March is Nutrition Month
Throughout the day, our bodies require a constant supply of macronutrients which include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates as well as micronutrients known as vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are critical for carrying out our bodily functions as well as maintaining our cells including those found in our immune system.
As we know, our immune system plays an important role in keeping us healthy. It fights germs associated with viruses by building physical and chemical barriers to prevent pathogens from entering our bodies, it targets and removes pathogens and can even remember pathogens to remove them if the body encounters them again. Micronutrients play a role in these processes and assist in the production of antibodies. When your nutrition is poor, fighting off viruses may be harder since your body is not equipped with the required tools. Research even suggests that certain micronutrients may help fight coronavirus and even though we only need a small quantity of micronutrients, a deficit can lead to a weaker immune system.
The best way to make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals is to eat a well-rounded diet.
Tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, kiwis, berries, leafy greens
Egg yolks, salmon, fortified dairy, mushrooms, SUNLIGHT
Nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and fortified cereals
Legumes, nuts, seeds. red meat, oysters, turkey (dark meat)
Below is a yummy salmon salad recipe that includes micronutrients from each category!
Salmon Salad with Lemon Dressing
- 16 ounces salmon fillets- four 4-ounce pieces
- Olive oil as needed
- 8 cups of leafy greens
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup cucumber diced, ¼-inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- ½ cup walnuts roughly chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Lightly coat both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper and olive oil.
- Heat grill to medium-high. Add a small amount of vegetable oil on a folded piece of paper towel, and carefully grease the grill grates.
- Once the grill is hot, add the salmon fillets. Cook uncovered about 4-5 minutes on each side until flaky (about 130-140°F).
- Remove the salmon from the grill and transfer to a clean plate, cover to keep warm. Remove the skin if still attached.
- In a large bowl add salad ingredients; greens, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, cheese, and walnuts. Set aside.
- Combine dressing ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Toss salad with enough dressing to coat the ingredients, you will have extra dressing. Evenly divide mixture among four bowls and top with 1 salmon fillet. Drizzle each with more dressing if desired.
About Julia Boisselle
Julia grew up in Massachusetts and is a nutrition: dietetics graduate from the University of New Hampshire. Between cycling, skiing, running, dancing, and doing gymnastics she has always had a passion for being active. Julia became a Zumba instructor in high school and later went on to get her spin and personal training certifications. She has coached gymnastics, Orangetheory Fitness classes, taught kids’ and adults’ nutrition courses, and led group exercise classes in the community. Julia loves nutrition research and had the opportunity to present projects at conferences including the international American Society for Nutrition 2018 conference in Boston. Currently, she is working on becoming a Registered Dietitian and hopes to focus on gastrointestinal health and wellness/ weight management. She loves sharing her love of fitness and nutrition with elementary schoolers all the way through senior citizens and always strives to help people find their favorite way to get active and healthy!
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