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Fellow DivaGalsΓÇª We know you made “Eat Better” one of your top resolutions in 2011. Now’s the time to finally take the steps to get there, which means having more than just a can of Diet Coke in the fridge and 100-calorie snack packs in your cupboard.
Never fear! Our new “Nutrition Gal” Nicole Fiscella has drawn up a handy shopping list of items that will help keep you healthy ΓÇô- and tossed in some recipes so they taste great too! Learn more about Nicole’s nutrition background here.
1. Kale. Kale is perhaps the most nutrient dense food out there, which simply means it has a high concentration of nutrients in the smallest amount of food. Just a 1 cup serving (about 33 calories raw) is packed full with your daily value of vitamins like A, D and K, and a good amount of calcium and iron, too. Kale is a clear staple food to have in your kitchen for salads, sides, and juices. DonΓÇÖt know how to prepare it? Check out this Bobby Flay recipe from Food Network.
2. Quinoa. Never thought you could get a protein punch in a grain, right? Think again! Quinoa is a high protein whole grain that has been around for centuries and should be a staple for all types of diets. It’s easy to prepare, low in fat and also high in fiber, so it is deliciously filling at any meal.
Learn how to make a simple quinoa salad here.
3. Flaxseed. Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health, lower blood pressure, aid in lowering inflammation AND lowers your LDLΓÇÖs (bad cholesterol), which improves your total cholesterol. That is why it is extremely important to have enough of it in your diet. Perhaps the easiest way to get it is flaxseed. Buy it ground or as an oil and add it to smoothies, salads, yogurtΓÇª whatever you want! (Hint: you can even buy it cinnamon or lemon flavored for added taste!). Purchase flaxseed oil here.
4. Spices. DonΓÇÖt hesitate to spice it up in the kitchen! Unfortunately, spices havenΓÇÖt gotten their fair share of well-deserved time in the spotlight. Spices are full to the brim with free radical fighting antioxidants that help prevent premature aging, promote the growth of healthy cells and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancers. Sprinkle some cloves, cinnamon, oregano or turmeric into anything you prepare. Frontier Co-op offers a variety of spices.
5. Turkey. Turkey meat is an excellent source of high quality lean protein. Turkey is also rich in the mineral selenium, which protects cells from oxidative damage, inhibits cancer development, and aids in the regulation of our thyroid hormone (which is responsible for metabolism!). Indulge in the breast meat which is the leanest, and be sure to remove the skin which is fatty.
TIP: While turkey slices are good for you, most conventional brands are loaded with salt. Always purchase the ΓÇ£low-sodiumΓÇ¥ option if it is available.
photo credit: Paul/FDP.net