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Good Foods: Fruits & Veggies
 
 
Fruits & Veggies

According to the Japanese, a diet rich in color is best for your health.  Adding fruits and vegetables to any meal will help you to attain those colors while simultaneously adding robust flavor.  You should be consuming at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  If this sounds like a lot to you, do not worry. 

Adding fruits and vegetables to every meal or eating them as snacks is easier than you think.  The way I see it, fruit is nature’s candy.  Once you discover how delicious fruit is, you won’t be able to stop!  Vegetables are wonderful because you can cook them so many ways, or simply eat them raw. 

  • Buy fruits and vegetables to eat as snacks, desserts, salads, side dishes and main dishes.  Eat fruits high in fiber as your morning or mid-afternoon snack.  Fruits such as apples and bananas will keep you full without all the calories.  Need an extra boost?  Add low-sodium peanut or almond butter and enjoy with your favorite fruit.
  • Add a variety of vegetables to meat stews or casseroles or make a vegetarian (meatless) main dish.  You can add vegetables to any meal simply.
  • Wash and cut up raw vegetables (carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, etc.) and store in the refrigerator for quick and easy use in cooking or snacking.
  • Serve fresh fruit for dessert or freeze (banana, berries, melon, grapes) for a delicious frozen treat. 
  • Display fresh fruit in your kitchen or office to make fruit easier to grab as a snack.
  • To keep naturally low-fat vegetables low in fat and saturated fat, season your veggies with herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegar, fat-free or low-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing.  There are so many wonderful ethnic –calorie-free– flavors available through spices.  On fruit, I like to sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Try to follow the seasons when buying fruits and veggies.  They will always have more flavor, and you can look forward to them arriving in the marketplace

What you eat can have a profound effect on your immune system, cholesterol level and blood pressure, and can even affect your heart.  If you are just trying to boost your immune system, you want to eat fruits and vegetables high in vitamin A, C, E, B, zinc and selenium:

Eat the following vitamin A-rich foods:

  Apricots Broccoli
  Collard greens Chard
  Mustard greens Beet Greens
  Kale Bok choy
  Cantaloupe Mango
  Peaches Spinach
  Carrots  Sweet potato
  Red bell pepper Brussels sprouts
  Peas Tomato
  Romaine lettuce Parsley
  Watermelon Acorn squash
  Papaya  

Eat the following vitamin B-rich foods:

  • Crimini mushrooms                                          Red bell peppers

Eat the following vitamin C-rich foods:

  Cabbage Broccoli
  Collard greens Cantaloupe
  Mustard greens Beet greens
  Turnip greens Bok choy
  Grapefruit Mango
  Peaches Spinach
  Carrots Sweet potato
  Green beans Brussels sprouts
  Peas    Tomato
  Romaine lettuce Parsley
  Pineapple Strawberries
  Raspberries  Blackberries
  Blueberries Orange
  Tangerine Sour cherries
  Rhubarb Kale
  Red,yellow and green peppers Beets

Eat the following vitamin E-rich foods:

  • Broccoli                                                        Kiwi
  • Turnip greens                                          Spinach
  • Mango                                                          Avocado

Eat the following zinc-rich foods:

  • Lima beans                               `                    Crimi mushrooms
  • Summer squash                                              Baked Potato
  • Peas                                                             Spinach

Eat the following selenium-rich foods:

  • Asparagus                                                      Garlic
  • Mushrooms

Nutritionists believe that a diet rich in fiber and other cholesterol-lowering foods and supplements may help lower your bad cholesterol as much as any statin medication, and reduce your blood pressure. Foods especially high in potassium, magnesium and calcium are good to improve your heart’s health.

Eat the following potassium-rich foods:

  Honeydew, cantaloupe, or watermelon Apricots
  Prunes Banana
  Pumpkin Spinach 
  Stewed tomatoes Peas
  Sweet potatoes Peaches
  Green beans Squash – winter is best
  Potatoes  

Eat the following magnesium-rich foods:

  • Beans and legumes                                         Okra
  • Broccoli                                                       Spinach                         

Eat the following calcium-rich foods:

  Broccoli  Turnip greens
  Brussels sprouts Cabbage
  Carrots Cauliflower
  Coconut Figs
  Leafy Greens Kelp
  Prunes Watercress

Other good foods to help lower your blood pressure:

  • Asparagus                                                     Celery
  • Currants                                                       Dandelion                    
  • Garlic                                                           Onion                          
  • Kiwi                                                       Mangos

Specific foods for a health heart:

  • Garlic                                                           Alfalfa sprouts
  • Buckwheat                                                    Watercress
  • Sun-dried olives

Recommended Food Portions per Day
Vegetables                                                               8-10 4-ounce servings
Fruits                                                                      2-4 servings

Fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fiber and phytochemicals. Fruit is nature’s candy.  Once you discover how delicious fruit is, you won’t be able to stop!  Vegetables are wonderful because you can cook them so many ways, or simply eat them raw.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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