Happy – almost – St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of the most celebrated Irish holiday of the year, are you going green? No, I don’t mean wearing a shamrock. I mean, are you planning on eating more green fruits and vegetables today – green grapes, honeydew melon, green beans, or asparagus?
Green fruits and vegetables are loaded with important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and folate as well as phytochemicals and fiber. Eating a daily diet rich in “greens” can reduce the risk of certain cancers, promote vision, maintain bone and joint health, provide protein for building muscle and help reduce childhood obesity.
Challenge yourself to add more “greens” to your diet. In addition to your “regular” intake of green apples, broccoli and spinach, try one new green fruit or vegetable every week.
- Edamame – Did you know that edamame has 9 grams of fiber per serving? That’s more than if you ate four pieces of whole wheat toast! And, it has 11 grams of protein with only 120 calories.
- Zucchini – It makes the perfect light side dish for a heavy meal. One cup of sliced zucchini has about 19 calories. That’s 40 – 50 percent lower than the same serving size for other low-cal green veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- Brussels sprouts – Not only are Brussel sprouts delicious; they are naturally low in fat and calories but high in protein. This means that Brussels sprouts are one of those foods that will fill you up, without filling you out, always a plus for weight loss.
- Kiwi – A study by Collins, Horska and Hotten showed that the unique combination of antioxidants in Kiwi fruit helps protect the cell DNA from oxidative damage. Some experts conclude this can help prevent cancer. And, the fuzzy fiber of Kiwi helps bind and move toxins from your intestinal tract.
- Limes – Limes are a good source of vitamin C, a wonderful antioxidant that helps wound healing and keeps the gums and teeth healthy.
St. Patrick’s Day comes just once a year, but good nutrition needs daily attention. Celebrate today by beginning a balanced diet and a heart-healthy exercise regimen – not only for your health, but also for the sake of your loved ones.
Learn how Fitness for Health can help you create a heart-healthy and fun, exercise program to reach your personal goals. Whether you want to maintain weight management, improve athletic training or combat childhood obesity, we can help you create a fitness program to fit your unique needs while having fun.