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Posts Tagged ‘Health and Wellness’

March is National Nutrition Month.  With over 117 million U.S. adults having at least one chronic disease and spending $316 billion in medical costs on diet-related chronic diseases, we need to eat healthier. Aligning our eating habits with the Dietary Guidelines reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.  Thus, it is time to challenge ourselves to make one change to improve our health this month by practicing a change and trying one new healthy recipe. Pick one of these examples to practice this month to start the change toward better health:

water-bottle-962934__340

Water bottle

  • Consume no more than one soda or sweetened drink per day. If you have already been limiting it to one a day, try one a week.
  • Make your dinner plate half vegetables and fruit.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Limit your sodium consumption.
  • Drink water.
  • Choose whole-grain foods.
  • Eat/drink at least two servings from the Dairy Group every day.

    fruit 2

    fruit

  • Eat fruit for snacks.
  • Eat some nuts for snacks.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week. (Check out Fishy Fridays on our Facebook page.)
  • Try a new vegetable or fruit each week.
  • Follow the DASH or Mediterranean Diet.
  • Park farther away from the entrance.
  • Engage in some physical activity most days of the week.
  • Practice mindfulness or mediation.
  • Take three deep breathes when you feel stressed.

I am participating in a challenge at work to pick a less sugary drink everyday this month. You might challenge your co-workers, friends, or family to join you in a similar challenge.

The second part of my challenge is to try a new recipe.  Often times a new recipe will increase our interest in healthy eating.  Check out these websites Dinner Tonight, Food Hero and Recipe Central for some easy, delicious recipes.  Many of the recipes have videos or pictures to show how to make them. The websites also have kid friendly recipes.

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Veggie Tots

I tried Veggie Patties and Veggie Tots recipes.  Both are delicious and easy to make if you have a food processor.  If you like cheese you will enjoy the Veggie Tots.  I also tried Brownie Batter Hummus.  I thought the idea of cocoa and hummus was strange, but it’s wonderful on fruit and tastes like a brownie.

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Breakfast cupcakes

A super easy recipe for breakfast is the Microwave Breakfast Cake.  If you regularly eat cereal for breakfast this one is a tasty substitute.

Let us know what recipes you try and how your challenge goes.  Let’s make this March a healthier one.  Hopefully, the weather will get warmer in March and make it easier for physical activities outside.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, harmon.416@osu.edu

References:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019).  Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan.  Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801

National Institute of Health. (2018). DASH Diet.  Available at https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan

Oregon State University Extension.  (2019). Food Hero.  Available at https://foodhero.org/

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. (2019).  Dinner Tonight.  Available at https://dinnertonight.tamu.edu/

University of Nebraska Lancaster Extension. (2019). Recipe Central.  Available https://food.unl.edu/recipe-central

USDA. (2019).  Let’s all Eat Healthy. Be Healthy. Save.  Available at https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGA-Infographic-2018%20%281%29.pdf

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“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company.  Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen.” – Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

Are you looking to spend more time with your family?  Want to become more physically active?  How about needing to go to a place for peace, tranquility and relaxation?  Do you need to adopt better health habits?  Well, if you take the time to stop and “listen,” gardening just might be the activity you are looking for!

The health benefits of gardening include:garden pic

  • Increasing the chances of eating the amount of produce recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Consuming more plant-based foods which are associated with less risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  • Becoming more physically active to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
  • Strengthening bones and muscles.
  • Improving physical functioning in older adults: helps keep hands strong and agile.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Being around nature which has the potential to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.

Research and studies show the following:

  • Gardening 3-5 times a week has been found to be a good strategy to combat obesity and lower stress.
  • Patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain taking part in horticultural therapy programs experience an improved ability to cope with chronic pain.
  • Children with attention deficit disorder who play in grassy, outdoor spaces have less severe symptoms than those who play in windowless, indoor settings.
  • Patients with clinical depression who participated in routine therapeutic gardening activities experienced a reduction of severity of depression and increased attentional capacity —benefits that lasted up to three months after the program ended.
  • Dementia patients who have access to gardens are less likely to display aggression or suffer injuries, and they display improved sleep patterns, balanced hormones and decreased agitation.

What are some additional benefits of Gardening?

  • Nutrition Awareness – Impacting positive food choices.
  • Environmental Awareness – Teaching children about their environment. “Gardens are often the most accessible places for children to learn about nature’s beaugard picty, interconnections, power, fragility, and solace.” (Heffernan, M. (1994).
  • Life Skills – Increasing appreciation for nature, responsibility and development of family involvement.
  • Health and Wellness – Improving the quality of life.
  • Community Building and Social Connections through Community Gardens – Developing positive and friendly interactions with neighbors.

Some final thoughts about Gardening

“Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.” – Dr. Allan Armitage

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

Yes, Eeyore, we need to “listen” because plants have a lot to say!

Written by:  Janet Wasko Myers, Program Assistant, Horticulture, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, myers.31@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Pamela Bennett, Extension Educator, Horticulture, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, bennett.27@osu.edu

Sources:

The Ohio State University.  College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. News:  Chow Line:  Working in garden yields multiple benefits. https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/chow-line-working-in-garden-yields-multiple-benefits

The Ohio State University.  College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
News:  New OARDC Garden Will Help Study Links Between Plants and Health.
https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/new-oardc-garden-will-help-study-links-between-plants-and-health

 

Michigan State University Extension.  What are the physical and mental benefits of gardening?  http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/what_are_the_physical_and_mental_benefits_of_gardening

Cornell University.  College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.  Learn, Garden & Reflect with Cornell Garden-Based Learning.
http://gardening.cals.cornell.edu

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.    https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

 

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Did you brush your teeth this morning?  Did you floss? brushing teeth

Most of us know we need to brush and floss, but we get in a rush. So, why is brushing our teeth so important.  We all know that brushing our teeth can prevent tooth decay.  What about other diseases?

Having good oral health can help prevent or lessen the chance of these diseases or problems:

  • Cardiovascular Disease – Gum disease (periodontitis) from oral bacteria may be a link to heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke according to some research.
  • Endocarditis – Gum disease may cause this infection to the inner lining of the heart
  • Premature birth and low birth weight has been linked to gum disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease – Losing teeth before age 35 puts you at risk.
  • Osteoporosis may be associated with tooth loss and periodontal bone loss.
  • Having Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease.

So, we all need to work into our schedules brushing our teeth at least twice a day. Try to make one of those times be before you go to bed.  Use good technique taking time to do a thorough job.  (See tips below.)  You can use an electric/battery or manual toothbrush, whatever works best for you.  Foods that are acidic or contain sugar or starch can produce acids in your mouth that can harm tooth enamel for 20 minutes or more.  After consuming these foods avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes.

Floss your teeth at least once a day, as flossing helps decrease your risk of having gum disease and tooth decay.  Use whatever kind of floss or flossing tool works best for you.

Did you know your toothbrush could make you sick?  Here are a few tips to help you prevent that:

  • Wash your hands.  Be sure to wash your hands before and after to avoid spreading germs into your mouth and to others after brushing. toothbrush
  • Use a new toothbrush very four months.  Toothbrushes can wear out.  Replace your toothbrush after an illness..
  • After brushing rinse your toothbrush with water and store upright allowing it to air-dry. Don’t cover it until completely dry.  Store your toothbrush so that it doesn’t touch other toothbrushes.   Airborne bacteria grow well in the warm, moist environment like a bathroom.
  • Don’t share your toothbrush with others.  .
  • It is not necessary to sanitize your toothbrush using a mouthwash, sanitizer, dishwasher or microwave oven.
  • When someone is sick have them use a different  tube of  toothpaste, such as a travel size.  Sharing tubes of toothpaste can result in cross-contamination of germs.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Miami Valley EERA

Reviewed by:  Liz Smith, M.S., R.D., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension.

References:

Delta Dental, [2012]. Can Your Toothbrush Make You Sick,  Downloaded from http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/toothbrush.html on February 19, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2011].  Electric Toothbrush:  Better than a Manual Toothbrush?  Answered by Alan Carr, D.M.D.,  Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/electric-toothbrush/AN01705   on February 18, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2011].  Oral health:  A Window to Your Overall Health, Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00001 on February 18, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2011].  Oral Health:  Brush up on Dental Care Basics, Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00003  on February 18, 2013.

Mayo Clinic Staff, [2010].  When to brush Your Teeth, Answered by Alan Carr, D.M.D., Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/brushing-your-teeth/AN02098 on February 18, 2013

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