BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – For National Nutrition Month® 2016, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and United Hospital Center are encouraging everyone to "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right" by taking time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors, and social experiences food can add to your life.

“Your source of energy and nourishment is through the foods you consume; thereby, helping you to live and protect your body against diseases," Sherry Spagnuolo, RD, LD, registered dietitian at UHC, said. “Certainly food should be enjoyed. So the way you prepare and combine food is also important.”

Enjoy Food Traditions and Social Experiences
There is an obvious social component to food. Whether a nightly family dinner, special holiday occasion, or social gathering, food often plays a central role.

“Getting back to the tradition of eating together as a family is significant in that it promotes the family bond and helps us to eat healthier, too,” Spagnuolo said. “It is certainly a ritual that we all need to practice.”

Appreciate Foods Pleasures and Flavors
Take time to appreciate the flavors, textures, and overall eating experience. In today's busy world, we often eat quickly and mindlessly. Instead, try following this tip to help you savor the flavor of your food: Eat slowly.

“Eat slowly to savor the flavors and textures of your food,” Spagnuolo says. “This not only allows you to appreciate what you’re consuming, but it can also help you to eat less as your stomach will send a message to your brain that you are full.”

Develop a Mindful Eating Pattern
How, when, why, and where you eat are just as important as what you eat. Being a mindful eater can help you reset both your body and your mind and lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.

"Avoid multitasking through you meals," Spagnuolo said. “Take time to mindfully eat so that you will feel fuller faster and be less likely to over eat.”

Consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
“Making good food choices based on your individual health and nutrient needs and including healthy habits, like exercise,  can be essential in contributing to an overall healthy lifestyle,” Spagnuolo said.

For more information: Matt Chisler, Director of Public Relations at United Hospital Center, 681-342-1611