Eating Healthy

Thursday, June 18, 2015 Written by 
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I’m thinking healthy again.  I always try to be health conscious, but life happens and I forget or don’t have time to eat right.  The following information is nothing new, but I find reminders are helpful, so, here in mid-June, I’m trying once again to turn over a new leaf.

Asparagus is a longevity-promoting vegetable that is high in potassium and vitamin B12.  It also aids in cell repair throughout your body.  It can be steamed on the stove in a skillet or b-b-qued.

Beans and legumes are a healthy non-meat protein. They're low in fat and high in fiber, which can promote heart health. An Australian study found that people who regularly eat beans live longer.   A beans and rice combo is considered the ‘perfect food’ as it gives you protein and fiber.

Garlic is more than just a pungent flavoring agent; it contains allicin, which helps promote heart health.  To cut down on the body odor fresh garlic produces, try garlic powder, but not garlic salt. 

Green Tea contains antioxidants thought to help prevent certain types of cancer and may even reduce and repair skin damage from ultraviolet light.  My go-to drink is tea, especially green tea. 

Mushrooms are a true super food. They're low in calories (one cup of chopped raw mushrooms is about 15 calories) and contain antioxidants, selenium, and vitamin D, which are all thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Nuts and seeds (especially almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds) contain good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower bad cholesterol.  Walnuts are also a healthy nut.  Sprinkle slivered almonds, walnut halves or pieces, and/or sunflower seeds on salads.  Also cook them into vegetable side dishes.

Wine in small amounts may reduce the risk of heart diseases, but excessive consumption can contribute to a host of health problems.   I don’t drink, so if you are the same, add grape juice for the same health benefits.

Salmon like all fatty fish (tuna, and anchovies are two more) contain fatty acids, which can help lower bad cholesterol.  Tilapia is also a good low-cost choice.  If you use canned salmon, be sure to get the can with bones.  The bones are soft and are a wonderful source of calcium.

Sweet Potatoes are high in fiber and beta-carotene; sweet potatoes also contain the anti-aging hormone DHEA.  The residents on Okinawa, Japan are famous for their long lifespans.  They eat sweet potatoes every day.

As summer approaches, I’m pulling out two of my favorite salads.  Here are the recipes:

 

Cucumber Salad:  Persian cucumbers (common cucumbers will also do) sliced paper thin using a mandolin, with skin on.  Toss with a light helping of your favorite dressing - I like Ken’s non-fat Raspberry Pecan dressing found in most supermarkets.  Add sunflower seeds or walnuts for extra crunch.

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