Father’s Day comes around just one day every year, but this year give dad a gift that will last him throughout the year, the gift of health! This year I have written a letter to all respective dads to be shared among loved ones.
Dear Dad (Grandfathers, husbands and future dads),
Dad's stand for strength, assurance and kindness. It takes a great man to stand up to a huge responsibility and become a father who passes on his wisdom, skills and advice. Keep your body in the best shape it can be with these ten healthy tips strong enough to help you keep up your “super-dad” name!
1. Lycopene. An amazing phytochemical found in abundance in tomatoes, watermelon and papaya and has been shown to be a potential prostate cancer reducer. Include red colored fruits and vegetables to increase your intake of this nutrient packed phytochemical.
2. Avocados. Great for inflammation and chocked full of monounsaturated fatty acids (the good type of fats) as well as being a potential cholesterol and diabetes reducer.
3. Choose lean protein sources. Only eat red meat or beef one time per week and make it lean cuts like loin and round. Eat chicken without the skin and try to eat fish at least 1 time per week. Consider going meatless one day a week incorporating beans, nuts and soy products as the main meal item.
4. If you drink alcohol switch to red wine for the benefits of resveratrol. In moderation, red wine has shown to be potentially heart-healthy.
5. Don't forget to eat breakfast and regular meals throughout the day. Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and will balance your mood, concentration and endurance throughout the day.
6. Keep moving for at least 60 minutes per day. Exercise is a great stress relief and good for all aspects of your body.
7. Sleep for at least 8 hours per night.
8. When you grill consider marinating meat in a mixture of oil, vinegar and spices including onions and garlic to help minimize the carcinogens that may occur during the process of grilling.
10. Remember you are a huge role model for the entire family, what you do they will likely copy.
Happy Father’s Day! This year and to many more!
Brandi Thompson RDN, LD/N
P.S. Sometimes the best gifts that we can give our dads are hugs and kind words of appreciation. As a Registered Dietitian it can be hard for me to hold back when I see my dad eating in an unhealthy way. We would all like to see our dads live forever and I am often torn between letting him enjoy what he is eating and reminding him of healthier choices. My dad has always been a strong and impressionable part of my life and two and a half years ago he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As a family we were devastated and writing about it still gets me teary eyed even though he has been in remission for almost two years. The celebration of Father’s Day can be a time of reflection on our families, our work life and how we fuel our bodies. Taking advantage of the aspects of nutrition that are valid and evidence based can help our dads, husbands and sons live a long and healthy life.
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Stay tuned for our new cooking curriculum for Elementary level kids, coming later this summer!