With warmer temperatures and summer on its way, it’s important to remember to keep yourself hydrated! Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and every system of our body (from our Central Nervous System to our Immune System) depends on water in order to function properly! Water is hands-down the most essential nutrient, The question is, “Do you know how much water you should drink each day to stay hydrated?” Although adequate hydration differs for each individual depending on body weight and activity levels, the USDA recommends that adults consume six to eight 8-ounce glasses (equal to about two liters) of water each day. Hydration is a key component to health, but sometimes it can hard to remember to drink water throughout the day, especially with a busy schedule. This week try following a few of the tips listed below and drink up!
- Sweat = Water Loss : Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
- Hungry or Thirsty? : Sometimes if you feel hungry, drink water first. It can be easy to confuse hydration needs with hunger pains.
- Drink Up Before You’re Thirsty : By the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.
- Schedule It : Set reminders on your phone or calendar to drink a glass of water when you wake up and also with every meal.
- Go Green : Carry a reusable water bottle with you, so you can refill it throughout the day.
- Make It Fun : Are you looking to jazz up your water routine? Check out the links below for easy infused water recipes and ideas.
With rising food prices, it can be challenging to purchase groceries and prepare healthy meals. Below you will find 10 tips that can help stretch your food dollar.
1. Plan menus and make a list: Entering a grocery store without a shopping list can result on an additional 5-10 items. Try planning menus and writing a shopping list that corresponds with the store aisles or categories.
2. Use coupons and rewards cards: Clipping coupons can save you (on average) 10-15 percent on your grocery bill.
3. Buy store brands: These products are often less expensive than national brand products and usually maintain the same quality as national brands.
4. Compare unit prices: Many stores show this right on the price tag, so it is easy to compare products.
5. Read food labels: Make sure you try and find the most nutrient dens products using the % Daily Value on the nutrition facts label. Five percent or less is low-try to aim low in saturated fat, Trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Twenty percent or more is high -try to aim high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
6. Buy on sale and in bulk: This can be a great way to save, but only buy larger quantities if you have proper storage.
7. Shop the perimeter: This is where you will find the most nutritious products like fresh fruits and vegetables.
8. Shop seasonally: Fresh Produce often costs less when it’s in season. Check here for a list of what’s in season now.
9. Keep foods safe and prevent food waste: Reference dates printed on food products, such as the use by and sell by dates, to help select the freshest products.
10. Pay attention at check-out: Make sure products ring up right at the register (especially any sale items you have in your cart).
Home food safety is extremely important, when it comes to overall health. Unfortunately, food poisoning is said to affect about 1 out of 6 Americans yearly and has a potential to result in hospitalization or even in extreme cases death. Food poisoning occurs when people eat foods that have been contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella, E. Coli, and others types of poisoning. The symptoms are related to the flu and are very undesirable. Certain people are at a higher risk including young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems because of pre-existing health conditions.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stresses the effects of food poisoning on health and have dedicated time to providing home food safety statistics and information to the public. Foods that commonly cause food poisoning when handled incorrectly include poultry, meat, fish, eggs, and sprouts. Follow the tips below to prevent food-borne illness in your household.
1. Keep it Clean – Washing hands with warm soap and water removes most of the bacteria that has accumulated on the hands during preparation. It is important to keep proper hygiene throughout the day in order to make sure anything you have come in contact with can be removed simply by hand-washing.
2. The Great Divide – Separate raw foods from food that has already been cooked. Designating different cutting boards for raw foods and cooked foods is an excellent way to make sure there is no cross contamination in food preparation. Also, paying close attention to where foods are placed during preparation is required for effective food safety. Washing all cutting boards, plates, and utensils if unsure of cross-contamination is highly recommended.
3. Bring on the Heat – Cook all raw foods at the correct temperature Specific temperatures are required for each type of food based on their make-up. Some of the commonly used temperatures are as follows (given in degrees Fahrenheit):
4. Chill Out – Refrigerate leftover food to 40° Fahrenheit (or below) immediately after you finish eating. For remaining food items, place them in the refrigerator after they cool down. It is dangerous to put warm food in the refrigerator due to potential temperature changes of total storage. This change in temperature can affect the surrounding foods by placing it in the “hazard zone”: 40-140° Fahrenheit.
Modeling food safety for other family members is vital to keeping the home safe. Cooking, preparing, and eating together can help decrease the rate of food-borne illnesses at home. Check out this website and watch fun videos that can help you remember the four steps to food safety (Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill).