Nutrition: Vitamins and Minerals

When you’re exploring different foods and learning about the many benefits of balanced meals, it’s easy to get carried away with portioning and identifying the macronutrients. As important as they are, it’s critical to pay attention to micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, as they also have a “macro” job. Vitamins and minerals support bodily functions, like metabolic processes, that keep us healthy.

As part of NOVA Online’s Nutrition series, we worked with a community partner to present a Vitamins and Minerals Nutrition workshop. The program provided an overview of the following: vitamins and minerals, dietary recommended intakes (DRI’s), essential types of vitamins and minerals, and supplement safety.

  • Vitamins are organic substances found in food that can either be fat-soluble or water-soluble. Minerals are inorganic substances found in soil and water that can be absorbed and/or consumed by plants and animals.
  • Dietary Recommended Intakes (DRI’s) is a set of reference values for nutrients. Find information about DRI’s on the National Institutes of Health’s website.
  • The top six vitamins and minerals you should know include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, and Zinc.
  • Although supplements are available, it’s advised to use food as your primary source of vitamins and minerals. If you are taking supplements, it’s encouraged to consult with your healthcare provider first and to always look for third-party verification on the supplement’s label.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to enroll in the Virtual Student Union to stay up to date on upcoming programs!

Nutrition 101

Taking care of our bodies can feel like quite the challenge when you’re starting to learn about Nutrition. With a stronger understanding of Nutrition, it’s less about you trying to find “the way” to healthy eating and more about finding the infinite ways food can nourish you.

Recently, we offered the first in a series of programs about Nutrition. NOVA Online worked with a community partner to present a Nutrition 101 workshop. The program provided an overview of the following: macronutrients, micronutrients, healthy plate composition, and nutrition labels.

  • Macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. They help provide energy, support cell growth, repair and build muscles.
  • Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. They support bodily functions and are only needed in small amounts.
  • A healthy plate composition is composed of produce, carbs, protein, and fat. The portion size of each is dependent on the activity level of your lifestyle.
  • Nutrition labels highlight serving information, calories, nutrients, and percent daily value. They can help you make smart and healthy choices.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to enroll in the Virtual Student Union to stay up to date on upcoming programs!

Getting to Know the Healthy Mind Platter!

As part of your New Year’s resolutions, you promised yourself you would be taking steps towards forming healthy habits and prioritizing your wellness. To help you achieve this, we would like to introduce you to the Healthy Mind Platter. The Healthy Mind Platter, created by Daniel Siegel and David Rock, focuses on seven mental activities for optimum mental health and overall wellbeing. The seven activities include:

  • Focus Time – Giving your undivided attention and care to a task.
  • Play Time – Providing yourself the opportunity to be spontaneous and creative.
  • Connecting Time – Being intentional about connecting with other people and the natural world.
  • Physical Time – Making time for physical activity.
  • Time In – Taking a mindfulness break to reflect internally and focus on sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts.
  • Down Time – Carving out time to let your mind relax and wander without a purpose.
  • Sleep Time – Ensuring time for the brain to rest and recover from the day’s activities.

With practice, these activities can become habits and have a powerful impact on your life. The Office of Wellness and Mental Health and NOVA Online hosted a Healthy Mind Platter workshop to talk about these activities in depth during Spring 2024 Welcome Week. Check out the Virtual Student Union (VSU) for more information!