Health Expert Prescribes Fresh Food as "First" Medicine
Thursday, July 20, 2017
GLENWOOD Springs, Colo. -- As the nation's lawmakers continue to grapple with rising health costs and coverage options, Colorado's Mountain Family Health Centers are promoting a common sense preventive approach to good health: eating better food more frequently.
Family Nurse Practitioner Jenny Lang said a healthy diet - avoiding processed foods and eating more vegetables and fruit - boosts your immune system, fights cancer and infections, and helps you maintain a proper weight.
"And gives us good energy,” Lang said. "You know, if you're not putting in good energy sources, people feel fatigued, people feel low motivation; they don't have the energy to get out there and be active."
Lang has been asking children during wellness visits to tell her their favorite vegetable or fruit, and the last time they ate it. And she’s heard many parents say kids only get fresh food a few times a week. She said her patients are frequently surprised to learn that kids and parents should be eating five servings of vegetables and fruits per day.
Lang encourages people to avoid ultra-processed foods - such as frozen dinners, potato chips and soda - as much as possible. And she said fast foods are typically high in salt and fat, and are harder for the body to process.
She said it's not uncommon for people who are obese to suffer from malnutrition. And she believes good food really should be the first medicine.
"From carrots to broccoli to blueberries, you know, the more colorful it is, the more nutritious - or antioxidant rich - that food is going to be,” Lang said.
A common barrier for many of her patients is not knowing how to prepare fresh foods at home, Lang said. She recommends the website choosemyplate.gov, which has cooking tips, serving suggestions and other tools to help families get the fuel they need for better health.
get more stories like this via email
Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …
New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…
A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …
Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…
Health and Wellness
Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…
Connecticut is celebrating its first estuary reserve, which will help identify environmental threats to waterways and natural resources. …
New York elected officials are calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation to transition new buildings off fossil fuels, saying it would make …
A totem pole from Washington state promoting a free-flowing Snake River has nearly completed its 2,500-mile journey around the Northwest. The Spirit …