Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Eat More…Fruits and Veggies

Do you eat 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies every day?  While most people like fruits and veggies, most fall short of the recommended 5-9 servings per day. It’s still a worthwhile goal, though, as research shows powerful benefits of diets high in fruits and veggies.  Some of the potential benefits include:
·         Decreased risk of certain types of cancer
·         Decreased risk of heart disease
·         Decreased calorie intake with improved weight control
·         Improved immunity
·         Improved vision health
·         Healthier aging

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytonutrients.  These benefits from diets high in fruits and veggies cannot be achieved simply by taking supplements. Tips to increase fruits and veggies in your diet include:

  • Add fresh berries or bananas to your morning cereal or yogurt
  • Keep dried fruit in your car or desk for a quick sweet snack
  • Mix fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and skim or soy milk for a refreshing fruit smoothie
  • Mix ¼ cup 100% fruit juice with sparkling water for a cool fruit spritzer
  • Keep your pantry and freezer stocked with canned (in juice or water) or frozen (without added sugar) fruit for variety and when out of fresh
  • Grow a vegetable garden. There’s nothing like a plentiful supply of fresh veggies in season.
  • Shop regularly at Farmer’s Markets in your area for flavorful fresh veggies and fruit. 
  • Try vegetable toppings on your pizza. 
  • Eat salad at least once a day.
  • Stock your pantry and freezer with canned (without added salt) and frozen (without added sauces or salt) veggies for variety and when out of fresh
  • Make half your plate veggies and fruit

The Produce for Better Heath Foundation promotes eating at least 5 – 9 servings per day of fruits and vegetables through their campaign, “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters.”  For more helpful information, fun facts, recipes and a guide to what is “in season,” visit their website:

This month, for National Nutrition Month, eating more fruits and veggies in the WMHS cafeteria makes you eligible to win healthy gift baskets, so when you eat in the WMHS cafeteria in March, choose fruits or veggies, fill out a ticket at the cash register and drop in the box to be eligible to win. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Welcome to Nourishing Nuggets for Better Health

Nourishing Nuggets for Better Health is the new nutrition and wellness blog of the Western Maryland Health System to help you move beyond the headlines and get facts you can use to help improve your health.
There will be many authors -- from Registered Dietitians to Wellness Coaches. Today's post comes from Theresa Stahl, RD/LD.


This March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, celebrates the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact food choices. 

Here are a few tips from AND to help you eat right every day:

1.  Get Cooking  Cooking at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. To help you learn cooking and kitchen basics, AND has a collection of videos called “How do I” videos on their website at

2. Dine Out without Ditching Your Goals Research shows that people who lose weight and keep it off successfully, don’t ditch their goals when they eat out.  You can stick to your healthy eating plan when you eat out! The key is to plan ahead, ask questions and choose foods carefully. Think about nutritious items you can add to your plate—fruits, veggies, lean meat, poultry or fish—and look for grilled, baked, broiled or steamed items.

3. Eat Family Meals Research shows that family meals promote healthier eating. Plan to eat as a family at least a few times each week. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV, phones and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition. For family mealtime tips, visit

Here are some of our National Nutrition Month events:

• Weight Management Support Group - Every Tuesday in March from 5-6 pm in auditorium 3 at WMHS. For more information, click here:
• Heart Healthy Nutrition Class – March 26 at 1 pm.  For more information click here:
• And for more information about great nutrition programs from WMHS, visit our website:  or here:

Remember to make your own healthy choices every day. Happy, Healthy National Nutrition Month!  Let us know your questions and share any tips you have for eating healthy every day! Hope to see you at some of our events!