Power Pantry

Although it may not be time for spring cleaning in your pantry, winter is a good time to literally take inventory of how many of these power foods you have on hand, and more importantly incorporate into your daily diet. If I could offer you a magical way to stay looking younger, be healthier and feel great - wouldn't you take me up on it? OK, then here you go. They may seem obvious, but it's a good reminder. 

Almonds: good fiber, protein good for your heart. Go ahead and go nuts, it's good snack.

Apples: Vitamin C and soluble fiber and helps keep the doctor away. 

Beets: rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters; save fresh stems for salads for a double bonus. 

Blueberries: big plant compounds to prevent chronic diseases. Toss in cereal and yogurt to get your day started right.

Broccoli: missed your O.J. today? Have a portion of broccoli; it’s powerhouse of calcium, potassium, folate, fiber, Vitiams A & C.  

Red Beans: excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin, and copper, low fat low cal source of protein and fiber. It makes a complete meal with steamed brown rice.

Sardines: high in omega-3’s, loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins. Enough said.

Spinach: Vit A and C folate. Good source of riboflavin, vitamin B-6, calcium iron and magnesium. Boost your immune system and keep hair and skin healthy. Seemed to work for Popeye.

Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids, aids in keeping blood from clotting, good source of protein. Need more reason, just try this tasty recipe for Planked Salmon.

Sweet Potatoes: high in antioxidant beta-carotene which can slow the aging process. Good fiber, fat free, and under 60 calories per tuber. 

Swiss chard: a leafy green vegetable, packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes. Sorry, the DMV still requires an eye test for your drivers license, even if you eat your Swiss chard.

Turmeric: more than just a yellow color to paella, it contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer

Pumpkin seeds: the most nutritious part of the pumpkin; full of magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for an early death, that's good. Also helpful in the dugout during a World Series Game too.

Wheat Germ: great boost to your immune system and cardio health. Go ahead treat yourself to an ice cream topped with wheat germ, you are doing yourself good. 

Vegetable Juice: when choosing, select a low sodium version; filled with lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces heart attack and prostate cancer. 


Source: 'Recipes for a Healthy Active Life', by George Hirsch, Living it UP! TV series companion cookbook