*Pumpkin is a terrific source of calcium, potassium and the antioxidant beta –carotene, all of which the body converts into vitamin A.  Research shows that eating pumpkin may lower high blood sugar, (and a great antidote to all that yummy Halloween candy)!!  ‘Tis the season anyhow to get the best Sugar Pumpkins ( look for them at your local market)  and get cooking right now.  Clean out a pumpkin, discard the seeds, and remove the wet portion.  Cut up into chunks, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap it all up in an aluminum foil pocket and roast @375 for about 1 hour.  What a great alternative and tasty dish to enjoy. You will wonder why you didn’t think of this before!

 

*Tomatoes are a premium super food, and not only can they brighten any salad, add dimension to your favorite grilled cheese sandwich, and establish the perfect pasta sauce, but they are incredibly good for you. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that’s linked to a lower risk of certain cancers and has been reported to provide some sun shielding benefits. Yep, it’s the tomatoes own SPF!  The redder the better – so look for depth of color when choosing tomatoes.  That means it’s got all the basics for great nutrient value in your diet.  Even canned tomatoes provide an important source of lycopene. One tip – don’t refrigerate fresh tomatoes; it stops the ripening process and promotes a mealy texture.

 

*Popcorn, one of our favorite go-to snacks, turns out to be one really healthy snack.  Loaded with fiber plus antioxidants called polyphenols.  Researchers from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania recently reported that popcorn may contain just as many antioxidants as those contained in fruit. And believe it or not, the polyphenols may be more concentrated in popcorn because of the density of fiber found, as opposed to being more diluted in a water based food such as fruit.  Okay, we aren’t suggesting anyone should be gorging on an x-large bag found at your friendly concession stand; everything in moderation and some common sense please.  Order a small bag (no butter of course), or air-pop your own for a healthy treat – so go ahead and munch away!

 

*Vending Machines don’t have to be your worst nightmare believe it or not! Yes, you SHOULD avoid them, but often times we find ourselves in a situation nutritionally unprepared with little or no choices.  So, if this is a last resort for fueling and the ONLY choice… here’s a chance to know what’s behind B16 and maybe press another button in the machine instead.  Some thoughts on this:

 

  • Rather than opting for the pretzels, go ahead and have the peanuts (of course if allergy is not an issue).  Peanuts pack more protein and have heart healthy unsaturated fat; just be sure to keep the portion to about an ounce or so as the calories can add up here fast.

 

  • Have a granola bar instead of a package of cookies.  Although they are oftentimes high in sugar, they are more likely to be packed with whole grains, which is better for you.

 

  • Can’t help yourself and stay away from the chips?  Choose Veggie Chips even though they are made up of potato starch as a base.  Nonetheless, they have vitamins A and C since they are also mixed with vegetable puree.

 


*All information reprinted from the source:

 Redbook Magazine, September 2012