Healthy Meal Benefits

 

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Nutritionists often eWhen choosing a healthy meal, you’re not limited to what the nutrition label says to eat. ncourage people to focus more on the type of nutrients they use rather than the quantity in their food. For example, a grain such as oats may contain only four grams of protein. You can get that same amount of protein by eating just half a cup of cooked grains or one tablespoon of peanut butter. Your choice is based on your individual needs. But how do you decide which foods are good for you? What about portions? There are lots of ways to choose from, so let’s take a look at five healthy options.

1. Omega-3

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Fatty Acids and Tofu Nuggets Make this tasty snack a staple of any family dinner. But there are plenty of other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, most notably: tofu (it’s also known as tempeh); chicken liver; salmon; flax seeds; pumpkin seeds; lentils; soybeans; sesame seeds; walnuts; and chia seeds. If none of these foods are available, try consuming extra-fatty fish oil or olive or avocado oils. These foods all have high levels of EPA and DHA fatty acids. Additionally, some experts recommend using extra-fatty nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, pineapples, or pecans instead of nuts and seeds. The bottom line is: Be careful when making dietary choices! Choose wisely!

2. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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Have you ever eaten fresh tomatoes or sliced apples with no added sugar? Or maybe you got a salad with spinach and broccoli, but it had too much liquid? This is why scientists are recommending eating fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned and frozen varieties, especially during cold season. In fact, scientists recommend 1 ½ cups of fresh vegetables each time you cook, but add them to an already-prepared pan or pot of chili or rice. Here are some fresh flavors: red peppers (parmesan or tomato), cherry tomatoes, green beans, beets, kale, cabbage, parsley, red and orange bell peppers, pears, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, watermelon, and zucchini. Other veggies include: artichokes or Swiss chard, basil, bok choy, carrots, celery, cilantro, eggplant, garlic, onions, and spinach. Fresh vegetables are packed with vitamin C, potassium, and iron, so you may notice these ingredients listed before other vegetables. It’s better to pay close attention to how much sugar or salt has been added to vegetables than how much is naturally found.

3. Whole Grains

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Whole grains, like quinoa, buckwheat, and wild rice (or brown rice if you prefer) are superfoods! They’re low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, both of which make up a significant portion of your daily calorie intake. Research into fiber content found that a standard grain diet contained significantly more total fiber than a Mediterranean diet containing just about 50% less total fiber and 3 times more calcium, compared to the average American diet. That’s mostly due to fiber-rich foods such as quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, and wild rice (Brown rice has up to twice as many soluble dietary fibers per serving as regular rice). On the flip side, while research has found that consuming whole grains is linked to a lower risk of dying early, no studies are conclusive. One reason is that researchers don’t know exactly what foods have the most dietary fiber in common. However, it’s important to eat enough fiber-dense foods like quinoa, buckwheat, and wild rice each evening to avoid constipation or diarrhea, two conditions associated with eating too little fiber-dense foods.

4. Protein

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Protein is essential to our body’s health and survival. We need a certain percentage of calories that come from protein, and we need it each day to maintain muscle mass. That’s why weight loss is often associated with protein shakes. High amounts of protein in the right foods can help prevent muscle wasting, prevent inflammation throughout the body, and help support recovery after exercise. Try looking into plant-based protein powders like soy, almond, coconut, and soy yogurt for breakfast, lunch, or snacks. Many protein supplements also have the option to be combined with whey protein isolate.


5. Lean Proteins As a source of energy and muscle building

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(as well as amino acids required for blood clotting and cholesterol), protein powders like Whey Protein Isolate are full of amino acid building blocks. When you consume protein powders like this, you’re providing key metabolic compounds to support heart function and cardiovascular health. Those compounds are called amino acids and contribute to the building of the cells that carry oxygen around inside of our bodies. Not only are protein powders great sources of amino acids, they’re also packed with minerals, vitamins, electrolytes, trace minerals, enzymes, and dietary fibres, all all of which play a role in boosting energy levels and improving overall mood. Keep in mind that protein powders are higher in fat than actual protein, so your taste buds may want to adjust the dosage based on how much fat you’re consuming.


6. Protein Plus More Protein = More Energy Protein


isn’t just a valuable source of energy. It’s also a vital part of your metabolism and digestive system. If you eat higher amounts of protein than you need each day, your metabolism will slow down and burn through even more of your stored muscle tissue. Muscle growth requires lots of energy and protein helps provide the energy necessary for this growth. And that means you end up getting more energy throughout the day, which is why protein powders make sense when trying to lose weight by fueling your muscles and burning stored fat. Plus, protein is an excellent source of simple sugars like fructose (found in fruit and sodas) and sucrose (found in pasta sauces), making those sweet flavors easier to resist over the long run. So remember: Protein is your best friend!

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