StayWell Guam Inc.
Eating Healthy: Green is King
April 12, 2023
Your friends and family at StayWell want to check in with you on your new year resolutions and we sincerely hope you’re able to double down on your new year health commitments and are well on the way toward a healthier lifestyle. If you’re like the many millions of Americans who struggle to let go of bad eating habits, perhaps you’re in need of some foodspiration to help keep you going. Not to worry as we at StayWell have cranked the numbers and did a little bit of research to help you along your health journey! This month we focused on green foods and which foods can be game changers in your short-term and long-term health goals.
If you’re a visual learner and especially a visual shopper, next time you go shopping try to train your eye toward green foods as this will hopefully lead you down the vegetable aisle. According to the CDC only 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits and vegetables which is a serious problem as these foods are key players in reducing your risk for serious illness and disease. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a way out of eating your vegetables, we’ve got some bad news for you— there really is no such thing as a healthy diet that doesn’t incorporate fruits and vegetables. However, perhaps we can convince you to see the greener side of those oh so scary vegetables we all tend to avoid.
Don’t Make Excuses Make Choices
With a simple google search online you’ll find the many excuses you’ve likely said to yourself at one point or the other of why vegetables are not making it onto your plate. Of these taste, texture and convenience tended to round out the top of the list for why adults just won’t eat vegetables. However, what many people think is that a salad is the only way to get your vegetables in and that is simply not true! There are many ways to prepare vegetables that can take them from lifeless and boring to complete show stoppers on your dinner plate. Here are just a few solutions that we have found to address your vegetable hesitations.
If your struggle with veggies is with their taste, we invite you try some of these unexpected green favorites: brussels sprouts and broccoli. Unlike leafy greens these veggies take well with cooking and caramelization without wilting or losing their nutrients. Brussels sprouts and broccoli especially can be roasted to caramelize and bring out their sweetness and can be enhanced with other sweet herbs such as onions and garlic that add to their complex flavors. Meanwhile brussels sprouts and broccoli pack a larger punch in meeting your healthy eating goals with as little as 38 calories and packed with phytonutrients that you need to keep your body healthy and protect from diseases such as cancer and heart disease. With brussels sprouts and broccoli you can get the same benefits of eating an entire salad with a wider range of flavor profiles to play with in your healthy cooking ventures.
If you’re big on mouth-feel when it comes to your food there are a ton of vegetables out there with a variety of flavors and textures to fit fill your appetite. If you’re not a fan of mushy vegetables try raw, shredded, roasted or stir-fried versions. The good news about veggies is that you can employ a number of different cooking methods to mold them to your preferences. If you love crunchy food try baked kale which is a dark leafy green that is packed with twice as many nutrients as compared to lettuce or cabbage meanwhile caramelize well in the oven meaning more flavorful bites in your next healthy meal. Don’t worry about vegetables losing their nutrients when cooking, as quite often cooking vegetables can give them more nutritional benefits such as asparagus which have more phenolic acid which are known to help your body reduce cell damage. So long as you don’t overcook your vegetables you can be sure that you’re getting about the same amount of nutrients and when in doubt always do some of your research on the best ways to prepare certain vegetables to get the most out of your healthy plate.
If you struggle to work vegetables into your daily diet, just know that you’re not alone. According to the CDC a majority of Americans cite time and convenience as being one of the biggest barriers to eating a healthy diet. After all, why cook when the nearest McDonald’s is just down the road? If you’re a trendy eater there are a number of food trends that go a long way in getting you closer toward your diet goals and it’s simply a matter of making healthy food choices. If you eat out a lot, try opting for the salad instead of the burger or other fast food, and if that’s a hard enough choice try simply adding one vegetable dish to compliment your entrée. If you’re eating at home but simply can’t work through those refrigerator fruits and vegetables fast enough try opting for fresh frozen fruits and vegetables which retain as much of their nutrients frozen as you would expect to find with fresh.
Today is a Great Day to Start
If by this time in the year you’re still struggling to get on top of your diet, we at StayWell want to stress the importance of not giving up. Overhauling your diet is no easy feat thus you should remember to celebrate any victory you might have in your journey toward a healthier lifestyle no matter how big or small these may be. What’s important to remember is that a healthy diet is crucial toward lowering your risk for chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer and it’s never too late to start eating healthy. We encourage all to do their best to start and maintain a healthy diet to enjoy life and stay healthy. Hopefully with these tips you can go further in your health journey and stay well!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healhy Eating Tips
- Phenolic Acids: Natural Versatile Molecules with Promising Therapeutic Applications
- Consumer Reports: 8 Vegetables That Are Healthier Cooked
- Sutter Health: Most Nutritious Ways to Cook Vegetables
- Heart & Stroke: But I Don't Like Fruits or Vegetables
- Fruits & Veggies: How To Make Vegetables Taste Good
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables