Our Top Ten Foods!
January 24, 2005
June M. Lay - LifeStyle Editor - HealthNewsDigest.com
week's tip is a list of "Our Top Ten" favorite foods , which are
healthy, contribute to disease prevention, aid our weight management efforts,
and are delicious, especially if we use some creativity! So, when I say our top
ten, I am referring to the foods that "I" recommend eating regularly
(with a few not-as healthy foods eaten in-between). I hope you'll choose to make
them your top ten too
Here goes just a quick look at our top ten:
Yogurt: As close to a #1 food as it gets, my motto is " A Yogurt a Day". Loaded with nutrients such as high quality bone building calcium, high quality protein, B vitamins and with healthy immune boosting bacteria, which line our gastrointestinal tract. A great food, snack or snack topping; it's portable and easy to find. Now studies indicate that those of us who have diets high in low fat dairy products, have an easier time staying trim!
Oatmeal: Yes, oatmeal! And not just in cold snowy weather. It is a great source of a long lasting stick to the ribs energy food all year long, and full of vitamins and minerals with heart health benefits (not just a slogan, but scientifically proven).
Salmon: Higher in fat than our other fishes, but a fat that is essential to our skin, brain, heart and arteries to name a few. What more can we ask for in a tasty fatty food?
Legumes: Labeled as a "Powerhouse Food" in one of my tips, legumes are a powerful energy food with vitamins and minerals along with an almost equal proportion of quality protein included in the list of meat alternatives. Legumes also contain a high proportion of soluble and insoluble fiber, disease fighting phytochemicals and like oatmeal, they stick to our ribs leaving us fuller longer.
Cabbage: Okay, I can hear it now, ugh cabbage? Cabbage is a cruciferous veggie just as is Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. I chose cabbage because of its versatility. Cruciferous vegetables contain several cancer fighting phytochemicals as well as loads of other nutrients. Cabbage can be eaten whole or shredded, raw or cooked, and it can be added to soups, salads, and sandwiches. I add raw red cabbage every day to my Kitchen Sink Salad, and not only am I getting full, but I'm chewing my way to lean-ness.
Tomato: The tomato's recent claim to fame is its high content of Lycopene, a disease fighting phytochemical known especially to be helpful fighting prostate cancer. And since the tomato is so popular, versatile, widely available and tasty raw or cooked, I rate it a "Superstar Food". Feeding your prostate? Drink tomato juice (a great natural appetite suppressant when arriving at a restaurant) and eat lot's of tomato sauce.
Spinach: While spinach has made the top ten list, it's not for its iron content which is not fully absorbed into our body (sorry Popeye). However, when it comes to "Feeding our Eyes", spinach contains all the right phytochemicals. In fact, the retina in our eyes has the highest concentration of phytochemical pigments which need replenishing especially as we age. Spinach also contains loads of B vitamins so it's healthy for our heart, our nerves and for new cell growth (hear about folate recently for prevention of neurological disease in newborns?).
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet, starchy and loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C and our valuable B's, this potato is only about 120 calories for an average 5 incher. If we get creative, we can have one as a mini meal (great stuffed), snack, or make them baked as fries, or even chips. Don't we just love potatoes?
Popcorn: Popcorn, you ask? Yes, snack foods are important, so popcorn heads the list. Crunchy, low calorie, very low fat (if hot air popped!), and popcorn takes a longer time to eat (valuable for us overeaters). Popcorn has the highest amount of fiber for a snack food too. So, popcorn is not just for movies!
Banana: The banana made my list since almost everyone loves bananas, but most of us think that they are fattening! Well, at about 120 calories for a medium one, loaded with potassium, vitamin C, sweet and starchy, they make the list. Bananas are also versatile. Satisfy the starch urge by adding them to a fruit salad or cereal; thicken up a smoothie; stuff one in a bag to go; eat one on the run and even buy one at those fruit stands (we're less likely to get sick from a banana because of the peel).
Cottage Cheese: Okay, this makes 11 foods, but I couldn't resist. For those of us who can get past the "diet category" of cottage cheese, it makes a great substitute for many cheeses. I love cheese and for me, low-fat cottage cheese can substitute for goat cheese in a salad, ricotta in a pasta dish, American cheese in an egg omelet, and of course I even add it to my oatmeal. Let's not forget that I make my low fat egg salad recipe with it. Cottage cheese is high in protein, calcium and when we choose the low fat kind ( I love Friendship because it's creamy), we've got a great source of a dairy food. Can we give cottage cheese a chance?
So there it is, just some of the foods that make
"Our Top Ten" list to eat more often, which might be easier to do than
what many of us focus on, not eating all those "bad" tasty foods.
Here's to our Health!
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