Increase your nutrient intake with food combinations
March is recognized as National Nutrition Month, making it a great time to evaluate the food and drinks you put in your body, so you can Live Well Work Well – March 2023!
Did you know that some nutrients are not optimally absorbed if you eat them on their own? Instead, they need to be paired with other nutrients for your body to get the most out of them. Fortunately, it’s as simple as eating certain food combinations together.
- Beans and rice—Beans and chickpeas are packed with protein and fiber, which can balance out starches like rice. When eaten together, they can help prevent blood sugar spikes and energy crashes.
- Leafy greens and avocado—Healthy fats (eg avocado, olive oil and salmon) can increase the absorption of carotenoids in plants. These nutrients are important for healthy eyes, skin and immune system. Healthy fats are a great way to dress up salads and get important nutrients.
- Spinach and citrus—Heme iron comes from animal proteins, and non-heme iron is found in plant foods. Vitamin C can help absorb non-heme iron, protect against inflammation and chronic disease. For perfect absorption, combine spinach with citrus fruits or other foods with vitamin C.
- Citrus and green tea— Green tea is rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is associated with increased metabolism and reduced inflammation. When combined with citrus, such as orange or lemon, your body can better absorb EGCG. Drinking tea alone and between meals is also recommended to maximize the amount of catechins you absorb.
- Fish and broccoli– Vitamin D and calcium are good for your bones, but they are even stronger together. Consider pairing calcium-rich broccoli with fish high in vitamin D, such as salmon or tuna.
Because your ability to absorb nutrients can decrease as you age, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a dietitian about personal questions or concerns.
Understanding kidney health
One in three adults in the United States is at risk for kidney disease, but most people don’t even know it. Since March is National Kidney Month, it’s the perfect time to take care of your health to reduce your chances of developing kidney disease. Your kidneys filter your blood to remove waste and extra water to create urine. They also make important hormones that produce red blood cells, promote bone health and regulate blood pressure.
The kidneys play an important role in your body. Since they work hard for you, it is important to take good care of them. Consider the following tips:
- Check regularly for kidney damage or disease.
- Reduce the use of over-the-counter medications, especially ibuprofen.
- Exercise regularly to lower blood pressure and increase heart health.
- Eat a healthy diet and monitor your weight.
- Drink plenty of fluids to flush sodium and toxins from your kidneys.
Since most people will not have symptoms unless their kidneys are failing, it is important to know the risk factors. Check out the infographic below to learn about risk factors and see your doctor for more information about kidney health.
Are you getting enough water?
To prevent dehydration, you must consume adequate amounts of fluids. Dehydration can increase the risk of disease and cause health problems, such as fatigue and muscle weakness. Men should get about 3.7 liters (15 ½ cups) of fluid each day, and women need about 2.7 liters (11 ½ cups). Remember that the water content of the food you eat also counts.
You need to get enough water for your body to function at its best. Make water your favorite drink and consider these simple tips to help you reach your daily water intake:
- Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal.
- Moisturize before, during and after exercise.
- Bring a reusable water bottle for easy access throughout the day.
- Choose carbonated water instead of alcoholic drinks or soft drinks.
Check out last month’s edition of Live Well Work Well – February 2023.
All of us here at CoverLink Wishing you continued health and safety this year!