Texas AgriLife Extension Service family and community health agent Keely McCrady visited the Cleburne Lions Club on Wednesday to discuss how to live a healthy life.
Some of the topics she discussed included overall well-being and quality of life, keeping healthy eating habits, cognition and maintaining proper hydration.
Well-being includes three aspects — being, belonging and becoming, she said.
“Being includes being physically able to get around, being free of worry and stress, having hope for the future and also being able to cope with changes in life,” she said. “Belonging is going to include things like belonging to a family, a circle of friends or even belonging in a neighborhood or community.
“Becoming involves growing, doing and learning: doing things around the house, working at a job or going to school, doing outdoor and indoor activities such as gardening, walking or even just trying a new recipe.”
Quality of life is a measure of someone’s perceived health status, she said.
Good nutrition reduces the risk for diet-related chronic diseases: heart disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and some forms of cancer. Good nutrition includes eating patterns with less saturated fat, sodium and added sugars and eating food with more water, lean and plant protein, vegetables, whole grains and fat free dairy.
When it comes to nutrition and someone’s physical well-being, she said it’s important to keep good bone health by consuming calcium and vitamin D; blood health by consuming iron; and muscle health by consuming lean and plant protein.
When it comes to nutrition and someone’s cognitive well-being, she said it’s important to consume omega three fatty acids, B12, fewer refined carbohydrates, added sugars and less saturated fat to support brain health.
“Cognition includes activities such as thinking, understanding, learning and remembering,” she said. “We know from research that good nutrition in general is important for brain health. There are certain nutrients that play a special important role in making that healthy cognition.”
It’s also important to keep hydrated by consuming water, juice and fat free dairy and to consume a regular meal pattern, she said.
All these things are important for maintaining independence and a good quality of life, she said.
For information, visit johnson.agrilife.org.