Monday, October 8, 2007

Nutrition Tips for Your Busy Life

Below is a great article from Mealtime.com providing a few suggestions in order to incorporate a healthy diet into your lifestyle. Although they suggest adding canned fruits and vegetables remember: it does not take much time to cut up a fresh tomato, peach, or onion as a nice addition to your salad or sandwich. Canned vegetables are better than no vegetables at all, however, fresh is best! Mix it up. Have fresh one day and canned the next. My concern with canned fruit and vegetables is that they contain excess sodium, sugar, and unnecessary calories.

Paint Your Plate with Color – Mix blueberries or pineapple tidbits in your yogurt. Garnish your salad with sliced beets or peach slices. Tuck spinach leaves into your sandwich. Use carrot coins, corn and sliced peppers as pizza toppers. Make a taco salad with tomato salsa. Fortify canned and homemade soup with green peas or beans. Switch to a sweet-potato salad. A rainbow of fruits and vegetables – canned, frozen, fresh - create a palette of nutrients and phytonutrients, or plant substances, on your plate. Many phytonutrients work as antioxidants that protect healthy body cells from damage – and may help protect against some cancers, heart disease and other health problems. Check Mealtime.org regularly for hundreds of free, healthy recipes made with phytonutrient-rich canned fruits and vegetables.


Go Lean with Protein - Protein-rich foods take center plate in most meals. A good thing since we all need protein to build and repair body cells. And emerging research suggests that eating more protein as you get older may help you keep your muscle mass as lifestyles become less physically active. No matter what the source, smart choices are also lean, low-fat or fat-free! Among the quick-to-prepare, quick-to-serve options to have on hand: canned tuna, salmon, chicken or turkey for salads and stir-fries; skinless chicken breasts, fish fillets or steaks to broil or grill; lean ground meat for burgers and pasta sauces; eggs to scramble; and a variety of canned beans for salads, stews, soups and more. An added bonus, salmon and tuna deliver heart-healthy omega-3s and beans provide fiber.

Fiber: Bundled with Nutrients and Phytonutrients – Fiber-rich foods – beans, whole-grain products, vegetables and some fruits - are loaded with health benefits. Fiber itself not only aids digestion, but also helps protect you from a host of health problems, from constipation and hemorrhoids, to some forms of cancer. Generally lower in calories, fiber-rich foods also help with weight management. There’s more: eating “fiber-rich” foods may help people with diabetes maintain blood sugar levels. And it’s heart-healthy. “Fiber up” your pantry: keep canned beans, vegetables and fruit on hand for quick and easy fiber-rich meals.

You Say “Tomato” – Tomatoes contain lycopene, a phytonutrient in the carotenoid family, which may help protect against prostate cancer and heart disease. Research indicates that heat from cooking or canning makes the lycopene in tomatoes more available to your body. That said, use the variety of canned tomato products, such as diced and whole tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste, tomato soup, and salsas, as your best and most convenient food sources of lycopene.

"Soy" Good! – Whether canned black or yellow soybeans, soybeans in the pod, soy drinks, tofu or the many other soy products in today’s marketplace, soy delivers on nutrition. It not only provides high-quality protein, but it’s also a good source of B vitamins, potassium, unsaturated fats and isoflavones, which may help lower your risks for some health problems. Soy protein may be heart healthy, too! Quick meal ideas: add canned soybeans to your soups, pasta sauces, chili and salads.(Mealtime.com)

1 comment:

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