Thriving Together Series

Thriving Together Series: Nutrition

By: Zill Raval, Graduate Assistant, Well-Being, Mason Recreation

“Let your food be your medicine” – Hippocrates

Food tends to have a negative connotation in our world today. People worry about eating too many calories and gaining weight. That anxiety can make food seem like an enemy. In reality, though, the nutrition that food provides is vital fuel for our well-being. Food gives us energy to exercise, to get our daily tasks done, and  to focus. When we eat well, our bodies feel good and stay healthy. Additionally, contrary to what some people believe, eating the right kinds of food regularly can even help us lose or maintain a healthy weight.

Eating a healthy diet can even  decrease chances of chronic diseases. As Hippocrates said, “Let your food be your medicine.” According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Unites States’ top leading chronic illnesses are heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. We can reduce our risk of all three of those  through a healthy diet.

Many research studies by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that proper nutrition is the best effective and least expensive way to lower chances of disease and their risk factors, including being overweight.

In a  documentary called Forks Over Knives, researchers show that a healthy diet (in this case, a plant-based diet) can reverse a disease in some cases. The documentary includes an individual who has been diagnosed with diabetes, and with the help of a plant-based diet, that person was able to overcome diabetes. Food can powerfully affect our well-being.

How to Maintain a Healthy Diet

One practice  we can do to keep us on track with a healthy diet is to plan  meals for the week. This allows us to make healthy meals even when we’re the busiest, and also add in foods we love but cannot have every day.

At the beginning of each  week, we can give ourselves about 30 minutes to think about meals we want for the week ahead. Consider specific types of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Keep one to three meals unplanned. This allows us to splurge for a meal and have something we really enjoy, like a piece of pizza. Try to keep variety in the meals we do plan, including vegetables, proteins, and fats. Then, plan some snacks, as well.

Additional Resources

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s nutrition site.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition site.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’s nutrition site.

video on nutrition for a healthy life.

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