The benefits of healthy eating habits and massage are well documented. Eating healthy can be a challenge in today's hectic fast food world. But the benefits are well worth the extra work.
The five main food groups are a central component of the dietary recommendations set forth by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Below are some tips to help you get started:
The fruit food group encompasses a wide range of fresh fruits and fruit products, including dried, frozen and canned fruit, and 100 percent fruit juice. Berries and melons, which tend to be particularly nutrient-dense, are highlighted as important subgroups of the fruit group. While the USDA generally recommends filling half of each mealtime plate with fruits and vegetables, the amount of fruit you should consume each day depends on your age, gender and activity level. Moderately-active men of any age and moderately-active women through the age of 30 should get 2 cups of fruit per day, while moderately-active women past the age of 30 require 1/2 cup less.
The vegetable food group includes an array of fresh vegetables and vegetable products, including frozen, canned and dried vegetables, as well as 100 percent vegetable juice. The main group is divided into subgroups comprised of nutritionally similar foods, including dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, other vegetables and beans and peas. The purpose of these subgroups is to promote eating a wide variety of vegetables. According to USDA guidelines, moderately-active women and men between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume 2 1/2 and 3 cups of vegetables per day, respectively, while adults over 50 should reduce their daily intake by 1/2 cup.
The grain food group is comprised of two subgroups: whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains and their products, including brown rice, quinoa, oats, muesli and whole-wheat pasta, tend to be significantly higher in fiber and protein than refined grain products, such as crackers, corn flakes, grits and traditional pasta. Most refined grains have been enriched, however, and are high in B vitamins and iron. The USDA recommends that at least half of the grains you consume should come from whole-grain sources. Women aged 50 or younger should consume 6 ounce equivalents of grains each day, while those over 50 should reduce their daily intake to 5 ounce equivalents. Similarly, men through the age of 30 need 8 ounce equivalents of grains per day, but men over 30 and under 50 require 7 ounce equivalents, and men over 50 only just 6 ounce equivalents of grains each day.
The protein group is made up of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products and beans and peas make up the protein food group. Although they’re included in the vegetable group for their fiber content and nutrient profile, beans and peas are also excellent sources of vegetarian protein. The USDA emphasizes choosing lean poultry and meat and consuming a variety of protein foods to enhance the overall nutritional quality of your diet.
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.
This amounts to:
• 56-91 grams per day for the average man.
• 46-75 grams per day for the average woman.
The dairy food group is mostly comprised of dairy products that are high in calcium. All types of yogurt, most cheeses and all liquid milk products are part of the dairy group, as are calcium-rich milk-based desserts such as ice cream and pudding. Although the USDA counts calcium-fortified soymilk as part of the dairy group, it does not include cream cheese, cream and butter, because they’re not significant sources of calcium. The USDA advocates consuming low-fat or fat-free dairy foods to limit your intake of saturated fat. Moderately-active men and women of all ages should consume 3 cups of foods from the dairy group each day.
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