Ways to Avoid Common Illnesses via Nutrition

It’s that of time year—as the weather gets colder, the numbers of cold and flu cases get higher. Thankfully, you can reduce your risk of catching illnesses by consuming foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants in particular have the ability to prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Consumption of fruits and vegetables can most definitely help keep your body strong and ward off infection.

Here are some other foods that Health magazine deem to helpful in fighting common illnesses:

Fish–Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce harmful inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation prevents the immune systems from working properly. In a 2011 study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, medical students who took fish oil supplement for three months had lower inflammation status and fewer symptoms of anxiety—a condition that can, in fact, weaken the immune system.

Yogurt–Yogurt contains probiotics that aid with digestive health and prevent stomach ailments. A 2011 review of probiotic usefulness found that consuming probiotics, whether in food or supplement form, can lower the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.

Tea–All tea–black, green, or white—contain a group of antioxidants known as catechins which may have flu-fighting properties. In a 2011 Japanese study, people who took catechin capsules for five months had  75% lower odds of catching the flu than people taking not taking the capsule. Other research also suggests that catechins may have the power to boost overall immunity, rev up metabolism, and protect against cancer and heart disease.

Milk–The vitamin D found in milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals can help keep colds at bay. A 2009 study from Massachusetts General Hospital found that lower vitamin D levels were associated with a greater risk of upper respiratory infections. In 2012, the same researchers found that vitamin D supplements can assist in warding off winter colds in children.

Food definitely has a powerful effect on the body. Make it a goal to consume a couple of these foods a day!


National Apple Month

October is Nation Apple Month! According to the U.S. Apple Association, National Apple Month’s mission is to “increase apple industry sales and to enhance consumer awareness and usage of apples and apple products”. With nearly 100 varieties of apples U.S. commercial production, you have plenty of fiber-ful options to choose from!

So, what makes apple so great? First and foremost, apples consist of antioxidants that reduce the number of free radicals in the body. While some free radicals are necessary to fight off infection, too many can cause deterioration of the eye lens, inflammation of the joint and damage to nerve cells in brain. Also, apples contain a good amount of soluble fiber to slow digestion and to help keep us full. (Note that one medium apple contains about 4 grams of fiber)! Fiber has the ability not only to keep us full, but to lower LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help with brain health as well. Finally, a medium apple provides around 10 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to repair damaged free radicals and also plays a role in collagen production. Collagen aids in wound healing and helps to keep the skin healthy.

Want to learn more about local apples? Take a trip on a Saturday with some friends down to a Twin Cities apple orchard (http://www.twincities.com/outdoors/ci_28796419/twin-cities-apple-orchards-where-get-you-fall) and/or come check out Apple Palooza down in the BC Atrium on Tuesday, October 20th between 11 am-1 pm to speak to an employee of Pepin Heights in Lake City, MN. Come sample a couple of apples and purchase a whole one yourself for $1!

Hope to see you there!


Sodexo at Bethel Nutritional Resources

Do you have a general interest in health and wellness? Sodexo has the tools to help you succeed. Oftentimes, students are unaware of the special programs that Sodexo has. Read on to learn more!

Mindful. Mindful is a Sodexo program that focuses on providing healthy, nutritious foods for cafeterias. Sodexo executive chefs and registered dietitians work together to create recipes that feature quality ingredients and delicious flavors. These items, as indicated by a green heart, meet specific criteria in terms of calories, fat and sodium. Check out the daily Monson Dining menu signs for these delicious and nutritious items!

Online Menus and Nutrition Calculator. Menus are posted each week for you to view! Utilize our weekly menus to plan your meals ahead of time. You can also view the nutrition facts of the items being served along with the allergens. Check out the link for more information: https://www.bethel.edu/dining-services/locations/monson/menu

MyFitnessPal. Sodexo and MyFitnessPal have a unique partnership that many people do not know about. If you set up a MyFitnessPal account, you can type in “Sodexo Campus” and all of the food items that are offered at Monson are at your fingertips! Also, at 3900 Grill, you can take pictures of barcodes (if available) and the nutrition information will be automatically uploaded to your daily log. Devices such as Jawbone and FitBit can also track your activity along with the information you upload into MyFitnessPal.

QR Codes. Want nutrition information in a snap? Take a picture of the QR codes on the daily Monson menu signs and you will be directed to the weekly menu.

Schedule an appointment with me! I am available at Bethel on Tuesdays and every other Wednesday. Feel free to reach out to me at k-callahan@bethel.edu with questions regarding our menus!


Have Special Dietary Needs? Dining Services Can Accommodate!

As the prevalence of food allergies and intolerances increase, more and more colleges and universities are taking the necessary steps to ensure that students with food allergies have a safe, successful college experience. Colleges and universities have made the conscious effort to have separate stations that are stocked with gluten-free, dairy-free and other allergen-free products.

Some of the Bethel community members have specific dietary needs related to medical, religious and/or cultural reasons. The Sodexo Bethel Dining Services team is aware of the need to accommodate students with special dietary needs. Each of the dining venues has the ability to produce items that are free of gluten, dairy, soy and so much more.

For more information on the services we provide, please look at the Nutrition and Wellness section of the Bethel Dining page (https://www.bethel.edu/dining-services/nutrition-wellness/). Here there is information for those that are gluten free, lactose free and vegan. If you would like an individual counseling session, please contact me at k-callahan@bethel.edu. Students with medically diagnosed conditions such as Celiac disease or diabetes are encouraged to email Tammi Mild at t-mild@bethel.edu. Tammi will collect the required medical documentation. From there, I will give you a tour of Monson, 3900 and Royal Grounds, explain the options available, introduce you to the chefs and cooks and answer any questions you may have.

Students that with special dietary accommodations are encouraged to attend a special DC Open House on Tuesday, September 15th at 8 pm. During this time, I will provide a tour of the dining hall, explain what options are available and answer any questions you may have. There will also be a Mindful sample that is free of the eight major allergens. Bring your friends and your questions!

Meet the Sodexo Dietitian

Hello everyone! My name is Katie Callahan and I am the new Sodexo Campus Dietitian serving Bethel!

I have a B.A. degree in Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. I completed my dietetic internship through Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. During my dietetic internship, I worked in hospital, public health and food service settings. It was during my time with Concordia College Dining Services that I realized my passion for working as a dietitian on a college campus.

As a Sodexo Campus Dietitian, I create and implement health & wellness programming, establish relationships with a variety of campus groups and organizations and counsel individuals with dietary needs and/or nutrition concerns. Additionally, I conduct group presentations and answers general questions regarding nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Bethel students can look forward to healthy Mindful samplings from off of the menu, various health promotions and nutrition education sessions throughout the school year.

In my spare time, I serve as the Educational Lead on the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) Board, read up on the latest nutrition research, exercise, cook, and spend time with my family and friends.

I am available for group presentations and individual nutrition counseling appointments on Tuesdays and most Wednesdays. Please feel free to email me at k-callahan@bethel.edu for more information.  Also, check out this blog to learn more about trending nutrition topics!

I am excited to start the 2015-2016 school year!

~Katie Callahan