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Spring season brings healthy fruits and vegetables

March 27, 2015

“As a result of the long, cold, winter season many of our diets change, and become unbalanced,” Kelly Slattery, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. “Regardless of the time of year, we should all try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains to maintain and improve overall health."

“Dietitians and health professionals are always recommending people eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, but they can get expensive, especially in the winter months when many varieties need to be imported. One of the best nutrition tips out there is to shop seasonal for the best nutritional quality and pricing,” said Slattery.

In the spring, look for all the fresh greens to start popping up including:

  • asparagus
  • fiddleheads
  • chard
  • lettuce
  • rhubarb
  • scallions
  • herbs such as mint, parsley, and thyme

Health benefits

Vegetables can go a long way in satisfying your appetite and boosting your intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals.

Most vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them some of the few foods that people without guilt,” Slattery said.

The benefits of healthy eating include increased mental acuteness, resistance to illness and disease, higher energy levels, faster recuperation times, and better management of chronic health problems.

“For those with diabetes, healthy diet may just be the best medicine. In fact, a diabetes diet, which is really just an overall healthy diet with portion control, can go beyond helping you achieve blood sugar control,” noted Slattery, who facilitates a monthly Diabetes Support Group.

Supporting each other

The Diabetes Support Group meets on the first Thursday of each month from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at the hospital in the Main Conference Room, located on the second floor.

“Individuals with diabetes share information, give and receive support, and learn new ways to manage their health at each meeting,” Slattery said. “A diabetes support group is not just for people with diabetes. Caregivers, parents of children with diabetes and partners, siblings and even friends of people with diabetes are encouraged to get involved and learn about how to care for their loved ones.”

Meetings are open to community members who have diabetes, their families and anyone who is interested in learning more about diabetes. Registration is not required.