Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy eating pattern. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits may lower your risk of heart disease
Vegetables and fruits have important nutrients such as:
Include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your meals and snacks. Try making half of your plate vegetables and fruits.
Choose different textures, colours and shapes to fit your taste. From apples to zucchini, choose plenty of vegetables and fruits.
Try a variety of vegetables and fruits such as:
Fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates are high in sugars. Replace juice with water. Choose whole or cut vegetables and fruits instead of juice.
Choosing and preparing healthy vegetables and fruits
Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruits can all be healthy options.
Frozen and canned vegetables and fruits:
take little time to prepare
are a healthy and convenient option
are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables and fruits
Frozen vegetables and fruits
Choose frozen vegetables and fruits without:
breading or rich sauces
You can add frozen vegetables and fruits to soup or chili.
Canned vegetables and fruits
Choose canned vegetables with little to no added sodium.
Drain and rinse canned vegetables to lower the sodium content.
Choose canned fruit with little to no added sugars.
Use the food labels to help you compare canned vegetables and fruits.
The % daily value helps you see if a food has a little or a lot of a nutrient.
Dried fruit can be a part of healthy eating but it can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. If you choose dried fruit, eat it with meals.
Try healthier cooking methods like:
Enhance the flavour by adding:
fresh or dried herbs or spices
Vegetables and fruits make quick and healthy snacks. There are lots to choose from and many healthy ways to prepare them.
Vegetable snacking tips
Keep cut up fresh vegetables in the fridge for a quick and healthy snack. Try:
Fruit snacking tips
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter as an easy snack to grab.
Add fruit to whole grain cereals or lower fat yogurt. Try:
canned peaches packed in water
Freeze seedless grapes on a tray and enjoy them as a snack.
How to eat more vegetables
Here are some easy ways to eat more vegetables:
Add canned pumpkin or squash purée to any soup to make it extra rich and creamy.
Wash, chop and refrigerate or freeze extra vegetables when preparing meals so you have extra for meals the next day.
Use pre-bagged vegetables that can be quickly tossed in a salad, stir-fry or casserole. Try:
Serve raw vegetables with your meals. Try:
cherry or grape tomatoes
red, yellow or green peppers
Try new recipes that call for different types of leafy greens such as:
mixed salad greens
How to eat more fruits
Fruits are a delicious addition to your day. Here are some easy ways to eat more fruit:
For dessert, choose:
fruit salad, with little to no added sugars
Add fresh fruits to salads. Try adding sliced:
Add frozen fruits to baking.
Wash, cut and refrigerate extra fruit so you can have some on hand for meals and snacks.
TIPS TO ENJOY HEALTHY KNITTING
Many of us turn to knitting to pass the time and can be a great exercise for those with hand pain. However, knitting is a repetitive motion and can lead to a variety of injuries, much like typing, sewing and other repetitive tasks. Knitting can cause strain not only on the hands and wrists, but also on the neck and upper back due to the extended length of time knitters are looking down at their work in a sitting position. Knitting can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome related to improper wrist positioning and grip technique in serious cases.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association has compiled a few tips and techniques to help knitters enjoy their hobby free of pain and discomfort:
- The single most important thing a knitter can do to prevent injury is take frequent, regular breaks. Change the position of your body and look up often from your work and into the distance.
- Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and try not to hunch. Try to engage your abdomen when adjusting your posture.
- Stretch your fingers by clenching your hands and then spreading your fingers as far as you can. Stretch and strengthen your wrists with simple curls. Lay your forearm on a flat surface with your wrist at the edge. While holding a small hand weight, let your wrist fall over the edge and then lift the weight up towards you only bending your wrist. The rest of your arm should remain flat on the table.
- Switch it up! Learning to switch easily between English and Continental knitting styles will allow you to keep on stitching while reducing the risk of repetitive strain.
- Sit in a comfortable but supportive chair and consider placing a small cushion, rolled up towel or sweater between your chair and the curve in the small of your low back.
- The tools you use matter. Consider smooth, lightweight needles. Circular needles are best for large projects. When crocheting, use ergonomic hooks.
- Make small, efficient movements. Practice how small you can make your movements. Keep the working yarn close to the tip of the needles.
- Grasp your yarn gently. A consistently relaxed grip will help you keep a constant gauge while reducing unnecessary strain on your neck, shoulders and forearms.
- Hold your projects away from you. This will help you relax and avoid muscle and eye strain.
- Plan your knitting projects in advance and try to space them out over time.
Any pain or stiffness resulting from knitting should not be ignored. Knitting should be a fun, relaxing hobby. Make sure that knitting is contributing to your wellbeing and health, not more injuries.
More information on back health, including how to protect your back during snow shovelling, can be found online at www.chiropractic.on.ca/health-tips.
BUILDING YOUR CORE
Build your core so your back is not sore. You often hear about the importance of strengthening your core. This is true and important, but it is recommended for many reasons over and over just achieving your dream body.
Many people have back pain and this can sometimes be caused by weak abdominal muscles. In fact, developing strong abdominal muscles may actually help prevent back pain by enabling proper spinal alignment, making you less prone to back injuries. Your abs anchor your frontal core, and if they are weak, the other structures supporting your spine, such as back muscles, will have to work harder. By developing stronger core muscles, you’ll be less likely to injure or strain your back muscles.
Below are three exercises that help build your core, so your back’s not sore.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and feet turned out, toes pointed. Contract your core muscles and roll your shoulders forward creating a curve in your back. Lift and move arms in succession as if you were climbing a rope, twisting your core slightly with each reach. Repeat 20 times.
Start in a plank position with abs tight. Pull right knee in and circle it clockwise, then counterclockwise. Keep the rest of your body stationary. Repeat five times and then switch legs.
Sit with knees bent and feet on floor. (A) Straighten right leg. Roll spine into a C-curve. Place left hand behind head and extend right arm. (B) Twist body to the left, roll back a bit more (and hold for one count), then come up. Do five reps and then switch sides.
Try these exercises to help tone your core, three to four times per week for about 15 minutes. Your back will thank you.
Provided by Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates