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Tips for healthy eating with fruits and vegetables

Tips for healthy eating with fruits and vegetables
Zaak OConan

Everyone knows the importance of a diet rich in healthy fruits and vegetables. Most people do not eat enough of these important foodstuffs, and increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables is probably the single most effective thing you can do to improve your overall health. Eating enough fruits and vegetables does not need to be chore. After all, fruits and vegetables are delicious, easy to buy and easy to use.

In addition, fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, which are though to play an important role in maintaining good health. Antioxidants have been studied for their effectiveness at preventing cancer, heart disease and even reversing the signs of aging. In addition, fruits and vegetables are excellent source of trace elements and micronutrients. These important elements are not available in any vitamin pill; they must be obtained from the daily diet.

Tips for choosing the best fruits and vegetables
– When possible, choose fresh fruits possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables may contain more nutrients than frozen or dried varieties.
– Even though fresh is best, frozen and canned vegetables are great for out of season varieties. When buying canned fruits, avoid those packed in syrup and opt for those packed in water or juice.
– Choose fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. Not only are bright, colorful fruits more attractive, but the different colors indicate different types and amounts of nutrients. For instance, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are good sources of beta carotene, while dark green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C and calcium.
– Be careful when cooking vegetables. A quick steam in the microwave with minimal water added is the best way to prevent loss of nutrients when cooking.
– Keep your vegetables healthy by adding minimal butter, margarine and oil. Most vegetables can be flavored using a stock, a low fat yogurt or fresh fruit pieces.

Understanding portion sizes
We have all heard the government recommendations that we eat 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This talk of servings and portions can sometimes be confusing, so let’s take a look at just what a serving consists of.

A serving of a fruit or vegetable can be:

– A medium sized piece of fruit, such as an apple, banana or orange
– One large slice of a fruit like a cantaloupe, melon or pineapple
– Two pieces of small fruit, such as a kiwi fruit or plum
– One cup of strawberries, raspberries or grapes
– One half cup of fresh fruit salad
– One half cup of stewed or canned fruit
– One quarter cup of dried fruit
– One half cup of 100% pure fruit juice
– One half cup of cooked, canned or frozen vegetables
– One side salad

Unlike with many other types of foods, more is better when it comes to fruits and vegetables. When planning and preparing meals, it is important to plan ahead and include as many servings of fruits and vegetables as possible. Proper meal planning and shopping are the best ways to meet the five a day minimum recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption.

Some tips for healthier living
– Stock the fridge with healthy snacks like celery sticks and carrots
– Keep a bowl of fruit, stocked with healthy attractive fruits like oranges, apples and bananas, on the kitchen counter and dining room table
– Drink a glass of 100% pure apple, orange or grapefruit juice every morning
– Warm up a cold day with a steaming bowl of vegetable soup
– Eat at least one salad every day. Experiment with different salad additions, like broccoli, sprouts, carrots and green peppers.
– Snack on fruits like apples and oranges. Dried fruits like apricots and raisins also make handy and nutritious snacks
– Add sprouts, cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes to sandwiches for extra variety
– Garnish meals with chopped or grated carrots
– Strive for at least two servings of vegetables at each evening meal
– Use your creativity to create exciting vegetable stir fries for family and friends
– Spice up the grill with vegetable and fruit kebobs
– Use baked apples and pears as great low calorie desserts
– Add vegetables like carrots, cabbage, onions, lentils and peas to soups, stews and casseroles.
About the Author

Zaak O’Conan discovers and presents useful information on how to enhance and/or repair your life, body and relationships. You’ll find his other articles on eating better and other ways how to improve your life at http://your-health-center.com


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Posted by: admin | Category: Healthy Diet,Healthy Eating,Healthy Foods | Comments (0)

Eat a variety of foods for a healthy lifestyle

Eat a variety of foods for a healthy lifestyle
Zaak OConan

Everyone knows that variety is important when it comes to diet. Not only is eating the same foods every day boring, but it is extremely unhealthy as well. That is because each type of food contains different nutrients, and different levels of those nutrients. The best way to eat healthy is to eat a wide variety of foods from all the food groups.

It is important to eat a good combination of meats, beans, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. All these foods contain important nutrients, and no vitamin pill in existence can provide the vast variety of nutrients your body needs every day.

Of course simply eating foods from a variety of sources is not enough. It is also important to make smart choices within those food groups. After all, nonfat yogurt and an hot fudge sundae are both dairy products! The best choice in that situation should be obvious, but other choices are more subtle.

Fortunately, the nutritional labels which are required on all packaged foods are a big help for those pursuing a healthier diet. Not only do these labels contain information on the number of calories, fat grams, etc., but they provide detailed information on the levels of many important vitamins and minerals as well.

When choosing healthy foods, small changes can have a huge impact. Simply exchanging fresh, low fat fish for higher fat meats can greatly lower the amount of fat in your diet and increase your level of health.

Replacing highly processed grains for more nutritious whole grain products can also have a great impact on healthy eating. In nutritional terms, less is often more – that is less processing and less refining. Processing and refining methods can strip many vital nutrients from foods, so choosing less refined whole grain foods is important.

Cooking techniques are also very important when maximizing the health benefits of the foods you choose. After taking the time to choose the healthiest, freshest broccoli in the supermarket, it would be quite a waste to slather that cooked broccoli with cheese and butter, for instance.

It would also be a mistake to overcook that broccoli, especially by boiling it in water for a long time. That is because vegetables can lose significant amounts of nutrients through overcooking. When preparing fresh vegetables, it is best to quickly steam them in the microwave or on the stove, using as little water as possible. Use only enough water to keep the vegetables from scorching.

When cooking potatoes, it is a good idea to eat the entire potato, including the skin. Potato skins contain significant levels of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and minerals. Cooking a baked potato in the microwave, or on the grill, is a great way to make the skin moist and delicious. In addition, these methods of cooking minimize the need for high fat butter or sour cream to flavor the potato. In place of these high fat options, why not use a dollop of plain nonfat yogurt, or some low fat cottage cheese?

Choosing a variety of foods is important to a healthy lifestyle, but it just as important to limit the amount of certain foods. Foods high in sugar, and those high in sodium should be avoided as much as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy that piece of cake or serving of potato chips as an occasional snack; it simply means limiting regular consumption of these high fat, low nutrition products.

When adopting healthier eating habits, it is important to make changes that you can stick with for the long run. After all, a healthy eating lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. Changing your shopping, cooking and eating habits are not easy, but the many benefits make healthy eating an important habit to get into.
About the Author

Zaak O’Conan discovers and presents useful information on how to enhance and/or repair your life, body and relationships. You’ll find his other articles on eating better and other ways how to improve your life at http://your-health-center.com


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted by: admin | Category: Healthy Choice,Healthy Diet,Healthy Eating,Healthy Foods | Comments (0)
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