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March 12-18 is Nutrition and Hydration Week, an important global campaign which focuses on promoting awareness and encouraging people to embrace good nutrition and hydration as part of their daily life.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your health, here are a few things that could help:

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veggies every day. Besides their many nutritional benefits, another good reason to eat your daily fruits and vegetables is for their high percentage of water. Watermelons and strawberries are about 92% water. Cucumbers and iceberg lettuce have around 96% water.

Be aware of dehydration.

Water is our primary and most important nutrient. Even mild amounts of dehydration can leave you feeling fatigued. In order to stay hydrated, consume plenty of fluids throughout the day from both drinks and food. There are many easy ways to drink more water throughout the day. Prevention is key, don’t wait until it’s too late!

Eat more plant-based proteins.

Black beans, lentils, chickpeas, buckwheat, almonds, chia seeds, tofu, and edamame are good sources of protein and contain many vitamins and minerals. Plant proteins are a nutritious option that can improve your digestive health by fueling the good bacteria in your microbiome.

Cut down on sugar.

You'll quickly realize just how often sugar is added to foods when you look for it on ingredients lists. Cutting out sugar isn't realistic for most people, instead cut back slowly. For instance, if you normally put three packets of sugar in your coffee, try two for a week or so, then try using just one.

Eat less salt.

Your body needs a little bit of salt every day for the sodium it contains but eating too much is not good for our health. Some of the highest-sodium foods are: pizza, soup, breads, processed cheese, ketchup, and cold cuts. As you take steps to reduce sodium gradually, over time your taste buds will adjust to less salt and you’ll actually start to appreciate foods for their true flavor.

Stay active.

Getting regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you want to become and stay active, you need to practice the physical activities you love because the more fun you know you'll have, the more motivated you'll be to get moving. Thinking about exercising after ostomy surgery? You can do it!

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