Americans need to add some pizzazz to our plates, specifically more colorful vegetables – red, green and orange according to a new report by the USDA. These veggies are important for overall health and in your cancer-fighting diet. Their low calories help with weight control and potent phytochemicals like carotenoids, vitamin C and flavonoids help keep cells healthy.
The report says we’re now eating about 1/4 cup daily per 1000 calories of these vegetables, far below the recommendation. The US Dietary Guidelines say you should eat at least double that. If you’re a woman you need at least 3/4 to 1 cup daily, men need at least 1 – 1 1/2 cups every day.
July’s hot weather salad days are here. If you’re looking for a more exciting salad that bites you back, try our Health-e-Recipe for Mexican Spinach Salad.
Poblano chiles spice up these greens, which by themselves contain important cancer-fighting substances. They’re used in cuisines from hot climates where spices can help to cool you off by making you perspire. Chiles also contain plant compounds called capsaicin, which lab studies suggest may help keep unhealthy inflammation at bay.
Feta cheese, pumpkin seeds and crunchy corn chips for garnish also make this salad interesting. Top it with our easy honey-lime dressing, which you can use on other salads as well. To make it a more complete meal, add a half-cup of chopped roast chicken breast to each serving (for another 150 calories and lean protein).
Once you’ve tasted fresh beets, you’ll be enchanted by their sweet taste and beautiful color. Our Health-e-Recipe for Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad shreds them with tart Granny Smith apples, carrots and chopped walnuts into a cancer-preventive salad.
Beets contain potassium, vitamin C, folate and fiber. Their phytochemicals include betalains, a class of health-protecting compounds that may be best absorbed when uncooked. Beet greens – which can be eaten lightly steamed – provide lutein, a phytochemical that protects eyesight and is also found in spinach (a botanical relative of beets).
In the U.S., fresh beets are often roasted. Eating them raw is more unusual, yet once you have, you may prefer them to the pickled versions that are high in sodium and may be packaged with added sugar. (Our recipe also tells you how to peel them without coloring your hands red.)
This week’s recipe marks our #499th issue. You can help us pick our milestone 500th Health-e-Recipe by voting in our Championship Round. It’s Lasagna versus Brussels sprouts: Vote in Recipe 500.
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