March is National Nutrition Month® 2022! The theme, “Celebrate a World of Flavors”, encourages embracing the flavors and cuisine of cultures around the world to create healthy meals.1 Using flavors, ingredients, or recipes from different cultures is a fun and exciting way to learn more about your background as well as cultures you may be unfamiliar with.1
Incorporating recipes from other cultures into your diet can introduce you to new foods and ingredients.1 The new foods may remind you of foods you enjoy or are familiar with, but they could also be different from anything you have tried before.1 Recipes from other cultures may include foods that are recognizable to you but prepared in a new way.1
Experimenting with different or new flavors and foods can help increase the variety in your diet.1 People tend to enjoy nutrient-poor foods because they have a more intense, favorable taste due to the presence of high levels of sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.2 Incorporating different ingredients or seasonings with nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can enhance their flavor.3 This makes them more enjoyable and can increase the likelihood of continued consumption.3
Trying recipes from different cultures can make it easy to incorporate foods from every food group into your meal.1 The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has developed tips for incorporating the flavors of other cultures into your diet including:
- Choose healthy recipes based on dishes from other cultures when meal planning for the week.1
- Consider the season and temperature when selecting recipes and purchasing ingredients.1 If it is cold outside you may want something served warm, whereas when it is warm out you may want something served cold.1
- Read nutrition labels to ensure you are meeting the nutrient recommendations.4
- Substitute ingredients in your breakfast or snacks with foods from other cultures.1 Ensure that your breakfast or snack is made from healthy, nutritious foods.1
- Prepare more meals at home.4
- Have meals as a family a few times per week and get children involved in meal planning and preparation.4
There are benefits of embracing a variety of flavors from other cultures and incorporating them into your diet. If you would like further information on this topic please visit:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eat Right Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Celebrate a World of Flavors. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published 2022. Accessed February 1, 2022. Celebrate-a-World-of-Flavors_NNM22_English.pdf.
- Liem DG, Russell KG. The Influence of Taste Liking on the Consumption of Nutrient Rich and Nutrient Poor Foods. Front Nutr. 2019; 6: 174. Doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00174.
- Fritts JR, Bermudez MA, Hargrove RL, Alla L, Fort C, Liang Q, Cravener TL, Rolls BJ, D’Adamo CR, Hayes JE, Keller KL. Using Herbs and Spices to Increase Vegetable Intake Among Rural Adolescents. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2019; 51(7): 806-816. Doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.04.016.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eat Right Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 20 Health Tips for 2022. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2022. 20 Health Tips_NNM22_English.pdf.