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Which Airlines Have the Healthiest Food?

Which Airlines Have the Healthiest Food?


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Nutrition expert Charles Platkin ranks airlines with the healthiest food

Passengers on Virgin America can feast on turkey sandwiches on whole-grain bread and a selection of cheeses that includes Cheddar, smoked cheese, and Camembert.

While most airlines have cut back on serving free meals and even snacks and transitioned to pay-per-meal plans, nutrition expert Charles Platkin notes that airline food is becoming a lot healthier, with airlines providing at least one nutritious meal on their in-flight menu, according to the Los Angles Times.See which airlines, according to Platkin, have the healthiest food.

See Which Airlines Have the Healthiest Food? Slideshow

Platkin, a professor of nutrition at the City University of New York and founder of Diet Detective, has ranked and tested numerous airline foods for the past 12 years. His annual Airline Food Survey found that Virgin America provides the healthiest options; he awarded it four-and-a-half stars on a five-star scale. Virgin America serves low-calorie alternatives such as a Protein Plate with hummus, nuts, and tuna, and a roasted pear and arugula salad with almonds and fig mustard dressing. Each of these food options is less than 450 calories and packed with fiber.

Platkin rated the food on 12 airlines, providing a health score based on availability of healthy snacks and meals, food variety, calories, innovation, cooperation in offering nutritional information, and how the airline’s healthy options have improved since last year's survey.

Air Canada and Alaska Airlines came up second and third on Platkin’s list. American, United, Delta, and US Airways also made the cut, falling within the middle of the list.

The lowest ranking was given to Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, which received one-and-a-half stars for its snacks, which include Pringles chips, and M&M's. See the 12 US airlines with the healthiest food.

Tayler Stein is a Junior Writer at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TaylerSteinTDM.


50 of the Healthiest Recipes Known to Man

You might like eating out, but it’s tough to always know what’s in your meal when you aren’t in charge of the ingredients. The best way to ensure you’re eating food that properly fuels your workouts and supplements your health? Seek out the healthiest recipes you can cook at home.

7 Muscle-Building Smoothie Recipes

So what makes a dish healthy? It includes several important food groups that work together to build muscle and keep you lean. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. Usually no one meal can include each food group, but aim for at least 3 in each meal.

Here are a wide variety of some of the healthiest recipes you can prep at home. Work your way through all 50, or choose your top 10. No matter which you choose to cook, you can be sure these tasty recipes will help you stay trim and fit.

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Which airline's food is healthiest?

Alaska Airlines' protein platter is a big hit with passengers and dieticians.

Alaska's breakfast version of the protein plate that includes a small serving of honey-sweetened yogurt

Chef Joshua Rappaport alongside his culinary creations for Alaska Airlines first and economy class passengers

Economy class cobb salad on Alaska Airlines

Alaska's very popular fruit and cheese plate won't change much

A raspberry-peach fruit smoothie shot- holdover from Virgin America

Items from United's domestic First Class snack basket. How many can one fit on the table?

United has partnered with Uno's Pizzeria to bring a classic Chicago-style deep dish pie onboard longer flights.

Rosbacher water and Loselet treacle toffee ice cream

Flight attendants taste testing and offering feedback on how they will serve new menu items

A hearty first class breakfast on Virgin America

Edamame, mozzarella, veggie and pita snacks in first class on Virgin America

United's new cheeseburger for purchase, economy class ATL-SFO- delicious but kinda messy. Handi-wipe would be good to add to this service

The full array of economy class meals in long box packaging on display at LSG kitchen

After its merger with Virgin America, Alaska Airlines tried very hard to keep one of the things that loyal Virgin fliers often raved about &mdash the inventive, fresh and flavorful inflight food.

The strategy has paid off. Those Virgin-inspired food items helped Alaska earn the title of being the healthiest airline of 2018, according to an annual ranking of North American airline food.

"The airline worked hard to inherit the food footprint of Virgin America, and surpassed VX by offering better individual snacks and healthier meals," according to Dr. Charles Platkin, the executive director of the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center and author of the yearly ranking.

Platkin highlighted Alaska's calorie-friendly and nutrient-rich "west coast inspired" items like the Fall Harvest Salad, and the Fresh Start Protein Platter as being some of the more sensible options off the buy-on-board menu. Frequent Virgin America fliers will tell you the protein platter (including turkey or chicken, hummus, cheese, sliced vegetables and grapes) was one of the more popular items, and were excited when Alaska kept it around.

Keep in mind that this is a ranking of of the healthiest food, not the "best" which is a relative term based on individual palates.

Over the summer, we took part in a tasting panel at Alaska Air's catering kitchens in Seattle that helped decide on some of those items that are now available on most Alaska flights. Click here for more details and photos.

During the panel, Alaska execs wanted to know if dishes exemplified west coast cuisine &mdash with many items incorporating fresh ingredients from California, Oregon and Washington like asparagus, avocado, apples, cheeses and stone fruit. See the slideshow above for some of the dishes that were considered.

Delta Air Lines came in second in the ranking. Platkin was particularly impressed with the airline's partnership with Luvo, the Vancouver, Canada-based health-centric frozen food company. Some buy-on-board items off the Delta menu, like the whole grain wraps with fresh fruit, are Luvo branded. Regrettably, Delta jettisoned Luvo snack boxes from its California corridor flights earlier this year, which included gluten free crackers, edamame hummus, carrots and celery.

JetBlue Airways ranked third, followed by Air Canada. American Airlines received a satisfactory-level rating. American recently partnered with Plano, Texas based Zoe's Kitchen for inflight food items, but the ranking notes "the food is cleaner, but higher in calories."

United Airlines's food offerings came in below average on the ranking, weighed down by the addition of a cheesy, bready (but tasty!) Chicken Parmesan Sandwich and Banana Bread Pudding added to the inflight menu. Its popular Cheeseburgers and Stroopwafels likely did not help when it comes to healthy food, but passengers sure like them. the carrier serves about 10,000 burgers a week. More about that here.

United's original cheeseburger served on a pretzel roll with unusually delicious and crunchy Calbee chips

"It's a full-on dessert and not something you want to eat on the plane," Platkin said of the pudding, which is available for sale for breakfast.

He recommends United's Tapas snack box, but only if you share items with a friend or seat mate if you're noshing on it as a snack.

"[It] is high in calories but has many healthy foods, including almonds, olives, hummus and bruschetta just toss out the cheese spread," Platkin recommends.

Hawaiian Airlines, Allegiant Air, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines rounded out the bottom of the list. It's unclear why the study included Southwest, since nearly all of its flights only serve packages of pretzels.

Frontier Airlines was ranked dead last by Platkin, mostly because it took too long for the carrier to respond to his requests for nutritional information. From our experience, Frontier's inflight food is mostly salty snacks, cookies and candy. Read our review here.

The study warns passengers flying any airline to avoid drinking coffee and tea served onboard.

"There are a couple of reliable researchers who believe there may be harmful bacteria in airline water," the study notes. "This is probably because the water tanks are not emptied very often (you would think they'd be emptied and cleaned at least once a day, but this is not so)."


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Why they&rsquore good for you: While this tropical fruit is an American favorite, bananas are actually classified as an herb, and the correct name of a &ldquobunch&rdquo of bananas is a &ldquohand.&rdquo Technicalities aside, bananas are an excellent source of cardioprotective potassium. They&rsquore an effective prebiotic, enhancing the body&rsquos ability to absorb calcium, and they increase dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin &ndash brain chemicals that counter depression.

Serving size: one medium banana

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 105
Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 27 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 14 g
Protein: 1.3 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Citrusy Banana-Oat Smoothie
Ingredients
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup prepared quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup plain
2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 large banana, sliced and frozen
1 cup ice cubes

Preparation
Combine first 7 ingredients in a blender pulse to combine. Add ice process until smooth.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Raspberries come in gold, black and purple varieties, but red are the most common. Research suggests eating raspberries may help prevent illness by inhibiting abnormal division of cells, and promoting normal healthy cell death. Raspberries are also a rich source of the flavonoids quercetin and gallic acid, which have been shown to boost heart health and prevent obesity and age-related decline.

Serving size: one cup of raspberries

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 64
Fat: 0.8 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 14.7 g
Dietary fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 5.4 g
Protein: 1.5 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Raspberry and Blue Cheese Salad
Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
5 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 ounce blue cheese

Preparation
Combine olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Add mixed baby greens toss. Top with raspberries, pecans, and blue cheese.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Oranges are one of the most potent vitamin C sources and are essential for disarming free-radicals, protecting cells, and sustaining a healthy immune system. Oranges contain a powerful flavonoid molecule called herperidin found in the white pith and peel. In animal studies, herperidin has been shown to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. So don&rsquot peel all the pith from your orange. Consider adding zest from the skin into your oatmeal for a dose of flavor and health.

Serving size: one large orange

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 86
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 21.6 g
Dietary fiber: 4.4 g
Sugars: 17.2 g
Protein: 1.7 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Avocado and Orange Salad
Ingredients
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 orange
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup sliced avocado

Preparation
Combine garlic, olive oil, black pepper, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Peel and section orange squeeze membranes to extract juice into bowl. Stir garlic mixture with a whisk. Add orange sections, grape tomatoes, onion, and avocado to garlic mixture toss gently.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Ounce for ounce, this fuzzy fruit&mdashtechnically a berry&mdashhas more vitamin C than an orange. It also contains vitamin E and an array of polyphenols, offering a high amount of antioxidant protection. Fiber, potassium, magnesium and zinc&mdashpartly responsible for healthy hair, skin and nails&mdashare also wrapped up in this nutritious fruit.

Serving size: one kiwi

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 42
Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Carbohydrates: 10 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 6 g
Protein: 0.8 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Shrimp and Kiwi Salad
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
12 peeled and deveined large shrimp (about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups torn red leaf lettuce leaves
1 cup cubed peeled kiwifruit (about 3 kiwifruit)

Preparation
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp sauté 4 minutes or until done. Remove from heat.

Combine 2 teaspoons oil, onions, and next 7 ingredients (onions through black pepper) in a bowl. Add shrimp toss to coat. Spoon mixture over lettuce top with kiwi.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Pomegranates tend to have more vitamin C and potassium and fewer calories than other fruits. A serving provides nearly 50% of a day&rsquos worth of vitamin C and powerful polyphenols, which may help reduce cancer risk.

Serving size: one cup of pomegranate seeds

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 144
Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 5 mg
Carbohydrates: g
Dietary fiber: 7 g
Sugars: 23.8 g
Protein: 3 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Pomegranate and Pear Jam
Ingredients
2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped, peeled Seckel (or other) pear
2/3 cup strained fresh pomegranate juice (about 2 pomegranates)
1/4 cup rose wine
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons fruit pectin for less- or no-sugar recipes (such as Sure-Jell in pink box)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Preparation
Combine sugar, pear, pomegranate juice, and wine in a large saucepan over medium heat stir until sugar melts. Bring to a simmer simmer 25 minutes or until pear is tender. Remove from heat mash with a potato masher. Add pomegranate seeds and butter bring to a boil. Stir in fruit pectin. Return mixture to a boil cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat stir in lemon rind and rosemary. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill overnight.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Blueberries are rich in a natural plant chemical called anthocyanin which gives these berries their namesake color. Blueberries may help protect vision, lower blood sugar levels and keep the mind sharp by improving memory and cognition.

Serving size: one cup of blueberries

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 84
Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 21.5 g
Dietary fiber: 3.6 g
Sugars: 14.7 g
Protein: 1 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Lemon-Blueberry with Mascarpone Oatmeal
Ingredients
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon prepared lemon curd
3 tablespoons fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons sliced toasted almonds

Preparation
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in oats and dash of salt. Reduce heat simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar and lemon curd. Top oatmeal with blueberries, mascarpone cheese, and almonds.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Grapefruit may not be heralded as a &ldquosuperfruit,&rdquo but it should be. Available in white, pink, yellow and red varieties, grapefruit is low in calories and loaded with nutrients, supporting weight loss, clear skin, digestive balance, increased energy and heart and cancer prevention.

Serving size: one large grapefruit

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 53
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 13.4 g
Dietary fiber: 1.8 g
Sugars: 11.6 g
Protein: 1 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Grilled Mahimahi with Peach and Pink Grapefruit Relish
Ingredients
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 1/2 cups diced peeled ripe peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 cups pink grapefruit sections (about 2 large grapefruit)
1/2 cup small mint leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
6 (6-ounce) mahimahi or other firm whitefish fillets (about 3/4 inch thick)

Preparation
Prepare grill.

Place vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Place onion in a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over onion, tossing to coat cool. Add peaches, grapefruit, mint, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to onion toss gently.

Sprinkle fish with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place fish on grill rack coated with cooking spray grill 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Why they&rsquore good for you: A tangerine has more antioxidants than an orange, and this powerful little fruit is full of soluble and insoluble fiber that play a role in reducing disease risk and supporting weight management. Tangerines are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help lower the risk of chronic eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Animal studies have suggested that flavonoids found in tangerines may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease, so use the zest on fruit and vegetables to reap the benefits of the fruit&rsquos natural oils.

Serving size: one small tangerine

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 40
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Carbohydrates: 10 g
Dietary fiber: 1.4 g
Sugars: 8 g
Protein: 0.6 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Tangerine and Avocado Salad with Pumpkin Seeds
Ingredients
2 tangerines, peeled
1 small avocado, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Dash of kosher salt

Preparation
Cut tangerines into rounds. Combine tangerines, avocado, lime juice, and olive oil toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, chili powder, and a dash of kosher salt.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, many of which are easily absorbed by the body. Simply substituting one avocado for a source of saturated fat (such as butter or full fat cheese) may reduce your risk of heart disease, even without weight loss.

Serving size: one avocado

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 322
Fat: 29.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 14 mg
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Dietary fiber: 13.5 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 4 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Chipotle Pork and Avocado Wrap
Ingredients
1/2 cup mashed peeled avocado
1 1/2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices cut Simply Roasted Pork (about 8 ounces)
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/4 cup bottled salsa

Preparation
Combine the first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spread about 2 tablespoons avocado mixture over each tortilla, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange Simply Roasted Pork slices down center of tortillas. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup shredded lettuce and 1 tablespoon salsa, and roll up.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. They&rsquore rich in lycopene, a potent weapon against cancer. As one of the carotenoid phytochemicals (related to beta-carotene), lycopene appears to protect our cells&rsquo DNA with its strong antioxidant power. Lycopene has also shown the ability to stimulate enzymes that deactivate carcinogens.

Serving size: one medium tomato

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 22
Fat: 0.25 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 6 mg
Carbohydrates: 4.8 g
Dietary fiber: 1.5 g
Sugars: 3.2 g
Protein: 1.1 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Tomato-Basil Soup
Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Basil leaves (optional)

Preparation
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in the broth, salt, and tomatoes bring to a boil. Reduce heat simmer 20 minutes. Stir in basil.

Place half of the soup in a blender process until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a bowl, and repeat procedure with remaining soup. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Deep-purple eggplant is classified as a nightshade vegetable, kin to the tomato and bell pepper. Purple foods can be a powerful weapon in fighting heart disease since they&rsquore a rich source of phytonutrients&mdashnaturally occurring plant chemicals that have disease-protecting capabilities. One in particular, chlorogenic acid, is one of the most potent free radical scavengers found in plant tissues.

Serving size: one cup cooked eggplant

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 35
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 8.6 g
Dietary fiber: 2.5 g
Sugars: 3 g
Protein: 0.8 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes
Ingredients
6 cups (1/2-inch) diced eggplant
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled soft goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preparations
Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine eggplant, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl toss to coat. Arrange mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until tomatoes begin to collapse and eggplant is tender.

Combine broth and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan sauté 4 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir in barley and garlic cook 1 minute. Add wine cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup broth mixture to pan bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 40 minutes total). Gently stir in eggplant mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and salt. Top with cheese, basil, and nuts.

Why it&rsquos good for you: When it comes to nutrition, this is no lightweight. Swiss chard contains betalains (also found in beets), vitamins A, C , E and K, magnesium, potassium, fiber, calcium, choline, a host of B vitamins, zinc and selenium.

Serving size: one cup of raw swiss chard

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 7
Fat: 0.07 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 77 mg
Carbohydrates: 1.4 g
Dietary fiber: 0.6 g
Sugars: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.7 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Swiss Chard with Onions
Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
8 cups torn Swiss chard (about 12 ounces)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add chard stir-fry 10 minutes or until wilted. Stir in Worcestershire, salt, and pepper.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Mushrooms are a rich source of ergothioneine, an antioxidant that may help fight cancer. Mushrooms are also a source of riboflavin, a vitamin that supports the body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. They are the highest vegan source of vitamin D.

Serving size: one cup of raw mushrooms

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 15
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 4 mg
Carbohydrates: 2.3 g
Dietary fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 1.4 g
Protein: 2 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Penne with Sage and Mushrooms
Ingredients
1 whole garlic head
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups boiling water, divided
1/2 ounce dried wild mushroom blend (about 3/4 cup)
8 ounces uncooked 100 percent whole-grain penne pasta
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°.

Cut top off garlic head. Place in a small baking dish, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil cover with foil, and bake at 400° for 45 minutes. Remove dish from oven. Add 1/2 cup boiling water to dish cover and let stand 30 minutes. Separate cloves squeeze to extract garlic pulp into water. Discard skins. Mash garlic pulp mixture with a fork, and set aside.

Combine remaining 2 cups boiling water and dried mushrooms in a bowl cover and let stand 30 minutes. Rinse mushrooms drain well, and roughly chop. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage to pan sauté 1 minute or until crisp and browned. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon set aside. Add cremini mushrooms, salt, and pepper to pan sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic mixture, chopped mushrooms, and broth to pan cook 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half. Grate 1 1/2 ounces cheese. Stir pasta and grated cheese into pan cover and let stand 5 minutes. Thinly shave remaining 1/2 ounce cheese top each serving evenly with cheese shavings and sage leaves.

Why it&rsquos good for you: This dark green leafy vegetable is akin to Mother Nature&rsquos sunglasses. Rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, kale delivers these pigments to the retina which absorb the sun&rsquos damaging rays. Nutrients in kale have also been shown to lower cancer risk, support bone health and aid in natural detoxification.

Serving size: one cup of raw kale

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 8
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 6 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Dietary fiber: 0.6 g
Sugars: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.7 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sliced shallots
8 cups lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup unsalted chicken stock

Preparation
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil swirl to coat. Add sliced shallots cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Add kale, salt, and pepper to pan cook 2 minutes. Add chicken stock cover and cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Our skin, lungs, kidneys and liver are constantly detoxifying, but it&rsquos nice to lend a helping hand. Eating broccoli sprouts, which look similar to alfalfa, may do just that. Rich in natural plant chemicals, broccoli sprouts may have cancer-fighting and antioxidant capabilities that help our cells protect us from disease.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 10
Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Dietary fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 1 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Seared Tofu with Gingered Vegetables and Broccoli Sprouts
Ingredients
1 cup broccoli sprouts
1 pound reduced-fat extra firm tofu
1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced green onions, divided
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation
Place tofu on several layers of paper towels let stand 10 minutes. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes.

Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to rice fluff with a fork.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and bell pepper to pan sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup onions, vinegar, and soy sauce cook for 30 seconds. Remove from pan. Wipe skillet with paper towels recoat pan with cooking spray.

Place pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle tofu with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add tofu to pan cook 8 minutes or until golden, turning to brown on all sides. Return bell pepper mixture to pan, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Drizzle tofu mixture with remaining 1 teaspoon oil top with sesame seeds. Serve tofu mixture with rice top with sprouts and remaining 1/4 cup onions.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Fennel is a vitamin cocktail, providing antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and a unique mix of phytonutrients. One such phytonutrient is called anethole which, in animal studies, has been shown to reduce inflammation and fend off chronic disease.

Serving size: one bulb of fennel

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 73
Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 122 mg
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Dietary fiber: g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 3 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Fennel Slaw with Orange Vinaigrette
Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 medium fennel bulbs with stalks (about 4 pounds)
2 cups orange sections (about 2 large oranges)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives

Preparations
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

Trim tough outer leaves from fennel mince feathery fronds to measure 1 cup. Remove and discard stalks. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise discard core. Thinly slice bulbs. Add fronds, fennel slices, and orange sections to bowl toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with olives.

Why it&rsquos good for you: This pungent little allium has serious health merits, packing both flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients that bolster immunity and support healthy joints. It’s well-known for its cardioprotective benefits, and garlic is also an effective antiviral.

Serving size: one clove

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 4
Fat: 0.02 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Dietary fiber: 0.1 g
Sugars: 0.03 g
Protein: 0.2 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Garlic-and-Herb Oven-Fried Halibut
Ingredients
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Place egg whites and egg in a shallow dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in flour. Dip in egg mixture dredge in panko mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 fish fillets cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining fish. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Even though sweet potatoes have a bit more natural sugar than white potatoes, they are a mighty orange package of nutrients. A large sweet potato contains more than a day&rsquos worth of vitamin A, essential for eyesight and reproductive health. It also has B vitamins, fiber and potassium and an antioxidant called glutathione, which may enhance immunity and supports metabolism.

Serving size: one medium cooked sweet potato

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 103
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 41 mg
Carbohydrates: 23.7 g
Dietary fiber: 3.8 g
Sugars: 7.4 g
Protein: 2.3 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Spicy Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.

Combine oil and sweet potatoes in a medium bowl toss to coat. Heat a large grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add potatoes, and cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Place potatoes in a large bowl sprinkle with cumin mixture and cilantro. Toss gently.

Why they&rsquore good for you: It’s hard to beat beets. Research shows they&rsquore a good source of antioxidants and have compounds that can help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. They also look lovely on your plate thanks to betalains&mdashthe pigment that gives them their color. Betalains are destroyed by heat, so steam beets or roast them for less than an hour to derive maximum nutrition benefits.

Serving size: one cup of cooked beets

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 37
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 65 mg
Carbohydrates: 8.5 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 1.4 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Roasted Beet and Shallot Salad over Wilted Beet Greens and Arugula
Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds beets
8 shallots, peeled and halved
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
5 cups trimmed arugula (about 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted

Preparation
Preheat oven to 425°.

Trim beets, reserving greens. Wrap beets in foil. Place beets and shallots on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat shallots with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until shallots are lightly browned. Remove shallots from pan. Return beets to oven bake an additional 35 minutes or until beets are tender. Cool. Peel beets cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Place beets, shallots, vinegar, rind, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl toss well.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add reserved beet greens to pan sauté 1 minute or until greens begin to wilt. Stir in sugar, cider, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Add arugula stir just until wilted. Place about 1 cup greens mixture on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons walnuts top each serving with 3/4 cup beet mixture.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Spinach is among the top greens for folate, and contains high amounts of vitamin A, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc and selenium which offers antioxidant protection and supports thyroid function.

Serving size: one cup of raw spinach

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 7
Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 24 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Dietary fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 0.1 g
Protein: 1 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Spinach-and-Grapefruit Salad
Ingredients
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
8 cups torn spinach
2 cups red grapefruit sections (about 3 medium grapefruit)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup raspberry fat-free vinaigrette (such as Girard’s)

Preparation
Place the pecans in a large skillet, and cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking skillet frequently. Set aside.

Place 2 cups spinach on each of 4 serving plates. Arrange 1/2 cup grapefruit and 1/2 cup mushrooms over spinach. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons pecans drizzle each with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Cauliflower, which is found in white, purple, green and orange varieties, is a cancer-fighting powerhouse and supports our body&rsquos natural detoxification process. It&rsquos rich in an assortment of phytonutrients that reduce oxidative stress in our cells. Interestingly, research has shown that cauliflower combined with turmeric have have potential in preventing and treating prostate cancer.

Serving size: one cup of chopped raw cauliflower

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 27
Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 32 mg
Carbohydrates: g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 2 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Roasted Cauliflower
Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, quartered
5 garlic cloves, halved
4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preparation
Preheat oven to 500°.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Place onion mixture and cauliflower in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Combine water and mustard pour over vegetable mixture. Toss to coat sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 500° for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley.

Why they&rsquore good for you: A sister to broccoli and Brussels sprouts, collards are considered a cruciferous vegetable. Cooked collards are effective at lowering cholesterol&mdashmore so than even kale&mdashas well as fighting cancer. Just one-half cup of collard greens contains two-days&rsquo worth of vitamin A, essential for healthy vision, teeth and skin.

Serving size: one cup cooked collard greens

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 63
Fat: 1.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 28 mg
Carbohydrates: 10.7 g
Dietary fiber: 7.6 g
Sugars: 0.8 g
Protein: 5.2 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Stewed Collards
Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 cup vertically sliced onion
8 cups chopped collard greens
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preparation
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion sauté 3 minutes. Add collard greens, chicken stock, sugar, and salt. Cover bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low simmer 20 minutes or until very tender. Stir in vinegar.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Alliums like onions are rich in healthy, sulfur-containing compounds which are also responsible for their pungent smell. Onions are good sources of vitamins C and B6, manganese, potassium and fiber. They&rsquore also a superb source of the antioxidant quercetin. While research is inconclusive, quercetin is suspected of supporting heart health, combating inflammation and reducing allergy symptoms.

Serving size: one cup of cooked onions

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 92
Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 3 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Patty Melts with Grilled Onions
Ingredients
8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Cooking spray
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons creamy mustard blend (such as Dijonnaise)
8 (1-ounce) slices rye bread
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Jarlsberg cheese

Preparation
Arrange onion slices on a plate. Drizzle vinegar over onion slices. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan cover and cook 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan cover and keep warm.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Divide beef into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Sprinkle patties evenly with salt and pepper. Add patties to pan cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Spread about 1 teaspoon mustard blend over 4 bread slices layer each slice with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 patty, 2 onion slices, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Spread about 1 teaspoon mustard blend over remaining bread slices place, mustard side down, on top of sandwiches.

Heat pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches press gently to flatten. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).

Why it&rsquos good for you: Winter squash is an inexpensive vegetable that&rsquos as healthy as it is versatile. It&rsquos one of the richest sources of plant-based anti-inflammatory beta-carotene, which can support healthy vision and cell development. Its yellow-orange flesh is also infection protective, and may even reduce age-associated illnesses.

Serving size: one cup of cooked winter squash

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 180
Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 8 mg
Carbohydrates: g
Dietary fiber: 6.6 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 1.8 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Pasta with Winter Squash and Pine Nuts
Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 cups water, divided
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Preparation
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add pine nuts and sage remove from heat. Remove from pan, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 cup water and squash to pan. Cook for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add remaining water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of water is absorbed before adding the next (about 15 minutes). Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Combine pasta and squash mixture in a large bowl. Add reserved 1/2 cup pasta water, butter mixture, and 3/4 cup cheese toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Serve immediately.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Experts recommend the general population, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood weekly to boost brain health and avoid the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Choosing fish rich in essential Omega-3 fatty acids like tuna&ndashand even canned tuna&ndashcan promote immunity, heart health and may even lessen postpartum depression. Don’t go overboard, though&mdashtuna can be high in mercury.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 93
Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 33 mg
Sodium: 38 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 20.7 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Arugula, Italian Tuna, and White Bean Salad
Ingredients
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
2 (6-ounce) cans Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained and broken into chunks$
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby arugula
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved

Preparation
Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and next 4 ingredients (through arugula) toss. Top with cheese.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Sardines are tiny but mighty, rivaling salmon when it comes to omega-3 fatty acid content. These fatty acids go to work immediately (as opposed to plant-based omega 3s), improving blood flow, feeding our brain, stabilizing heart rhythms and keeping inflammation in check. Sardines are also a source of calcium. Look for the varieties packed in olive oil for an added heart-health benefit.

Serving size: one can

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 191
Fat: 10.5 g
Cholesterol: 131 mg
Sodium: 282 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 22.7 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Fennel-Sardine Spaghetti
Ingredients
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 medium fennel bulb (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup prechopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can sardines in tomato sauce, undrained

Preparation
Cook pasta according to package directions drain.

Trim outer leaves from fennel. Chop fronds to measure 1/2 cup. Discard stalks. Cut bulb in half lengthwise discard core. Thinly slice bulb.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fennel and onion sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic sauté 20 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, oregano, red pepper, and sauce from sardines. Cover and reduce heat.

Discard backbones from fish. Add fish to pan gently break fish into chunks. Cover and cook 6 minutes. Toss pasta with sauce sprinkle with fronds.

Why they&rsquore good for you: This bite-sized fish shows up in many signature dishes from Italy, Thailand, Spain and Korea. Just three ounces of Anchovies offer 19 grams of protein, as well as B vitamins, calcium, iron and omega-three fatty acids. They’re also low in mercury.

Serving size: five anchovies from a can

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 42
Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 38 mg
Sodium: 734 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 5.8 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Spicy Anchovy Broccoli
Ingredients
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 drained and minced anchovy fillets
4 cups broccoli florets, steamed

Preparation
Heat canola oil, thyme, lemon rind, crushed red pepper, kosher salt, minced garlic, and minced anchovy fillets in a small skillet over medium heat cook 2 minutes or until garlic begins to sizzle. Add steamed broccoli florets toss to coat.

Why it&rsquos good for you: As we age, both intrinsic (our DNA) and extrinsic factors (the sun) take their toll. Skin can become dull, patchy, spotted and wrinkled, and while you might be tempted to go for a fancy face cream, what you eat may bring more potent results. How? Omega-3s in foods like salmon may help reduce dryness (from atopic dermatitis and psoriasis) and may even reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Serving size: 3 oz, cooked

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 175
Fat: 10.5 g
Cholesterol: 54 mg
Sodium: 52 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 18.8 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Margarita Salmon
Ingredients
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon tequila
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
Cooking spray
Lime slices (optional)

Preparation
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag add fish to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes.

While fish is marinating, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm. Remove fish from bag, reserving marinade.

Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Serve over pasta. Garnish with lime slices, if desired.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Light meat is a fine choice, but there&rsquos no reason to be afraid of the dark. The fat in dark meat contains a hormone called cholecystokinin, or CCK, which is partly responsible for satiety, so a little bit of dark meat can go a long way, especially if you&rsquore watching your weight. Further, dark meat contains myoglobin, a protein which delivers oxygen to muscle cells. Dark meat also has more B vitamins than white meat, making it a nutrient-rich protein source that&rsquos tasty and satisfying, and meat from the leg and thigh are rich in taurine. Studies have shown that taurine can lower the risk of coronary heart disease in women and it may also help protect against diabetes and high blood pressure.

Serving size: chicken, dark meat, cooked thigh (one example)

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 184
Fat: 8.7 g
Cholesterol: 137 mg
Sodium: 198 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 27 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Roasted Chicken Thighs Provençal
Ingredients
3 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 6 wedges
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided $
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 (6-ounce) skinless chicken thighs
24 niçoise olives
Rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 425°.

Place potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle vegetable mixture with olive oil sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss gently, and spread into a single layer on pan. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from pan, and keep warm.

Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and olives to pan. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Fiber from whole grains can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by nearly 40%, protecting gastrointestinal health. Foods labeled &ldquohigh fiber&rdquo have 5 grams of fiber or more per serving, and the U.S. Dietary guidelines recommend making one-half of your daily grain servings whole. Just remember that the descriptors &ldquowhole grain&rdquo and &ldquomulti-grain&rdquo don&rsquot necessarily mean the product is whole wheat.

Serving size: one slice

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 81
Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 146 mg
Carbohydrates: 13.7 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 4 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Whole-Wheat Orange Juice Muffins
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup golden raisins
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups level with a knife. Combine all-purpose flour and next 5 ingredients (all-purpose flour through cinnamon) in a medium bowl stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine juice, oil, rind, and egg add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in raisins. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Quinoa is actually a seed, rich in amino acids. Just one serving provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a good protein source for vegetarians. It also supplies anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as vitamin E, zinc, folate and phosphorus.

Serving size: one cup, cooked

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 222
Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 13 mg
Carbohydrates: 39.4 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 1.6 g
Protein: 8 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Nutty Almond-Sesame Red Quinoa
Ingredients
1 2/3 cups water
1 cup red quinoa
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Preparation
Bring 1 2/3 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 12 minutes or until quinoa is tender drain. Stir in almonds, juice, oils, salt, and onions.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Hemp seed won&rsquot get you high, but it can make you healthier. A seed from the cannabis sativa plant, this food contains easily digestible protein, all nine essential amino acids (just like flax), plus fatty acids, vitamin E and trace minerals. The seeds taste a bit like pine nuts.

Serving size: three tablespoons

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 170
Fat: 13 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: mg
Carbohydrates: g
Dietary fiber: g
Sugars: g
Protein: g

Recipe: Add a handful to smoothies, salads or oatmeal

Why they&rsquore good for you: This hearty cereal grain is rich in a type of fiber called beta-glucan which has powerful, antimicrobial capabilities that boost immunity and lower cholesterol. The antioxidants in oats make this grain cardioprotective, plus they have the ability to stabilize blood sugar levels, lower diabetes risk and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 160
Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: mg
Carbohydrates: 27 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 5 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Cherry-Hazelnut Oatmeal
Ingredients
6 cups water
2 cups steel-cut oats (such as McCann’s)
2/3 cup dried Bing or other sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted and divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons toasted hazelnut oil

Preparation
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon nuts, and cinnamon. Place 1 cup oatmeal in each of 6 bowls sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon sugar. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoon nuts drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Kamut is an ancient grain whose true origin isn&rsquot clear. It looks like brown Basmati rice, but it has a more buttery, nutty and sweeter flavor. Kamut has 40% more protein than durum (traditional) wheat, and contains an array of polyphenols and vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and thiamin.

Serving size: one cup, cooked

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 227
Fat: 1.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 14 mg
Carbohydrates: 47.5 g
Dietary fiber: 7 g
Sugars: 5.3 g
Protein: 10 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Kamut, Lentil, and Chickpea Soup
Ingredients
3/4 cup kamut berries, rinsed
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup dried lentils
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons chopped celery leaves (optional)

Preparation
Place kamut in a small bowl. Carefully pour boiling water over kamut. Let stand 30 minutes drain.

Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, parsley, celery, tarragon, and thyme cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic cook 2 minutes, stirring often.

Add kamut, broth, and bay leaves to onion mixture bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add lentils and pepper cook 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves. Add chickpeas simmer 2 minutes. Garnish with celery leaves, if desired.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Lentils should be part of everyone&rsquos diet, packing 18 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, and less than 1 gram of fat per cup. They contain nearly 30 percent more folate than spinach and they&rsquore a source of zinc and B vitamins. Enjoying lentils can help guard against heart disease and stabilize blood sugar. Thanks to its iron content, lentils can support and maintain metabolism.

Serving size: one cup, cooked

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 230
Fat: 0.75 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 4 mg
Carbohydrates: 40 g
Dietary fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 1 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Lentils with Wine-Glazed Winter Vegetables
Ingredients
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled celeriac (celery root)
1 cup diced parsnip
1 cup diced carrot
1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, divided
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation
Combine water, lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Remove lentils from heat, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celeriac, parsnip, carrot, and 1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon, and sauté 10 minutes or until browned. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomato paste, and garlic cook mixture 1 minute. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in mustard. Add lentil mixture, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat discard bay leaf, and stir in butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon, and pepper.

Why it&rsquos good for you: Farro is an ancient ancestor of wheat. The whole grain variety requires overnight soaking and 30 to 40 minutes on the stovetop to yield a tender grain. Farro is lower in calories and higher in muscle-building protein and cancer-fighting fiber than other whole grains, and it&rsquos rich in B vitamins and zinc.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 200
Fat: 1.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 37 g
Dietary fiber: 7 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 7 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Watercress, and Poppy Seed Dressing
Ingredients
2 bunches small beets, trimmed
2/3 cup uncooked farro
3 cups water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 cups trimmed watercress
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted walnut oil
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°.

Wrap beets in foil. Bake at 375° for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Cool peel and thinly slice.

Place farro and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until farro is tender. Drain and cool. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Arrange 1 1/2 cups watercress on a serving platter top with half of farro, 1/4 cup onion, and half of sliced beets. Repeat layers with remaining 1 1/2 cups watercress, remaining farro, remaining 1/4 cup onion, and remaining beets. Sprinkle top with cheese.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and remaining ingredients stir well with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture evenly over salad.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Walnuts are a tasty source of plant-based fatty acids and boasts more polyphenols than red wine. Having 4 grams of protein per ounce, walnuts also have the ability to keep your heart healthy. They contain cancer-fighting properties, support weight control and, in some studies, have been shown to be neuroprotective.

Serving size: half a cup

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 327
Fat: 33 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Dietary fiber: 3.4 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 8 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Wild Rice and Walnut Pilaf
Ingredients
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup long-grain brown and wild rice blend (such as Lundberg’s)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted

Preparation
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in water, rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, chives, juice, and oil. Sprinkle each serving with walnuts.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Rich in monounsaturated fats, almonds have been shown to be helpful in keeping cholesterol levels within a healthy range. They&rsquore also effective prebiotics, feeding the probiotics in our gut, and they help support a robust immune system. Almonds, like all nuts, are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which may play a role in slowing cognitive decline with age.

Serving size: five almonds

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 35
Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 1.3 g
Dietary fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 0.3 g
Protein: 1.3 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Almond Green Beans
Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
12 ounces trimmed green beans
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Add garlic to pan cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add green beans, water, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 4 minutes or until beans are tender and liquid evaporates. Sprinkle with almonds.

Why they&rsquore good for you: Despite their tiny size, chia seeds deliver an incredible amount of nutrition. In a two-tablespoon serving, you&rsquoll find 11 grams of fiber, four grams of protein, five grams of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, nearly 20 percent of a day&rsquos worth of calcium, plus potassium and antioxidants.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 138
Fat: 8.7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 5 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Dietary fiber: 10 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 4.7 g

Recipe from Cooking Light: Five-Seed Bread
Ingredients
1/4 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds kernels
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons honey
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
4.2 ounces sweet white sorghum flour (about 1 cup)
3.9 ounces potato starch (about 3/4 cup)
2.3 ounces cornstarch (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preparation
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Set aside.

Dissolve honey and yeast in 1 1/2 cups warm water in a medium bowl let stand 5 minutes.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour, potato starch, and cornstarch into dry measuring cups level with a knife. Place flour, potato starch, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add seed mixture, yeast mixture, oil, vinegar, and eggs beat at low speed until blended.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until dough reaches top of pan.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


Healthy Homemade Dog Food Ingredients

Homemade dog food needs to be made with the appropriate ingredients to keep your dog healthy and maintain his energy levels. Here’s what to include:

Meat and animal organs: should be about ½ of your dog’s diet. Make sure to use lean meats, and remove any skin and fat. Be sure to include sources of red meat and poultry in your dog’s diet. You might even choose to include fish and lamb, if your dog likes these. When it comes to organs, liver is a very healthy option for your dog—especially beef liver. You can also include others such as chicken liver, etc. Only use about 5% of organ meat in your dog’s overall diet.

Eggs: a great choice for your fur baby’s food! Dogs 20 lbs and over can have one egg a day, while smaller dogs should have less.

Dairy: including yogurt, cottage/ricotta cheese are healthy choices for your pet. Don’t use too much dairy, however, as it can cause digestive problems in some dogs.

Fruits and veggies: these are generally not thought of as part of a dog’s natural diet. However, they can provide needed fiber and nutrients. If you choose to use veggies and fruits, be sure to cook them down first. They should be very tender—not crisp. Dogs have a hard time digesting plant material, so cooking it down will aid his digestion. Your dog may be happy to have potatoes, squashes, beans and more added to his diet. Just be sure to check with the vet to see which veggies and fruits are safe for dogs before including them in your pup’s diet.

Be sure to avoid onions and garlic which can be harmful to dogs!


Why Kalamata Olives are one of the healthiest foods on earth

Kalamata olives are only found on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece and have played a part in the human diet for thousands of years. Growing under the amazing Greek sun, the olive trees here have much larger leaves than other types of olive trees around the nation and the world and absorb more sunshine.

This dark cherry-sized fruit — yes, the olive is a fruit — that has been used by Greeks for thousands of years not only tastes great, it serves up a host of nutritional benefits.

It’s no secret that doctors and dieticians call it one of the healthiest foods on earth and that’s because they are high in sodium, rich in healthy fats and contain a natural antioxidant.

Kalamata olives contain a range of health-promoting vitamins and minerals and are particularly high in iron and vitamin A. It is said that regular consumption may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and various cancers.

History of Kalamata olives

The earliest cultivation of olive trees was probably over five thousand years ago, since Ancient Greek times. Despite being known as ‘Greek black olives,’ they are in fact deep purple in colour and compared to green and black olives, they are bigger in size and have a plumper, oblong shape.

Growers pick these Kalamata olives by hand to avoid bruising the fruit. Following the harvesting of the olives, workers either process them into olive oil or prepare them to be table olives.

Kalamata olives contain a stone in the middle, and generally, they are not pitted before being sold. However, when fresh the olives are incredibly bitter, and so they enter a process of ‘debittering.’

There are two different ways of doing this.

First, the short way involves soaking the olives in brine for a week. After this, workers pack them with brine, wine vinegar, slices of lemon and olive oil.

The long way involves making a slit in each olive, and storing them in 10% salt-water for fermentation until they de-bitter. This process usually takes around three months.

General Nutrition of Kalamata Olives

Kalamata olives are a good source of fibre, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K. They also provide some magnesium, phosphorous and potassium per serving as well as B vitamins.

While Kalamata olives are high in fat considering their serving size, the majority of their fat is monounsaturated, also known as a “healthy” fat. It is said a 4-tablespoon serving of Kalamata olives has 2.7 grams of monounsaturated fats and 0.3 grams of polyunsaturated fats.

Kalamata olives, like pure Greek olive oil, contain phenolic compounds, which are natural antioxidants. It is this compound that gives olives their unique taste. Phenolic compounds in olives and olive oil is a strong antioxidant, protecting your body from damage from environmental toxins as well as free radicals, according to the “Medicinal Research Reviews.” The phenols may also be the reason for lower incidences of heart disease and some cancers for those who eat a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil and olives.

Scientists also determined that a diet of regularly consuming Kalamata olives had reduced incidences of chronic inflammation.

*Add Kalamata olives to your serving platters

How to add Kalamata olives to your diet?

Olives are a great snack and can be eaten at any time of the day. You can also add them to your salad, on your pizza or in your red homemade sauce. Don’t forget to include them in your cheese platters, as they are great paired with cheese, crackers and other small goods.


These Are the 6 Healthiest Types of Seafood

We're just fishing for a good time. And protein. And omega-3s. And a lowered risk of heart disease and stroke. You know?

Fact: Americans are not getting enough seafood. 𠇊nd yet so much research points to the fact that we’ll live longer, healthier lives if we eat more," says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, food and nutrition expert, and author of Eating in Color. The American Heart Association recommends eating two (3.5 ounces, cooked) servings of fatty fish per week, but only about 10 percent of us are getting there.

Fatty fish include salmon, albacore tuna (the canned stuff), mackerel, herring, lake trout, and sardines. Fish is a great source of protein, but its real benefit is the DHA omega-3 fatty acids it contains, Largeman-Roth says. Not only do omega-3s lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, they are also vital for brain health. Omega-3 fats build cell membranes throughout the body and the brain and perform an anti-inflammatory function in the body, which helps promote healthier brain cells. Omega-3 fats are essential for the development of a baby’s brain, so pregnant and breastfeeding moms should definitely eat low-mercury seafood picks.

Here are Largeman-Roth’s six top picks for seafood based on health, as well as sustainability. If you’re looking for more information on sustainable seafood options, check out Seafood Watch.


Low Sodium Vegetable Chow Mein Recipe

The Chinese love their vegetables, and there are several vegetable recipes to attest to that. The low sodium Chinese vegetable chow mein is one of these recipes. Instead of your traditional sodium soy sauce, you will require hoisin sauce for its preparation.

Here you are allowed to add an assortment of vegetables as long as they appeal to your taste buds. A splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice will give a tart salty flavor to your meal therefore, removing the need to add salt. Egg noodles and firm tofu are great for this specific dish and if already cooked the better. Also incorporate spring onions, ginger, garlic, and coriander to garnish.

Low Sodium Vegetable Chow Mein Recipe


Cruciferous Vegetables

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Some leafy greens, like arugula, broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, kale, and watercress, fall into the category known as cruciferous vegetables. Alongside cabbage and Brussels sprouts, they are some of the most nutrient-dense veggies out there. It's no surprise that Sergio Pedemonte, CEO & Certified Personal Trainer at Your House Fitness, recommends consuming some cruciferous veggies not just every day, but at every meal.

"Cruciferous veggies are packed with distinct phytonutrients that fight inflammation as well as contain cell-modulating properties, meaning they can help protect against cancer," he says.

Brussels sprouts, in particular, explains chartered physiotherapist and board-certified neurologist Dr. Chris Norris from SleepStandards.com, are "nutrient-dense and low in calories."

"They offer up a well-rounded group of vitamins (including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate) and potassium," he says. "Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts feature bioactive compounds, such as antioxidants, which are chemicals that help prevent cell damage inside your body."


Alaskan pollock is flaky, and we mean that in the best way possible. It’s low in carbs, fat and mercury. Opt for wild-caught when you can it has some of the lowest mercury content of all wild fish. Flounder is lower in omega-3s than others, but still low in mercury and a lean, healthy choice overall. Sole is a comparable ocean-floor dweller if you can’t find flounder. Farmed arctic char is a prime choice for salmon lovers, thanks to its flakiness and fattiness. Shrimp, oysters, scallops and other shellfish are also all low in mercury and fat, plus high in protein. While they’re lower in omega-3s than fish (and technically aren’t fish at all), we𠆝 be remiss to not give them any love.

All fish and shellfish have at least traces of mercury. While a small amount won’t affect your health much, it’s poisonous in larger amounts. Not only is it in the ocean, but it builds up in fish in its organic form, methylmercury, as they consume other fish over time. Methylmercury exposure has been connected to stunted neurological development, peripheral vision loss, pins and needles, lack of mobility or coordination, speech impairments and muscle weakness, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pregnant women who consume methylmercury can expose their infants to nervous system and neurological issues ranging from motor skills to cognitive thinking. In large amounts, it can cause lasting damage to the brain and nervous system, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry warns. The Environmental Protection Agency even considers methylmercury a possible human carcinogen.

Here’s the good news: The nutritional perks of eating fish definitely outweigh the negatives. In an advisory published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, 𠇏or adults eating a serving or two of fish a week, the benefits of fish are likely at least fiftyfold more than any concerns over other compounds that may be in fish.”

As long as you’re limiting how much fish you eat𠅎specially high-mercury fish—you should be safe. While it isn’t threatening to most people, mercury could harm an unborn baby or young child, so pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and young kids should avoid eating fish with potentially high mercury levels and limit their intake of fish altogether.

Larger, older predatory fish tend to have higher levels of mercury, not to mention PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls, aka industrial chemicals found in fish due to environmental pollution) and other contaminants. Here are a few types of fish to stay away from or consume sparingly.



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