peach, thinly sliced
  • 1 banana, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 slices honey dew melon
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Spread the bagels with cream cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon. Dip the peach and banana slices in lemon juice. Layer the fruit on the bagels and serve with melon slices.
Call the Vance Health and Wellness Center at 213-7008, with any questions regarding nutrition.