March is Nutrition Month —
Eat more fruits and vegetables in 2008
Eat Right and Get Your Vitamins
Vitamins are found in foods from both plant and animal sources. Our bodies do not synthesize or manufacture vitamins, making it essential to get these nutrients from our daily diet. Vitamins are absolutely necessary for our growth and general well-being. They help regulate metabolism, assist in forming bone, and help convert fat and carbohydrates to energy. Different vitamins have different specific functions so it is important to get your daily requirement of all vitamins in order be healthy.
California Raisins offer different amounts of Vitamins A, E, B6, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Folacin, Niacin, Panthothenic Acid, Riboflavin and Thiamin. Incorporating them in your daily diet will help meet your vitamin needs and add a blast of flavor to any meal, or simply provide a light and satisfying snack.
Combined with other foods, California Raisins have a lot to offer. For example, Fiesta Brunch Strata makes a satisfying breakfast or brunch any day of the week, and it contains Vitamins A, B12 and Folate, just to name a few.
Pay close attention to Serving Size and to the Number of Servings Per Container. These are often overlooked, but are very important when choosing foods for healthy living. Measure and weigh, if in doubt about the amount of food that makes one serving.
Calories do count and whether they come from fats, sugars or proteins is very important, too. Once in awhile, it is a good idea to tabulate all the calories you eat in a day. This is fairly easy to do just by adding up the Calories per Serving listed on the Nutrition Facts labels for all the foods consumed during the day. For those foods that do not have nutrition labels like fresh fruits and vegetables, you can find calorie counts at www.MyPyramid.gov.
California Raisins are low in fat and cholesterol, so those zero grams of Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Trans Fat and Cholesterol on the Nutrition Facts label will help you take charge. Limit those fats to 30% or fewer of the total calories consumed each day and keep the total cholesterol intake under 300 milligrams per day.
Sodium and Potassium work together to maintain normal blood pressure and guard against heart disease and stroke. With only 10 milligrams of Sodium per serving, California Raisins help to maintain this balance with 310 milligrams of Potassium per serving.
The sugars in California Raisins are all natural sugars, primarily glucose and fructose, making them a great energy source.
They also contain good amounts of inulin, a fiber-like carbohydrate that plays an important role in reducing cholesterol.
The Recommended Daily Intake of Protein is about 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight. For a 130-pound woman, this translates to 47 grams per day or about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces, approximately the amount in a 6-ounce piece of salmon or 3 ounces of beefsteak. Raisin sauces and salsas add more nutrition to these.
Percent Daily Values are listed for the total amount of each nutrient you should eat every day. These are based on an average 2000 calories per day. However, many of us do not need or eat 2000 calories per day so it is very important to get the most nutrition from every food. For quick reference, foods with 5% or less of any nutrient are low in that nutrient while those with 20% or more are high. Shop for a variety of food groups with the higher percentages of nutrients.
Special Days in March
The whole month of March is National Nutrition Month dedicated to nutrition education through a campaign sponsored by the National Dietetic Association focusing on the importance of informed food choices and sound eating and physical activity habits.
This is a good time to renew that resolve to eat more fruits and vegetables in 2008 and keep at it. With that in mind, here are some wise choices for healthy living that can help celebrate all those holidays that fall in March this year, including the First Day of Spring, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and Chocolate Covered Raisin Day.
The First Day of Spring is a harbinger of new life when the last snowstorm ignites the anticipation that gardens will bloom and spring will be here at last. Now is the perfect time to get into gear and begin to make more wise food choices and develop healthier lifestyle habits.
The promise of new beginnings offered by the First Day of Spring, the end of Lent and the Palm Sunday and Easter holidays, and other Celebration Sundays bring families together. Where there is family, there is always food! Remember that California Raisins make great Easter basket treats and fit perfectly in those plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt, too.
Chocolate Covered Raisin Day is March 24 — a perfect day to celebrate the marriage made in heaven of California Raisins with chocolate. Raisin and Chocolate Filled Cookies or Chocolate-covered Raisin Clusters are kid-friendly sweets for the entire family to enjoy. Low in sodium and healthy, these pleasurable little nibbles are guilt free and totally satisfying.
Daylight Saving Time begins again in March. That makes it time to get back into the exercise groove by scheduling a jog or walk with the family to enjoy the long evenings and take advantage of the extra sunlight! Our Recipe of the MonthTunisian-spiced California Raisin Hummus is sure to restore all that energy, afterward.
Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month
What better time to follow the advice in Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month — Get Motivated.
Set a goal with a deadline.
Write it down.
Include a date you are going to achieve it.
Develop a plan for doing it.
Post the following wherever you need to so that
You can do this!
You will do this!
You must do this!
Remember March is Nutrition Month — Eat more fruits, including California Raisins and vegetables and be more physically active in 2008.
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