Eat Smart!

Eat Smart! Strawberries are heart healthy

Summer is just around the corner and soon local produce sections and farm markets will be overflowing with seasonal harvests. Strawberries will be one of the first fruits to hit the stands in early June, which is National Strawberry Month.

The health benefits of strawberries parallel those of walking. They help protect against heart disease, help regulate blood sugar and decrease risk of type 2 diabetes, plus reduce the risk of certain cancers such as breast, cervical, colon and esophageal.

This little heart-shaped gem is a potent powerhouse of nutrition. A cup of strawberries contains twice as much Vitamin C as an orange, almost 150 percent of the recommended daily requirement. They are a good source of manganese for a healthy heart and bones, fiber to lower blood pressure and curb overeating, and contain antioxidants known as polyphenols which reduce the risk of heart disease. They contain no sodium, fat or cholesterol and are low in calories, just 50 per cup (about 8 large strawberries.)

Strawberries make it easy to keep your healthy eating commitment. Add them to your cereal in the morning, put them in a spinach salad at lunch, or enjoy a bowlful topped with a dollop of plain yogurt for dessert.

There is nothing in this world like a fresh picked strawberry. Make sure you search out this special summer treat.

Homemade Strawberry Sorbet

· 3-3/4 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
· 2 tbsp lemon zest

1. Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor.
2. Blend in the remaining ingredients
3. Pour into a bowl or deep dish, cover, and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Makes 8 servings.

Calories: 77
Total Fat: 0.24g
Sat Fat: 0.013g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 0.97mg
Total Carbs: 20g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8g
Sugar: 17g
Protein: 0.59g

Source: Walkingspree Food Tracker

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Asparagus – a super food

April and May are peak season for asparagus which come in green, white and purple varieties. It is one of the most well-balanced vegetables around, loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and detoxification agents.

Asparagus has no cholesterol or fat, is low in sodium, and only 20 calories per five-ounce serving. It takes more calories to digest asparagus than it contains.

Along with fiber, asparagus contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, fiber, folic acid, glutathione, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin and zinc. It breaks down carcinogens and other harmful free radicals, has anti-aging benefits, helps slow cognitive impairment and it is a natural diuretic.

Select spears with tight buds, and straight, uniform stalks for even cooking. Store spears in a couple of inches of water in the refrigerator. When preparing, clean it thoroughly in a bath of water to get out any sand, trim about a half inch off the ends.

Preparing asparagus is quick when you roast, grill, steam or stir-fry it. These fast cook methods help retain its nutritional content and antioxidant properties.

How to use Fruits and Vegetables to help manage your weight

Learn about fruits and vegetables and their role in your weight management plan. This publication will provide tips to cut calories by substituting fruits and vegetables are included with meal-by-meal examples. You will also find snack ideas that are 100 calories or less. With these helpful tips, you will soon be on your way to adding more fruits and vegetables into your healthy eating plan.

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Listen to your mother: Chew your food

fork wrapped in tapemeasure

Weight Loss Tip? Listen to your mother: Chew your food

People who chewed their food 40 times vs. the typical 15 times, ate about 12 percent fewer calories, regardless of their weight.

In a study of 28 obese and normal-weight young men, researchers found higher levels of CCK, a hormone associated with reduced appetite, and lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, when the subjects chewed their food 40 times.

Mathematically, a 12 percent reduction in calories would result in a weight loss of about 25 pounds in a year. But of course, a typical diet includes foods that do not require chewing (like milk, soups, ice cream, etc.) and it may be hard to chew food for more than twice the normal 15 times. But chewing longer may be a useful tool in your weight management kit.

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Pick it or Kick it

The next time you’re craving a snack, choose a healthy 100 calories snack option over an unhealthy snack. You’ll be able to eat a lot more food, feel more full and your body and mind will thank you for it.  Choose the healthy snack options from the left column over non filling, unhealthy snack options in the right column.

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Size Matters

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that choosing smaller plates with food colors that contrast reduced portion sizes by 9 to 31 percent.

Perception is Not Reality!

When you eat off a larger plate with white/empty food space, your brain unconsciously assumes the plate contains less food than a smaller-sized dish with no white space, when in fact, both plates contain the same amount.

Our brains are easily fooled. Remember this optical illusion? Which line is longer? They’re actually both the same width.

If your brain thinks your body is eating less, you are more likely to want a second serving thanks to your body’s survival-mode instinct.

So next meal, eat off a smaller main dinner plate (or large salad) plate that’s about 8 to 10 inches, instead of placing food onto a standard 12-inch dish.

This simple switch will lead to the same feelings of satisfaction, but with 22% fewer calories.

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