I had a patient stop me the other day and ask me why I kept saying the word
variety and what it meant. This really made me take a minute to step back and
think. In the nutrition world, we use phrases like in “moderation”, “variety”, “eat
the rainbow”, and “portion control” all the time without always stopping to
explain what that means.
When it comes to eating and cooking, many of us (myself included) can easily fall
into a rut of cooking and eating many of the came foods over and over. While this
isn’t always a bad thing, we may be missing out on some important nutrients.
Within our bodies, every vitamin, mineral, and nutrient we consume has an
important mechanism it is a part of that keeps us functioning. When we are
missing one or more of these nutrients, we are not giving our bodies the
necessary ingredients for all of these healthy functions to go on inside of us. This
is where variety plays an important role. Every different kind of food has a
wonderfully different make up of nutrients for us. Beans are different from meats
are different from vegetables are different from grains and so on. All of these
provide us with an abundance of different nutrients; Even down to the color.
Green bell peppers offer different nutrients than red or orange or yellow bell
peppers. By switching out some different foods each day, week, or month, we can
make sure we are getting all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients we
need to function at our best, our healthiest.
Here is a challenge for you: The next time you go to the grocery store, pick out a
different fruit or vegetable you have never tried before. Incorporate the family in
by encouraging the kids to help you pick something or help you prepare it at
home. This can be a really fun and great way to increase variety in your diet as
well as getting the family interested in what they are eating. Encourage yourself
to change something out weekly or monthly. This can be as simple as getting
green apples instead of your usual red apples to trying out a whole new recipe.
Let us know what you try! Feel free to share your stories, recipes, and pictures on
our Facebook page at LeSash Nutrition and Health, LLC.