Many of us look forward to March Madness basketball games and the beginning of spring in March, but did you know it’s also National Nutrition Month? Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital, shares her nutrition tips. 

What does nutrition mean?

Nurse Rose: Nutrition refers to getting the right food and nourishment to provide us with the vitamins, nutrients and energy we need for health and growth.

Having good nutrition is important because getting the right nutrients and vitamins can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce your risk for health conditions and disease
  • Live a longer, healthier life

What health problems can poor nutrition cause?

Nurse Rose: Having poor nutrition, or an unhealthy diet, can increase your risk for many health problems.

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Certain typs of cancer
  • Obesity

How can we eat a healthier diet?

Nurse Rose: For a healthy diet, limit or avoid:

  • Added Sugar. Avoid soda, sports drinks, processed snacks and sweets
  • Go for food with 140 mg of sodium or less per serving
  • Trans- or Saturated Fat. Go for fat-free or low-fat dairy products and food with healthy fats like fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil.

A great tip is to aim for a well-balanced plate filled with nutrient-rich foods at every meal.

  • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables
  • Fill one-quarter of your plate with whole grains like whole wheat, barley, quinoa and brown rice.
  • Fill one-quarter of your plate with lean protein like fish, chicken, beans and nuts.

Need more nutrition help? Make an appointment with a registered dietitian. Call 301-891-6105.

Additional Health Tips from Rose

Find more family health tips online or tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to hear Rose live.