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Academy Of Nutrition and Dietetics: Celebrate a World of Flavors During National Nutrition Month®

In March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics focuses attention on healthful eating through National Nutrition Month®. This year’s theme, Celebrate a World of Flavors, embraces global cultures, cuisines and inclusivity, plus highlights the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists. “The theme Celebrate a World of Flavors gives every culture a place at the table,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Libby Mills, a national spokesperson for the Academy in Philadelphia, Pa. “Celebrating the cultural heritage, traditions and recipes from all people is a tasty way to nourish ourselves, learn about one another and find appreciation in our diversity.”

Many of us enjoy cuisines from other nationalities and cultures. In celebration of National Nutrition Month, our Cooper Clinic Nutrition department encourages you to try new foods from around the world to explore new flavors, textures, and aromas. Instead of ordering your go-to favorites, try a new dish full of new foods. Some ethnic foods gaining popularity are ancient grains used in Middle Eastern such as bulgur and quinoa and African cultures such as teff and freekeh. Fermented food’s popularity is also on the rise such as Kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage dish; Miso, a fermented Japanese staple; and Kefir, a popular Middle-eastern beverage, which have all been shown to have health benefits. Instead of eating favorite standbys like Mexican food, consider branching out to other Central and South American cuisines such as Salvadoran, Chilean and Cuban foods. Consider a more plant-based approach by using tofu, tempeh, seitan or more beans and peas to replace meat, fish and poultry in your diet.

Herbs and spices from around the world are a great way to explore flavors. For example, a curry in Indian dishes differs greatly from curry in a Thai dish, and both cuisines offer several types of curries. For some herbs and spices, a little goes a long way, so if you are not sure how much to use or which dish to season.

Try a variety of spices from different cuisines for great new flavors:

  • Asian – garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cilantro, Chinese five-spices powder, chili, Thai basil, mint and lemon grass paste
  • Mexican – chili, cumin, garlic, green chilies, chipotle chilies, jalapenos cilantro, oregano and epizote
  • Italian – garlic, oregano, basil, sage, thyme and marjoram
  • Indian spices – cloves, red chili powder, cumin, coriander, cilantro, garam masala, mustard seeds, curry powder or paste, turmeric, saffron
  • Mediterranean – thyme, basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, fennel, mint, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom

What makes registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) so valuable to people’s quest for good health? RDNs help clients fine-tune traditional recipes and provide alternative cooking methods and other healthful advice for incorporating family-favorite foods into everyday meals. During National Nutrition Month®, the Academy encourages everyone to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits they can follow all year long. The Academy encourages seeking the advice of registered dietitian nutritionists—the food and nutrition experts who can help develop individualized eating and activity plans to meet people’s health goals. “Celebrate a World of Flavors highlights the unique, cultural variety of foods available to people from around the world and the role that dietitians play in helping clients create healthy habits while celebrating their cultural foods and heritage,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Rahaf Al Bochi, a national spokesperson for the Academy in Atlanta, Ga.

National Nutrition Month® was initiated in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, and it became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing interest in nutrition. The second Wednesday of March is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, an annual celebration of the dedication of RDNs as the leading advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

We at Cooper Clinic Nutrition wish you a fun and healthy National Nutrition Month and encourage you to treat your tastebuds to new and delicious flavors. To schedule a one-on-one nutrition consultation or learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655. 

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