The typical western diet is lacking a group of key nutrients including: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E. Here is a list of 5 foods you should incorporate into your diet with a low glycemic index and will help provide the key nutrients listed above.
The other day I watched a TV commercial promoting a nutritional supplement drink. It starred a mom pushing it for her daughter, who wouldn’t “touch anything green”.
Those sorts of comments always stop me in my tracks. Is it optional for our kids to eat the healthy foods their bodies need? Is it a good habit to sneak nutrients into their meals? How far should we as moms go to make sure they eat what’s healthy for their growth and development?
I know and understand the dangers behind making kids eat everything on their plate. Creating a power struggle or negative feelings about food can lead to all sorts of eating disorders and problems. But I also know that most people — especially kids — have to see, smell and taste a new food multiple times before they are comfortable with it.
Throw out the garlic supplements and pick up a clove. The sulfur containing compound in garlic that gives it the pungent odor is called allicin. Allicin promotes anti-oxidant activity and gives garlic natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Chopping or mincing the garlic and then letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking enhances it health benefits. When garlic is cut, cell membranes are ruptured, bringing certain enzymes in contact with one another and producing more allicin (this is why garlic doesn’t smell until you start to cut it).
Eat more of it!! Broccoli, like all cruciferous vegetables, contains large amounts of sulfur compounds that enhance the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body. Broccoli is high in Vitamin A and various phytochemicals which may help prevent certain cancers (all this and only 44 calories per cup).
We all know certain foods are healthier than others – for example, we know we should choose an apple over a donut, or a whole wheat sandwich over one made on white bread.
Over 90% of the pumpkins grown in the US are used to make jack o-lanterns – we do that, too, of course, but last year’s bumper crop made us get a little creative in the kitchen: delicious pumpkin pies, pumpkin soup and an amazing pumpkin butter that is incredible when spread on homemade bread.
Pumpkins are rich in carotenoid phytonutrients which give them their beautiful orange color and many of their health benefits.
When I was a child (and much less concerned about how my breath smelled), I used to eat sandwiches all the time made of sliced onions and mayonnaise. I still do this some weekends at the farm when I know it’s just going to be me and the goats. They don’t mind.
Opinion piece by Cindy Farricker, MS, RD, CDE
A “teaser” for the nightly news broadcast on the last day of September was “Not one US state is meeting the national objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption”. The news headline came from a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on September 29th, “State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables 2009” accessed September 30, 2009.
Most of us are aware that Americans have a history of not eating enough fruits and vegetables. The government has tried to encourage us to eat more through their “Five a Day” campaign now replaced by “Fruits and Vegetables Matter”, both from the Centers for Disease Control.
Chard, like all leafy greens, has a wealth of valuable nutrients. It promotes digestive health (high in fiber), bone health (high in magnesium), and vision health (high in beta-carotene).
It took 25 years for my taste buds to mature enough to appreciate cooked spinach. Why? Probably they were trying to tell me that raw spinach is the better way to go. Overcooked and canned spinach lose as much as 50% of their nutrients. Spinach is high in Vitamin A (beta-carotene which is good for eye health), Vitamin C and folate. It is an exceptionally good source of iron and calcium; however, spinach also contains oxalic acid which can inhibit the body’s absorption of these nutrients. Absorption of iron can be increased by eating spinach with a fruit or vegetable that contains additional Vitamin C. Baby spinach has all the nutrients of full-grown leaves but lower oxalate levels.