As you may know by now, we like lists that give us a handy plan for healthy eating.
We like the recommendations of main foods we should focus on – and then love figuring out how to dress them up deliciously! The following list provided by Women’s Health Mag makes this particularly easy…
These are the 8 foods that are so healthy for us, they’re recommended we eat them
everyday. Great – but how do you check them off your list? Luckily, these foods are easy to find and easy to eat, so it’s not too tough. At the end of this list, find the food plan and recipes to see how we ate all 8 yesterday!
1. Spinach: this leafy muscle builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Recommended 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked per day.
2. Yogurt: Check to be sure the yogurt you’re eating says “probiotic”: that helps boost your immune system and provides protection against cancer. Recommend 1 cup per day.
3. Tomatoes: Processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene, which can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Recommended 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes.
4. Carrots: Filled with carotenoids, fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Recommended 1/2 cup a day.
5. Blueberries: Host to more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname “brain berry”). Aim for 1 cup fresh blueberries a day, or 1/2 cup frozen or dried.
6. Black Beans: they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. A daily 1/2-cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. It’s also low in calories and free of saturated fat.
7. Walnuts: Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, the walnut sounds too good to be true! Other nuts combine only one or two of these features, not all three. A serving of walnuts–about 1 ounce, or 7 nuts–is recommended.
8. Oats: They’re packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Yes, oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving, they deliver steady,muscle-friendly energy. Substitutes: Quinoa, flaxseed, wild rice
Breakfast: yogurt + walnuts (toasted in a pan – SO much more delicious!) + blueberries
(seriously, this is my healthy breakfast?? seems like a parfait I should be having for dessert!)
Lunch: Quick Quinoa Salad: Cook 1/2 quinoa according to directions, add sauteed asparagus, sliced kalamata olives & 1 tbsp goat cheese.
Dinner: Black Bean Hummus w/carrots + Turkey Taco Salad
(if you’re strapped for time, you could always substitute black beans into the taco salad & skip the black bean hummus – makes for a quicker dinner!)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1/2 small jalapeño pepper, seeded
- Carrots + sliced peppers + celery
Place 1/4 cup cilantro, tahini, and next 8 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a food processor; process until smooth. Dip veggies & enjoy!
Turkey Taco Salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (12-ounce) can pitted olives
- 1 (28-ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans
- 2 (16-ounce) cans pinto beans with jalapenos
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 head lettuce, shredded
- 1 package baby spinach
- 2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar
- 8 ounces baked tortilla chips
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and cook the onions over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the ground turkey and cook for about 7 minutes, until the turkey loses its pink color. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat apart while it cooks. Carefully drain off any liquid, then stir in the chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt, and cook for 1 minute. Add the olives, kidney beans, garbanzos, and pinto beans and mix well. Stir in the tomatoes.
In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, cheese, and chips. Add the turkey mixture and toss well. Serve with salsa as a dressing.
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