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.
A whole new world of whole grains is opening up to us these days, and rice alone comes in a host of varieties. You may have eaten basmati rice at an Indian restaurant, green “Bamboo” rice or even black rice that actually cooks up to be dark purple and is popular in China and Thailand.
This week’s Health-e-Recipe is for Red Rice Dressing. The phytonutrient called anthocyanin – also present in red berries – creates its hue. Red rice is grown in countries as far-flung as France and Bhutan. (Don’t confuse it with “red yeast rice,” a supposedly medicinal substance used in traditional Chinese medicine.) Red rice contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals.
All rice provides about the same number of calories in a half-cup serving: about 200. But brown, wild and colored rices can contain more cancer-fighting fiber thanks to their whole-grain status from retaining their germ and bran, versus white rice that has had these fiber extras refined out of them. Not all exotic rice is a whole grain, either: if you’re looking for basmati or jasmine rice, for example, choose brown versions to get the most fiber.
Our Health-e-Recipe for Berry Cherry Yogurt Popsicles is an easy-to-make summer treat for this 4th of July, especially with kids. And it’s healthier and lower in calories than many store-bought popsicles.
Berries and cherries are packed with cancer-preventing compounds including anthocyanins and ellagic acid, plus vitamin C. They may seem more expensive than other fruits, but they cost less now that they are in season and not much more than chips and other packaged foods.
Greek vanilla yogurt contains less sugar and more protein than frozen dairy desserts. And you can use fresh cherries or blackberries, too, but buying frozen unsweetened versions skips having to pit fresh cherries. If kids are helping you, note that berry juice can stain clothing so wear aprons or old shirts before starting.
Paper cups and popsicle sticks are cheap and easy to find. You can just tear off the cups when the popsicles have frozen, or just freeze without the popsicle sticks and use spoons to eat out of the cup. Enjoy these delicious pops as desserts or snacks.
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