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February 3, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
Yesterday I began listing the 14 ‘Superfoods’ as determined by Dr. Steven Pratt in his book, “SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life.”
I’ve already mentioned beans, blueberries, broccoli and oats. The next foods listed include:
ORANGES: Pratt recommends oranges as the most readily available source of vitamin C. It has been shown that getting our nutrients from our food is better for our health than force-feeding ourselves a multitude of supplements. As shown in a previous blog, I keep a bowl of fruit on my kitchen table filled with a variety of available items, including oranges, which are readily available in winter. I also use lemon in my water and tea and squeeze orange juice and use the grated rind of citrus fruits into various dishes, particularly fish and chicken. Remember that while fruit juice also contains the same nutrients, it is full of sugar and doesn’t provide the fiber that fresh fruit gives.
PUMPKIN: Pumpkin is one of the colorful foods that is loaded with phytonutrients. The study of phytonutrients is barely two decades old, but researchers are finding that these beneficial compounds found in plant foods are helpful in reducing the risks of diseases and quite possibly may reduce the effects of aging. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, phytonutrients include things like isoflavones in soy products, flavonioids in blueberries among other compounds science is just beginning to uncover. In addition to pumpkin, other orange foods are thought to contain large amounts of these nutrients, including orange and yellow peppers, carrots and squash.
WILD SALMON: Salmon has been thought to help reduce inflammation in our arteries, a recent discovery of one of the causes of heart disease. In his book, “The Perricone Promise,” “Dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone stated his belief that wild salmon will reduce and in some cases, even halt, the effects of aging. In his book, “The Perricone Prescription,” Perricone outines a diet plan that calls for eating salmon at every meal. Wild salmon is recommended due to the pollutants that can be found in farm raised salmon, according to Pratt. I don’t know what these pollutants are, but most salmon found in our meat cases is farm raised. Wild Alaskan Salmon is quite expensive, although it also is available in canned form on our grocery store shelves for a more reasonable price. I enjoy salmon and pick up some every time I get do my grocery shopping, although I don’t eat it as often as recommended by these doctors. If you noticed by my meals, I do eat a lot of fish and I actually prefer it over red meat. Later on, I’ll post a blog about mercury level research in fish, so keep reading for more interesting food information.
SOY: Pratt recommends soy because it is the only complete vegetarian source of protein. I’m not that is the main reason it is important in our diets, but it is a good source for vegetarians who don’t eat meat, fish or dairy. Years ago, as stated in the book, “Diet for a Small Planet” by Frances Moore Lappe, it was believed that in order to acheive a “perfect protein” made up of all essential amino acids, you either had to eat meat, or you had to combine a grain with a legume at the same meal. Recently; however, Lappe has reversed this statement when research indicated these items, while they still had to be combined to create a perfect protein, didn’t have to be eaten together, but were just fine when spread out over the course of several meals. Soy; however, has shown to reduce the symptoms of menopause and to provide valuable nutrients. Soy products are available everywhere these days.
This weekend wasn’t as hectic as last week and I had more time to prepare a healthy breakfast. I cooked a serving of old-fashioned oats using half water and half milk. Just before serving I added a mashed banana, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and sliced almonds. I also had a glass of milk with the oats and this breakfast really kept me feeling satisfied throughout the morning and early afternoon.
At lunchtime, I knew I wanted to use up some of Friday’s salad leftovers, but I also had a small piece of leftover breaded, fried perch from Thursday. I reheated the fish in the microwave and stuffed in all into a half whole-wheat pita with a couple teaspoons of low-fat Italian salad dressing.
Since my husband is working late this week, I was on my own for dinner. It also seemed like a good time to use up more leftovers. I froze the remaining pasta alfredo my husband made last week, so it too was reheated in the microwave. I also tossed in about 3 ounces shrimp and heated a frozen whole wheat roll. All of these whole grains kept me feeling full most of the day and there was no need for snacking in between.
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Breakfast: 1 ounce grains; 3/4 cup fruit; ½ ounce meat; 1 tsp. oils; 1 ½ cup milk