In this Issue:
- National Nutrition Month: Eat right with Color
- The Long Awaited 2010 Dietary Guidelines Just Released
- The Many Benefits of Berries
- Spring into Soy
- Bring Your Pressure Down During National High Blood Pressure Education Month
- Featured Food of the Season: Zucchini Squash
- Recipe of the Season: Stuffed Zucchini with Turkey, Brown Rice and Edamame
This year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color”. Having a colorful plate including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry and low fat dairy products will not only create a vibrant mix but will also serve as a foundation to healthy eating. According to the recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, an emphasis on increasing your intake of plant foods in your diet is essential.
So, take some time this month to give your current menus some thought and add a little color to your plate. Follow the rainbow and continuously make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle and you will gain healthy benefits!
- Enjoy your food, but eat less: The total number of calories is what is important to body weight. Replace foods & beverages higher in calories with nutrient-dense foods such as grains, vegetables, & fruits, especially those high in fiber, and choose beverages lower in calories.
- Avoid oversized portions: People eat more when given larger portions. When eating out, share a meal or ask for a half portion. Don’t be afraid to ask for that doggie bag to take home.
FOODS TO INCREASE
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables, as well as cooked dried beans and peas. Your plate should contain half fruits and vegetables. The other half of the plate should be divided between protein and a whole grain.
- Switch to fat free or low fat milk: Increase fat free or low fat milk & milk products, such as yogurt, cheese and fortified soy beverages.
FOODS TO REDUCE
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals– and choose the foods with lower numbers: Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg; for adults 51 or older, African Americans, those with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease reduce to 1500 mg per day.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks: There is strong evidence that states that those that drink sugary beverages have a higher body weight. Reduce sugary beverages such as soda, energy drinks and sports drinks. Instead, opt for a nice cool glass of water with lemon.
SMALL IN SIZE, BIG IN BENEFITS
With the warmer weather soon approaching, so is berry season! Although small in size, berries are big in nutritional benefits! Besides being delicious and extremely easy to prepare, berries are filled with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Did you know that a serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange? Yep! Berries contain vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and folate. The phytochemicals that are found in berries provide antioxidants that can help strengthen your immune system and fight off diseases like cancer and heart disease.
You can find all the common berry culprits, like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cranberries at your local supermarket. Look for berries that are deep in color and firm in texture and try avoiding those that are mushy or have signs of mold. You can also find fresh berries at your local farmers market or better yet, plan a trip to go berry picking— a fun way to get outside and appreciate these tasty little treats!
Berries are “berry” easy to prepare! Click here for some ideas on how to include berries in your menus!
SPRING INTO SOY
THE SOY FACTS:
Soy is a complete protein. This means soy protein contains all the essential amino acids that the body can’t produce. Soy protein is equal to that of animal protein and is low in saturated fat.
You can substitute soymilk for cow’s milk. Just like cow’s milk, soymilk contains vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D and protein. Soymilk is not only low in saturated fat but is also cholesterol-free! Those with high cholesterol or concerns about heart health can find a great substitute to cow’s milk by drinking soymilk!
Soy is a great source of iron and calcium. In fact, soy contains the most iron of all vegetables and legumes. Due to its iron and calcium content, soy can be a great substitute for dairy products and meat.
Just about everyone can find joy in soy! There are many ways to prepare and enjoy soy products. Try blending soy into a smoothie, puree it to make a delicious dip or try including soy in your soup or salad.
Although soy is known as an allergen, the general population does not need to be concerned about including soy in the diet. Consult a registered dietitian if you have a known soy allergy or other medical condition such as breast cancer where you should avoid soy.
Read more about the many health benefits of soy!
BRING YOUR PRESSURE DOWN DURING NATIONAL HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE EDUCATION MONTH
National High Blood Pressure Education Month is celebrated in May. Heart disease continues to be the number one killer amongst men and women living in the United States. In fact 1 out of every 3 American adults has high blood pressure. Unfortunately, having high blood pressure is a silent killer, without obvious symptoms, therefore it is very important to be aware of your blood pressure numbers! Often times, the disease is easily detected and controlled.
Be aware of your numbers!
Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The top number (called the systolic number) represents the pressure when the heart beats. The second number (called the diastolic number) represents the pressure when the heart rests between beats.
The following chart is a classification of blood pressure:
|Normal Blood Pressure||Systolic: less than 120 mmHGDiastolic: less than 80 mmHG|
|Prehypertension||Systolic: 120-139 mmHG orDiastolic: 80-89 mmHG|
|Stage 1 Hypertension||Systolic: 140-159 mmHG orDiastolic: 90-99 mmHG|
|Stage 2 Hypertension||Systolic: at or greater than 160 mmHG orDiastolic: at or greater than 100 mmHG|
Read more about the how to manage your blood pressure by lowering your sodium intake!
Click here for heart healthy recipes from Recipes to Remember: Heart Healthy Can Be Delicious by Bonnie R. Giller, MS, RD, CDN, CDE
FEATURE FOOD OF THE SEASON: ZUCCHINI SQUASH
Let’s “squash” this wintery season and dive right into spring with your favorite squash: zucchini!
History: Zucchini, which is also known as courgette, the French word for this vegetable, is a popular squash usually enjoyed in the spring or summer months. Zucchini was believed to be brought over to the United States by Italian immigrants in the 1920s. Generally green in color, this vegetable is part of the squash family and shares the same shape as a cucumber.
Preparation: Zucchini can be prepared in a variety of ways using different cooking techniques. This vegetable can be steamed, broiled, grilled, or cooked on the barbeque. You can also stuff and bake a zucchini or include it when making breads or soufflés.
Storage: When buying a zucchini, look for one that is firm and slender with a shiny skin. Avoid purchasing zucchinis that have spots or wrinkles. Make sure to buy a zucchini right before you plan on enjoying it because they are extremely perishable. Store zucchini for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, in a perforated plastic bag and do not wash the zucchini until you are ready to use it.
Health Benefits: Zucchini is naturally fat free and cholesterol free. It is low in calories and contains many vitamins and minerals including, folate, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, manganese, vitamins A and B6.
½ cup of raw zucchini contains 9 calories, 0 fat, 0.5 gm of dietary fiber, 147 gm of potassium,113 IU of Vitamin A
RECIPE OF THE SEASON: Stuffed Zucchini with Turkey, Brown Rice and Edamame
6 medium zucchini (~ 3lbs)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 ½ lb. ground white turkey
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup frozen thawed Edamame, shelled
¾ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ tsp. ground red pepper
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
- Preheat oven to 375°. Cut stem and flower ends off zucchini.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then scoop out the zucchini flesh and seeds using a melon baller (save to use in a vegetable dish) leaving approximately ½ inch of flesh attached to the skin. Microwave zucchini 3-4 minutes on high.
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan and sauté the chopped onion and peppers until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl and set aside.
- Add ground turkey to hot pan and cook until starting to brown. When turkey is about half cooked, add crushed garlic cloves and continue to cook until turkey is well browned, breaking into small pieces. Remove cooked ground turkey to mixing bowl.
- Add cooked brown rice, Edamame, chopped basil, and tomato sauce to turkey and vegetable mixture and gently combine.
- Add remaining seasonings and mix well.
- Spray a roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray. Stuff zucchini with approximately ½ cup stuffing mixture.
- Place stuffed zucchini into roasting pan, stuffing-side up. Roast uncovered 20-30 minutes, until zucchini is tender-crisp, and filling is hot and slightly browned. Serve hot.
Yield: 12 servings
Serving Size: 1 Stuffed Zucchini
Exchanges: 1 ½ meat, 1 vegetable, ½ starch
|Calories: 150Total Fat: 6 gramsSaturated Fat: 1.5 gramsMonounsaturated fat: 2 gramsPolyunsaturated fat: 1.5 grams||Cholesterol: 42 milligramsProtein: 14 gramsCarbohydrate: 11 gramsSodium: 80 milligramsDietary Fiber: 2 grams|
For more healthy recipes, click here.