Tag Archives: healthy foods

Superfood of the Month: Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. One cup of fresh strawberries equals 160 percent of the daily recommended quantity of vitamin C, and is only 50 calories.

Health Benefits
Heart Disease
•Regular consumption of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids found in berries, can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women.
•The flavonoid quercetin in strawberries is a natural anti-inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Stroke
•The antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol and anthocyanin reduce the formation of harmful blood clots associated with stroke.
•High potassium intake has also been linked with a reduced risk of stroke.

Cancer
Powerful antioxidants in strawberries may work against free radicals, inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing inflammation in the body.

Blood pressure
Doctors recommend eating strawberries because of their high potassium content. Low potassium is just as risky for developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.

Constipation
•Eating foods high in water content and fiber, such as strawberries, grapes, watermelon and cantaloupe, can help keep the body hydrated and bowel movements regular.
•Fiber is essential to minimize constipation and add bulk to stool.

Diabetes
Strawberries are a low glycemic index food and high in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar and keep it stable.

Pregnancy
Strawberries are a great source of folic acid, which is essential for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants.

prop stylist: Claire Spollen; food stylist: Kellie Kelley

Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa
Serves 4
Ingredients
•1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
•1/2 cup diced peeled ripe avocado
•2 T minced seeded jalapeño pepper
•2 T chopped fresh cilantro
•2 tsp fresh lime juice
•3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
•1 T olive oil
•4 (4-oz) chicken breast cutlets
•1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•4 lime wedges

Step 1
Combine strawberries, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl; toss to combine.

Step 2
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Step 3
Divide chicken and spoon salsa evenly for each serving. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Superfood of the Month: Mushrooms

Although mushrooms can be found in the produce section of the grocery, they aren’t a fruit or a vegetable. They have a great deal of nutritional value and are full of micronutrients. There are more than 70,000 types of mushrooms, but only around 250 species are edible.

Benefits
• Mushrooms absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients from plants and soil. On trees, they often soak up nutrients that have been building for decades, creating powerhouse supplements.
• Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. They are a good source of B-vitamins, iron and selenium.
• Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium. A 3-ounce portabella cap has more potassium than a banana. They have essentially no fat and no cholesterol.
• The best news about mushrooms is a powerful micronutrient called ergothioneine, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Cooking releases this powerful nutrient from the mushroom cells.
• Mushrooms have high levels of polyphenols that give them a higher antioxidant level than green pepper and zucchini.
• Commonly available mushrooms like white button mushrooms, portabella mushrooms, shitakes and creminis may contain very small amounts of agaritine, which may be carcinogenic in extremely high doses. Cooking removes the agaritine, so try to eat cooked mushrooms.

Recommendations
• If you buy canned mushrooms, be careful of added sodium. Mushrooms naturally have no sodium. Choose fresh or dried mushrooms when possible.
• Store mushrooms unwashed in a paper bag in the fridge. If bought packaged in plastic, transfer them to a paper bag or cover the tray with a paper towel.
• When choosing mushrooms at the market, look for dry mushrooms with smooth caps, firm gills and a fresh smell.
• Don’t soak mushrooms in water. They are very porous and absorb water quickly.
• Clean mushrooms with a quick rinse and wipe with a damp cloth.
• Don’t peel mushrooms. Cut off the firm, dark areas of the stems.
• Avoid eating mushrooms raw – even if they are on the salad bar. Cooking unlocks more nutrients and safely degrades any trace of agaritine.

Superfood of the Month: Red Cabbage

Red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable that’s delicious raw and cooked.

While both red and green cabbage are good for you, red cabbage packs a more powerful nutritional punch and more antioxidants. It’s also known as red kraut or blue kraut and can provide much-needed probiotic benefits.

Benefits
1. Boosts the Immune System
-Contains vitamin C
-Stimulates the activity of white blood cells

2. Fights Inflammation and Arthritis
-Contains phytonutrients that may help reduce chronic inflammation
-Has sulforaphane, a potent inflammation killer found in many cruciferous vegetables

3. Aids Healthy Bones and Reduces the Risk of Osteoporosis
-Is a vitamin K-rich food

4. Combats Chronic Disease
-Is high in antioxidants to give the body its best chance to prevent and combat serious chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes

5.Promotes a Healthy Gut
-Improves gut health by supporting the growth of healthy bacteria

Fresh Burrito Bowl
Ingredients
1/4 cup black beans
1 tsp chicken broth
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of garlic powder
1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 oz pre-cooked grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 T non-fat Greek yogurt
2 T fresh salsa
Fresh cilantro as garnish
Sliced green onions as garnish

Directions
1. Microwave black beans with chicken broth, oregano, cumin, cayenne and garlic powder on high for 30 to 45 seconds until heated. Set aside.
2. Put sliced red cabbage in a bowl and spoon black beans on top. Layer with sliced chicken, Greek yogurt, salsa, and cilantro and green onions.