Skip the sugary beverages this summer and opt for an ice-cold, refreshing glass of lemon-lime water instead! Citrus fruits are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C that help keep your body running at its best. Want more variety? Try tossing in a few mint leaves or experiment with other varieties of fresh fruit. Happy summer!!
Watch your sugar intake! The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men (1 teaspoon is equal to 4 grams of sugar). It is easy to consume well over the recommended daily amount in just one sitting, so always check labels and be aware of how much sugar you are taking in on a regular basis.
Cook at home whenever possible and avoid sweet treats, heavily processed foods, and sugary beverages. Try satisfying your sweet tooth with fruit infused water or fruit with a little healthy fat (such as apples and peanut butter). The fruit supplies the sweet taste, while the fat will help you to feel full and satiated.
Few of us will ever be perfect when it comes to our sugar intake. Being more conscious of how much we are consuming, and cutting back wherever we can, will help to cut out a lot of added sugar that we didn’t even know we were consuming. Happy health!
Some vitamins are fat soluble (namely vitamins D, E, K, and E). Among other things, this means that they will be better absorbed from the digestive tract when eaten with a little fat. So feel free to toss a few nuts onto your salad, opt for olive oil and vinegar rather than fat free dressing, or add a little avocado to your smoothie. Your body will thank you for it.
Meal prep for the win! Prep side salads in easy to grab containers and store them in the fridge. Throughout the week they can be added to lunches or munched on between meals as a snack. Preparing and storing salads ahead of time is an easy way to increase your veggie intake all week long. Small (1 ounce) Tupperware containers can be used to portion out salad dressing for each salad. Happy prepping!
Eat your walnuts! Walnuts are loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats that are believed to help decrease LDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Just a ¼ cup serving of walnuts per day is all it takes to flood your body with nutrients like vitamin E, manganese, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Daily consumption of walnuts may help to support heart health and ward off cardiovascular disease. Keep in mind that walnuts are high in fat, so limit yourself to one serving per day and consume them in place of less healthy saturated fats, rather than in addition to.
Balanced snacks can help us through that mid-morning lag or afternoon slump. Try portioning out nuts with fruit and storing them in the fridge for an easy to grab snack throughout the week. The nuts provide healthy fat and a little bit of protein, while the fruit offers energy boosting carbohydrates. You’ll also be getting fiber, antioxidants, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Happy snacking!
Looking to eat more organic foods this New Year? Know your labeling. Single ingredient foods (like spices, produce, and rice) will be labeled organic and display the USDA Organic seal. When it comes to multi-ingredient foods the following applies:
100% Organic = All of the ingredients are organic
Organic = 95-99% of the ingredients are organic
Made with Organic Ingredients = 70-94% of the ingredients are organic
If less than 70% of the ingredients are organic, then the product will not be labeled organic, but the organic ingredients may be individually listed as organic in the ingredients list.
Happy New Year and Happy Health!
Grapes make the perfect heart healthy snack. They contain polyphenols and phenolic acids that may help to protect against plaque buildup in the artery walls. Just give them a rinse, pat them dry, and portion them out by the handful into separate containers. Store them in the fridge for an easy-to-grab snack throughout the week.
For a healthier taco and a burst of nutrients (such as vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, and folate) try swapping out corn or flour tortillas for collard green leaves instead.