Archive for Vitamins

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by Eating Greens

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday known for leprechauns, shamrocks and all things green. Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather on St. Patrick’s Day to share a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. Cabbage doesn’t just go with corn beef; it is an extremely healthy food that is rich in nutrition and fiber.  Cabbage isn’t the only green food that is healthy for you. In fact, most leafy greens are packed with beta carotene, iron, calcium, and vitamin C, A, B6, and E.

A green food that is heart healthy and helps fight high cholesterol is avocado. Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that may actually help raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL.  And, more than any other fruit, this tasty food packs cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol, a beneficial plant-based fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food.

Other nourishing greens include asparagus, artichokes, basil, broccoli, green apples, green beans, celery, cucumber, dandelion, honeydew melon, green pears, peas, spinach, and zucchini.  Green tea is loaded with antioxidants. It also contains flavonoids, a class of naturally occurring plant compounds that function as antioxidants that are good for the heart.

Why not give greens a try? They are a great spring cleanser and they pack a substantial nutritional punch. So, it’s the perfect time to buy and eat greens!

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Eat More Orange

If you’ve eaten a carrot lately, you ate a bunch of carotenoids.  But don’t worry; they aren’t a type of plant bug.  Instead, carotenoids are healthy nutrients found in orange colored fruits and vegetables.  These nutrients act as antioxidants to protect our eyes and decrease the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

Carrots have several types of carotenoids including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene is also found in other yellow and orange vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.  Beta-carotenes convert to vitamin A in the body.

Vitamin A is often considered a great “eye” vitamin.  It is linked to improved vision and protection against macular degeneration.  Vitamin A helps fight off viruses and bacteria by stimulating white blood cell production and activity.  Vitamin A is also linked to healthy skin and reduced acne breakouts.

But don’t reach for supplements for your carotene fix since whole and real foods provide the best sources of carotenes.  Instead eat more orange and reach for a carrot or munch on one serving of vegetables from the Freschef chicken picatta meal and get 110% of the daily recommended amounts of vitamin A.

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