Spring Into a Healthy Diet
Posted March 30, 2012
With spring on the way, March is a great time to clean the house, clear out the flowerbeds and get your plate in shape. Taking the time to evaluate the foods you put on your plate, and in your mouth, is a first step to getting on track for better health. A 2011 survey by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that while 89 percent of Americans felt diet and nutrition were very important, less than half really felt they were doing all they could to eat well for their health. Here are a few ways to help you get your plate in shape this spring:
-Blooming with Color. Spring is a great time to add vibrantly colored fruits and veggies to your diet. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies to get the benefit of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber – nutrients you need to be healthy.
-Green is Great: Mom was right, you should eat those leafy green vegetables. Asparagus, baby spinach and peas are in season and good sources of fiber, vitamin C and folate. Add them to salads, mix them in with couscous or risotto, or eat them lightly steamed with a twist of lemon.
-Brighten any Meal. Add a splash of yellow/orange color with apricots and mangos. These fruits are perfect additions to salsas and salads and add a punch of flavor plus vitamin A and C to grilled chicken or fish.
-Jazz it Up. Vibrant reds and blues are loaded with antioxidants and make any meal more interesting. Add red peppers, red cabbage or purple potatoes to your dinner plate and throw strawberries or blueberries into your cereal or salad for a sweet addition.
-Lighten up. While often thought of as the main part of the meal, proteins should fill one quarter of your plate. Chicken and lean beef tend to be staples, but mixing it up with seafood, lean pork, eggs and dried beans help make meals interesting while giving a nutritional boost.
-Eat seafood at least twice a week. Keep a bag of frozen shrimp in your freezer and add them to soup or stir-fries. Use canned or no-mess pouches of tuna or salmon to make fish cakes in place of burgers.
-Go meatless once a week. Focus on dried beans and peas as a high fiber alternative. Try a bean soup for lunch, rice and beans for dinner or add a can of white beans to tomato sauce in place of ground beef.
-Pump up your salads. If you are having a salad for lunch or as a side for dinner, mix in some healthy nuts like walnuts or pistachios for a nutty crunch, protein boost and the added benefit of healthy fats.
See more at http://www.starkist.com/
© 2012 Mclatchy-Tribune News Service.. All Rights Reserved