It is great to see that Spring is definitely on the way. Now is the time to seriously focus on the Spring cleaning of the refrigerator and pantry. I agree with you–it can be a grungy job but it’s one that has to be done. It is a great chance to clear out the clutter of fossil foodstuffs beyond their date of optimum quality and nutrients. We’ve all looked into the ‘fridge and found a container that we were convinced was a science experiment! Some things probably need to go for good, some you’ll need to replenish ensuring that you have plenty of the right stuff on hand to aim for a healthier lifestyle. Here are some of my picks to stock for good health.
High Nutrient Food Choices
Beans and legumes are under the banner of high nutrient selections. Beans are good sources of protein, high in fiber and antioxidants. Peanuts, which are really legumes and not nuts are also high in protein and contain mono and polyunsaturated fats which promote heart health.
Whole grain foods are wise choices; they are high fiber which is one of the nutrients most people can use more of. Fiber will help give you a feeling of satiety or fullness; it aids in digestion and helps you maintain a healthy colon.
Low fat dairy such as milk, cheese and yogurt are a good source of vitamin D, calcium and protein. These nutrients help maintain bone density and are linked to lower blood pressure. Research also indicates that calcium from low fat dairy products may have a role in body-weight regulation. It is important to read food labels; sometimes low fat products have higher amounts of sodium which is something you want to avoid.
Better for You Snacks
Snacks are important and an excellent aid to staying on track. They are good sources of energy and provide vitamins and minerals that you need. However, this does not mean eat as much or as many of the snack as you can—choose healthy snacks, eating a moderate or the recommended amount. For example:
- Whole grain moderate to low-sodium crackers
- Whole grain granola bars
- Low fat Greek-style yogurt
- Canned fruit in natural juice
- Fresh Fruit i.e. apples, strawberries, pineapple, and blueberries
- Vegetable sticks, i.e. carrots and celery
- Rice cakes with peanut butter
- Nuts, about 1-ounce.
- Trail-mix, about 1-ounce
- Sunflower seeds
Liquids to Love
It is essential that you drink plenty of liquids for good health. Humans can survive about a month without food, take away those fluids and survival is limited to a few days. Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water; I recommend eight to ten glasses a day. If you’re looking for fluid options in addition to water, you can find an array of healthy beverages. From nutrient-enhanced water, to sport beverages, to juice drinks enhanced with antioxidants and vitamins, thirst-quenching has never been so easy. Most importantly remember that all beverages hydrate. If you get thirsty, that is a signal of dehydration and dehydration is sometimes confused with hunger.
I’m not saying you can’t enjoy food, just plan to bite into healthy food options on a daily basis. Renew your focus, and clear your mind to think of the positive rewards of health and well-being.
Take Away: High nutrient foods, good-for-you snacks and healthy beverages are best bets to keep your plans moving forward for a healthier you.