“Best source of vitamins? Your plate, not your medicine cabinet.“:
“Vitamin and mineral supplements from a bottle simply can’t match all the biologically active compounds teeming in a well-stocked pantry.” Harvard suggests eating a “balanced diet that contains a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, dairy products, seafood, lean meats, and poultry…” reminding us that fish, nuts/seeds and vegetables contain healthy monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds deliver valuable fiber which helps lower risk of heart disease. They suggest starting by adding one extra fruit or vegetable to your day, and the, when used to that, add another of each. Breakfast cereal is a place to add the fruit, as is the morning or afternoon snack, with vegetables added at dinner. They suggest creatively adding finely grated carrrots or zucchini to pasta sauce, meat loaf, chilli or a stew. Slather peanut butter onto a banana or apple slice.
Other ideas are 1) roasting mushrooms, onions, eggplant zuchinni, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots…at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minute; 2) Poaching vegetables by tossing them into simmering chicken broth and white wine for 5 -7 minutes til brightly coloured and tender-crisp, then tossing with garlic, basil, tarragon or other spices; 3) Eating a salad with dinners (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, peppers); 4) choosing fruit-fresh, frozen,stewed or baked – as dessert.
Energy Boosting Food Ideas:
As well as pacing yourself with the day’s activities, with rest and restful meals and possibly a nap or a walk in between activities, Harvard Medical School recommends eating foods that give you longer-lasting fuel:
Eat long-lasting fuel. Your body burns through sugars and highly processed carbohydrates, like white bread, white rice, or prepared bakery goods, more rapidly than protein and the carbohydrates in whole grains. Instead, try low-fat yogurt with a sprinkling of nuts, raisins, and honey. Your body will take in the carb-fiber-protein mix more gradually. To really sustain yourself over the course of the day, eat a breakfast and a lunch that include complex carbohydrates and protein.Don’t skip meals. It’s better to evenly space your meals out so your body gets the nourishment it needs all through the day.
For heart health, get your nutrients from whole foods:
Citing the controversy about calcium supplements for heart health, as well as the mixed results of studies on fish oil supplements, Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and the B vitamins folic acid, B6 and B12, Harvard’s “bottom line” is to get your nutrients from foods, not pills since whole, healthy foods don’t deliver nutrients in isolation, instead delivering them in a blend of vitamins, carbohydrates, fiber, and some fat….. I would add to Harvard’s statements that there are other synergies in whole foods that are healthful, that science (and supplement manufactureres) still do not understand.
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