Lāna’i Health Center Shares Tips for National Nutrition Month
The Lāna’i Community Health Center is sharing tips for National Nutrition Month in March.
The LCHC staff of medical professionals and fitness instructors are taking the opportunity to share important information on nutrition, healthy eating and the benefits of physical exercise.
“Living a healthy lifestyle includes taking care of what and how we eat,” said Diana Shaw, LCHC executive director. “By providing healthy eating tips and recipes, and offering free fitness classes for the community, as well as incorporating these activities into our holistic approach to health care, we hope to continue our mission to encourage families to lead healthier lives.”
National Nutrition Month in March is a nutrition-focused education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In order to maintain a healthy body and mind, Lāna’i Community Health Center encourages families to eat food rich in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Some of these foods are:
- Vegetables such as broccoli (rich in fiber and Vitamin C) and dark, leafy greens which contain phytochemicals. Eating foods high in phytochemicals promotes good health and may lower the risk of getting certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease.
- Fruit (especially whole fruits) such as blueberries which are rich in fiber and have one of the highest antioxidant capacities. Antioxidants help to combat the free radicals or damaging substances that can damage healthy cells. Other fruits include strawberries, apples and oranges.
- Fish is recommended as it is one of the healthiest foods on earth and loaded with nutrients such as Vitamin D, protein and omega-3 fatty acids which are important for your brain, eyes and heart health. The American Heart Association recommends eating one serving of fish (particularly fatty fish) at least twice a week.
- Whole grains and nuts are packed with protein, fiber vitamins and antioxidants.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, such as yogurt and cheese.
- Oils – some healthy oils to cook with include olive, soybean, sunflower, coconut, avocado, corn, safflower, grapeseed and sesame. Avoid exposing olive oil to heat because it will burn, better to drizzle on vegetables or use in salad dressings. For cooking, try coconut or palm oils.
To further support its mission of encouraging healthy habits, Lāna’i Community Health Center offers nutritional counseling. Individuals meet with an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who can help develop a healthy eating plan, explain proper portion control and identify foods to eat based on lifestyle goals and any medical concerns. They will also provide information about our fitness program and suggest exercise that will fit the needs of the patient. LCHC is also in the process of incorporating Community Health Workers into the process to provide one-on-one patient support to make healthy lifestyle changes.
“The process of developing healthier habits starts with shifting one’s mindset and re-evaluating our quality of life,” says Dr. Shaw. “In addition to physical health exams and annual preventive screenings (specific to a person’s age and sex), we encourage our community to make daily choices to eat better and incorporate physical activity – all of this can reduce the risk of developing diseases.”
In addition to physical health exams, preventive screenings, and nutritional counseling, Lāna’i Community Health Center offers weekly fitness classes to the community at no cost. Classes include Yoga, Pilates, Boxing Fundamentals, Zumba, Total Body Conditioning, Tai Chi and Kung Fu.