Cucumber & Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Healthy Spring Recipe

 Cucumber & Black-Eyed Pea Salad

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Ingredients 

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TSP chopped oregano
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups peeled and diced cucumbers.
  • 1 14oz can black-eyed peas
  • 2/3 cup diced red bell pepper.
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup slivered red onion
  • 2 TBSP chopped black olives

Preparation

Whisk oil, lemon juice, oregano and pepper in a large bowl until combined.  Add cucumber, black-eyed peas, bell pepper, feta, onions and olives; toss to coat.  Serve at Room temperature or chilled.

Nutrition

Per serving: 160 calories; 10g fat (3g sat, 6g mono);  11mg cholesterol; 12g carbohydrates; 5g protein; 3g fiber; 270mg sodium; 273mg potassium.

Bonus: Vitamin C (50% DV), Vitamin A (15%DV)

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 starch, 1/2 very lean meat, 2 fat

Resource: Eatingwell.com

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Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in their March 2016 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Surviving Summer BBQ’s

Surviving BBQ’s can be difficult especially when there are so many unhealthy options to choose from. Try some of the tips below to take control of your eating habits during summer months!

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Watch the sauce. Beware! Condiments and marinades can contain a lot of hidden calories. If you don’t have control of the marinade make a conscious effort to control how much of the condiments you are using.  Stay ahead of the game by using this items to watch list. 

Skip the chips. Try to choose a healthier alternative as a side instead of items such as potato salad, macaroni salad, or chips. Bringing your own side can offer yourself and others a healthy item to select from.

Stick to one plate. When attending a BBQ it’s easy to go back for more. Try to stick to one plate and follow the USDA plate method where 50% of the plate is a fruit or veggie, 25% is a lean protein and 25% is a starch or grain.

Choose lean meats. We aren’t always going to have the option to choose what type of meat goes on the grill but if you have the choice try a leaner source of meat (meaning less saturated fat) such as pork, chicken or lean ground beef.

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Walk it off. Studies show that adults who took a 15– minute walk after every meal improved their blood sugar levels in comparison to those that took one 45 minute walk per day.  – George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Watch List:

Ketchup: 1TBSP = 20 calories, 160mg of sodium

Mayo: 1TBSP = 90 calories, 10g of fat

BBQ sauce: 2 TBSP = 50 calories, 10g of sugar

Honey Mustard: 1 TBSP = 45 calories, 135 mg of sodium

Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the July 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Kendall Taylor, VSEBT

Can a Healthy Diet Reverse Diabetes?

Can a Healthy Diet Reverse Diabetes?

A good diet and exercise are essential to managing type 2 diabetes. But can committing to a healthy diet really reverse the condition? Experts say it’s possible for some.

Medically reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH

A well-balanced, healthy diet is often touted as the best way to prevent, manage, and treat a whole host of conditions, from cancer to heart disease. And now, research indicates that a healthy diet may be enough to reverse type 2 diabetes, especially when combined with a regular exercise program. In fact, one small study conducted in the United Kingdom found that people with type 2 diabetes were able to reverse the condition by following a calorie-restricted diet. Although a healthy dietis not enough to reverse diabetes in everyone, it is the first step for anyone managing the condition.

“Nutrition is the most important first-line treatment for diabetes and pre-diabetes,” explains Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “Restricting calories will improve blood sugar levels dramatically, most likely by affecting the liver’s sugar production.”

Creating the Right “Diabetes Diet”

It’s important to understand that, in this context, the word “diet” means the food that you eat every day — not a short-term fix to lose weightor temporarily treat diabetes. “The diet you choose should be something you can follow the rest of your life,” says Susan Spratt, MD, an endocrinologist at Duke Medicine in Durham, N.C. “That’s why we don’t recommend fad diets, like those that eliminate multiple food groups from your diet, because those diets are unsustainable.”

Your diabetes diet, which is best when personalized for your needs, shouldn’t just focus on cutting calories, but also make the most of the calories you eat. “A healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy oils,” says Angela Ginn, RD, a certified diabetes educator, program coordinator at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore, and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It encourages healthy food preparation, such as baking, broiling, roasting, and grilling meats, as well as lowering your salt intake.”

Another tenet is limiting saturated fats, says Hatipoglu, who recommends that less than 7 percent of daily calories come from saturated fats. It’s also important to avoid trans fats and to limit cholesterol intake to no more than about 200 milligrams daily.

Hatipoglu recommends sticking to a generally low-carbohydrate diet and choosing lean proteins, which help to keep you full and energized without too much added fat. Good protein choices include lean fish and poultry without skin. If you opt for beef or pork, choose the leanest cuts, avoid frying your food, and trim off any fat. Dairy products can also be part of a healthy diabetes diet, but stick to non-fat or low-fat options for milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy.

Here are general recommendations for a healthy diet to help manage diabetes:

  • Eat three meals each day, with healthy snacks in between as needed to regulate blood sugar.
  • Stick to a regular meal schedule, eating at the same time each day.
  • Eat appropriate portion sizes.
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Sip water or low-calorie beverages throughout the day.

Factors to Reverse Diabetes

In addition to your diet, exercise is an essential part of keeping diabetes under control, and maintaining a healthy weight is a key goal. “Reversing type 2 diabetes is possible with diet and exercise, especially if it is newly diagnosed, but it’s more likely if weight loss can be achieved and, of course, maintained,” says Hatipoglu.

Still, even if you maintain a healthy weight and diet, diabetes reversal is not guaranteed. “We see ‘skinny’ type 2 diabetics as well, so it is not always possible to reverse diabetes,” says Hatipoglu.

If you are able to reverse diabetes, the battle is still far from over. “Diabetes is a chronic condition,” explains Hatipoglu. “Some of our patients will do very well with diet and exercise, but another stress in their life — such as another illness, a medication, or a psychological stress — might push them back to the diabetic state. So, it is important to work with a health care provider and monitor blood sugars to catch problems early.”

Also, Spratt says to remember that diabetes is a progressive condition. Even though your diabetes may be under control now, you might eventually need medications as part of your diabetes treatment. Eating a healthy diet, however, can help stave off diabetes complications and keep other chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, in check. There is simply no downside to eating a healthy diabetes diet.

10 Easy Ways to Start Eating Clean

10 Easy Ways to Start Eating Clean

By FOX News Magazine, May 29, 2013
Paul Buceta
Summer is practically here and while you may be cleaning out your closet, could your diet use an overhaul, too?

Some nutrition experts swear by “clean eating.” And while it may sound like another Hollywood diet fad, the concept is a lot simpler than you think.

Eating clean means you enjoy foods that are free of artificial ingredients, get the best nutrients in your body naturally, all with the added bonus of losing weight, says health and wellness expert Tosca Renoauthor of the best-selling “Eat-Clean Diet.”

You don’t have to empty out your fridge and spend much-needed green on organic produce, Reno says. We asked her to share some of her tips to help us get started.

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Write It Down

“Whether you need to lose five pounds, 50 or more, or if you just want to stop eating junk, the best thing you can do is grab a pen and some paper and write down your goals,” explains Reno. Having set goals provides focus, ensuring that your plans to have a healthier lifestyle will actually happen for long term, not just a week.

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Bye, Bye Sugar

Sugar can be found in some surprising places. When shopping for food, make sure to read the ingredient labels carefully to avoid ingesting hidden sugar, Tosca says. “Not only will you supercharge your weight loss efforts, and your health, but you’ll also notice that your cravings for sweets will be greatly diminished,” says Reno.

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Start Your Day With Lemon Water

Reno recommends squeezing the juice of half a lemon into a cup of warm water to start your day. “This simple drink improves digestion and immunity, helps your body shed toxins and it sets the tone for the day, which will help you stay on track with your eating clean goals,” says Reno.

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Start off on the right foot

“One of the best breakfasts you can have is a bowl of all-natural, no-sugar-added oatmeal and berries with a hardboiled egg on the side,” says Reno. This simple breakfast will keep you feeling full and it won’t derail any weight loss goals you may have.

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Keep it Real

When it comes to buying the freshest foods, try to choose items with the fewest ingredients listed on their labels. “If the ingredients contain hard to pronounce words that look like they come from chemistry class, just say no!” she says. When possible, opt for natural foods like green produce, grass-fed meats, wild fish and whole grains.

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Eat Like a Baby to Boost Metabolism

“Have you ever noticed that babies need to eat every few hours? Well, if you want to fire up your metabolism, you should be eating this often as well,” says Reno. Skipping meals may sound like a quick way to get thinner because you’re eating less, but she says that this actually causes your body to cling on to calories. “When you eat small meals every two or three hours, your metabolism stays in full fat-burning mode. Eating this way also means you aren’t constantly starving or feeling deprived,” says Reno.

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Don’t Forget the ‘Magic Combination’

“One of the key principles of eating clean is to pair lean protein, such as chicken breast, legumes and fish, with complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies at each and every meal,” explains Reno. “This magic combination leads to increased energy and fat-burning, optimal health and fewer hunger pangs.”

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Listen to Your Stomach

Don’t wait until you’re in a food coma to stop eating. Once you feel content, you should be done with your meal. Also, make sure you’re drinking sufficient water throughout the day as feeling hungry could actually be thirst. “Often when people tell me they’re eating clean and not losing weight, I’ll tell them to watch their portion sizes and listen to their body,” she states. “Both are key factors to weight-loss success.”

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Water, Water, and More Water

One way to jumpstart the eating clean lifestyle and shed some pounds is by trading soda and juice for cold, crisp water. “Water keeps you energized, flushes out toxins and waste, increases your metabolism and helps your body assimilate vitamins and minerals,” says Reno. She recommends drinking eight 12-ounce glasses of water per day.

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Give Yourself Permission to Change

Need some motivation to eat better and feel good about yourself? “Take some quiet time to think deep down inside about what you want in your life and use that to inspire change,” says Reno. “You may want to use a photograph that reminds you of a leaner, happier you to help you get back to that place.”

Read more: http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/10-easy-ways-start-eating-clean?intcmp=HPBucket#ixzz2VDI9yRAN

Eating Berries Benefits the Brain

Berries Benefit Brain By Clearing Toxic Protein Accumulation, Animal Study Finds

Posted: 04/27/2013 9:56 am EDT  |  Updated: 04/29/2013 10:51 am EDT

Berries Brain

Berries could play an important role in clearing the accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain, according to a new study in mice.

The research, presented at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting, showed that the brains of rats that consumed berries for two months were better protected against radiation, which is meant to induce accelerated aging in the mice.

Specifically, researchers found that the berry consumption was linked with increased autophagy, which is the natural process the brain undergoes to clear out accumulation of toxic proteins. They noted that phytonutrients — plant chemicals — in berries may be responsible for this effect; berries are known to be high in anthocyanins.

Researchers said that the findings could be especially meaningful if they also apply to humans, since diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease involve accumulation of toxic proteins. The next step is a study, currently being conducted, on humans ages 60 to 75 to see if berries’ have the same sort of effect.

Even though the findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal — and thus should be considered preliminary — a past study from Harvard researchers showed that eating berries regularly could help slow cognitive decline in older people, HuffPost’s Catherine Pearson reported.

Foods to Eat

 Foods to Eat

 

AUGUST 27, 2011 |  BY   |  HEALTH AND FITNESS  |

Acai 

This dark Brazilian superberry is found to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit in the world.   Dark colored berries have been known for their health benefits because of their Anthocynins (Vascular pigments) which give the acai its color.  These belong to a group of molecules called flavonoids.  Well, twelve additional flavonoids were found according to the Portuguese book “Açaí: Preparo, Composição e Melhoramento de Conservação” (Schauss et al. 2006a).  It also contains a rich amount of phytosterol which may reduce blood cholesterol.  In a 2006 University of Florida study, the Acai berry destroyed cultured human cancer cells.  Acai is increasing in popularity and can now be found in smoothies, juices, and other products.  But in order to get the most from the berry, it is best to buy a product that has been freeze-dried and prepared naturally.

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Pomegranate

Another high antioxidant superfruit, the pomegranate, makes many guest appearances in Greek mythology.  It contains high amounts of vitamin B5, and potassium.  It also contains punicalagians which scavenge free-radicals.  The pomegranate seed juice has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, the seed oil was effective in the proliferation of breast cancer cells in vitro, and may slow the development of prostate and colon cancer.  Drinking 8oz of 100% pure pomegranate juice a day is the most effective way to gain the benefits from the fruit.

Spinach
This veggie has a reputation of being a good source of iron.  But in 1937, it was found that the iron levels were high for a vegetable but significantly lower than once thought.  Popeye the Sailor’s favorite food is still high in vitamins K (which maintains bone health), A, C and magnesium.  It is also a good source of several antioxidants.  Spinach may also be good for your brain.  Some studies show that it may protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age related brain decline.

Broccoli
As a part of the cabbage family, broccoli has many potent cancer fighting nutrients.  This mighty green veggie is usually boiled or steamed and possesses high amounts of selenium, vitamin C and soluble fiber.  Studies have found that boiling broccoli for more than 10 minutes may strip it of nutrients.  However, the same studies found that steaming, microwaving, and stir-frying will not rob the plant of its cancer fighting compounds.

Salmon
This trout with a keen since of smell may make you smarter.  DHA and EPA are important for brain function and salmon is a good source of both.  The salmon is also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.  It can also increase blood levels and heart rate which promotes cardiovascular health.  Norwegian researchers found that Omega-3 is better absorbed by eating salmon as opposed to Cod Liver Oil supplements.

Carrots
This root plant is widely used in juices and soups.  It is a monster in the ‘vitamin A league’ packing an amazing 686% of the daily recommended value for 1 cup (122grams) of carrots.  The carotenoids found in foods like carrots have been shown to lower blood sugar and promote colon health.

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Blueberries
Another fruit that can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease is the blueberry.  Along with being high in vitamin C and potassium, blueberries are anti-inflammatory.  Studies have also found that eating wild blueberries may slow down the effects of aging.

Bananas
This tropical fruit that grows in hanging bunches, is grown in over 107 countries.  Bananas are packed with vitamins and minerals but because of its remarkable potassium content, doctors recommend it for patients with high blood pressure or low potassium.  Another member of the banana family, the plantain, has a slightly higher vitamin and mineral content when cooked but is equal in fiber and protein.

Cantaloupes
This powerfully nutritious fruit named after a village in Italy has immense health benefits.  Cantaloupes have 112% the daily recommended vitamin C and 103% recommended vitamin A.  This extremely high amount of vitamin A is great for your vision health.  The combination of B complexes also makes it a good energy source.

Garlic
A member of the onion family, garlic is grown year round and has been used throughout history for culinary and medicinal purposes.  Commonly known for warding off vampires in European folklore, this root crop packs a punch against some serious conditions.  It has been well documented that the compounds of garlic have boost hydrogen sulfide to relax the arteries.  It can also help prevent strokes, heart attacks, and limit cancer growth according to a 2007 University of Alabama study.  Garlic is now found in supplement forms but researchers are finding great benefits of aged and fresh garlic as opposed to processed.

Wheat germ
The germ in wheat germ has nothing to do with bacteria but with the germination.  It is one of the most nutritious foods you can get your hands on and has more vitamins and minerals per ounce than any other fruit or vegetable on the planet.  With over 23 nutrients, the benefits of consuming wheat germ in some form seem endless.  It is also commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders for its muscle growing potential.  The many people who feel as though they are obtaining the benefits of this food by eating bread are mistaken.  Flour that has had the germ removed is commonly used to make white and most wheat breads.  It is most likely better to buy wheat germ and add it to pancakes, cereal, muffins, and other foods.

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Tea
This herb which is drunk after steeping in hot water, is the second most commonly drunk beverage in the world.  Tea has been used in Asia and India for thousands of years and is now being highly marketed in the western world.  Green and black teas are well known for their high antioxidants.  Tea has been known to normalize blood pressure and help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes by lowering blood-glucose activity.  It also has anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumor properties.  If that isn’t enough for you, early lab test show that green tea may beneficial against bone inflammation related to arthritis and cartilage breakdown.

Leafy Dark Greens (Kale, Collard etc.)
When you take a bite out of that burger you might be thinking that you are getting your daily greens from the lettuce between those buns.  Actually, lettuce is only as nutritious as drinking a glass of water.  To get the most out of your greens you should partake in some or the darker members of the Brassica family.  Collard greens and kale are both high in calcium and beta-carotene. The  3,3′-Diindolylmethane found in these veggies has been found to modulate the innate immune response system in the body. They also contain Sulforaphane that prompts the liver to produce enzymes that help detoxifies cancer causing chemicals.

Beans and other Legumes
This family includes peas, lentils, soy nut, chickpeas, and lima beans.  Although many tend to avoid or neglect eating legumes, studies show that eating four or more servings a week can make a difference in your health.  A Nurse’s Health Study in 2006 showed that eating four or more serving per week as opposed to less than one lowered the chance of heart disease by 22 percent.

Beets
This hard skinned root vegetable has a sweet taste and has also been used in the past for making certain types of medicine.  Beets are rich in folate and B vitamins which are essential for tissue growth.  It is recommended that women who are pregnant consume high amounts of folate for the spine development of the infant.  The blood pressure reducing power of beet juice is unbelievable!  The American Heart Association journal Hypertension showed a reduction in high blood pressure of volunteers in just 1 hr after drinking 500mls of beet juice!  The reduction was more pronounced as time went on and lasted up to 24 hrs.

Onions
One of the oldest vegetables know to man, onions have been used in a variety of ways through the ages.  Along with garlic, onions have a side effect of halitosis (bad breath) but the advantage of eating it outweighs that derivative (at least for you).  In research that used data from Italian and Swiss cancer, studies showed the cancer preventing possibilities of onions.  The study found that those who consumed more onions per week protected against 7 different types of cancer. Onions also have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial activity as well as lowering blood sugar.

Cranberries 
This vine fruit has been a staple in American and Canadian Thanksgiving for hundreds of years.  Now researchers are studying the health benefits of the little vine berry and finding that it may deserve to be called a superfruit.  Cranberries are excellent for digestive health and are high in antioxidants like its dark berry brothers. But there may be another unexpected advantage of cranberries.  It contains a chemical compound that can inhibit and even reverse plaque which can lead to tooth decay.  It’s harder now to find 100% cranberry juice. Most are a part of a cocktail because of cranberries’ tart taste.  Most supermarket brands stock cranberry mixed with apple, pineapple, grape, and other juices.

Oranges
Sometimes known as the Chinese apple, oranges originated from Southeast Asia.  It is well renowned for its very high vitamin C content.  Oranges also contain high dietary fiber and folate.  Many people believe that taking vitamin C supplements or drinking sugared drinks fortified with vitamin C has the same health benefits as drinking orange juice.  A recent Italian study proves otherwise.  Subjects were give three drinks to consume.  Blood-orange juice, fortified vitamin C water, and sugar water.  Then blood samples were taken and exposed to hydrogen peroxide.  The subjects who drank the orange juice showed 18% less damage to DNA after 3 hours.  Those who drank the fortified drink and sugar water showed no protection against DNA damage.

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Avocado
This fruit with a smooth and creamy flesh is grown widely throughout Central and South America.  Avocados have higher fiber content than any other fruit and are packed with 60% more potassium than bananas.  Avocados also help lower cholesterol and have been known to lower low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and raise high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol).   You really need to get your hands on this fruit.  Try spreading it over bread, bagels, and crackers instead of butter and cream cheese.

Artichokes
Studies are being conducted to find out more about this Mediterranean perennial thistle.  We know about its phytonutrients which can lower cholesterol as a part of a healthy diet.  There have also been discoveries about the antioxidant contained in this food.  Artichoke extract may have a protective effect on liver cells and may reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

29 Healthy Foods

29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet

29 Health Foods

The following is a “healthy food hot list” consisting of the 29 food that will give you the biggest nutritional bang for you caloric buck, as well as decrease your risk for deadly illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Along with each description is a suggestion as to how to incorporate these power-foods into your diet.

Fruits

Fresh Fruit Variety01. Apricots
The Power:  Beta-carotene, which helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. The body also turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin. One apricot has 17 calories, 0 fat, 1 gram of fiber. Snacks on them dried, or if you prefer fresh, buy when still firm; once they soften, they lose nutrients.

02. Avocados
The Power:  Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try a few slices instead of mayonnaise to dress up your next burger.

03. Raspberries
The Power:  Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries are also packed with vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup has only 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. Top plain low-fat yogurt or oatmeal (another high fiber food) with fresh berries.

05. Cantaloupe
The Power:  Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene – both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium – almost twice as much as a banana, which helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Cut into cubes and freeze, then blend into an icy smoothie.

06. Cranberry Juice
The Power:  Helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing. A cup has 144 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Buy 100 percent juice concentrate and use it to spice up your daily H20 without adding sugar.

07. Tomato
The Power:  Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily. A tomato has 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Drizzle fresh slices with olive oil, because lycopene is best absorbed when eaten with a little fat.

08. Raisins
The Power:  These little gems are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on. A half-cup has 218 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Sprinkle raisins on your morning oatmeal or bran cereal – women, consider this especially during your period.

09. Figs
The Power:  A good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention. The Pill depletes B6, so if you use this method of birth control, make sure to get extra B6 in your diet. One fig has 37 to 48 calories, 0 fat and 2 grams of fiber. (Cookie lovers – fig bars have around 56 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber per cookie). Fresh figs are delicious simmered alongside a pork tenderloin and the dried variety make a great portable gym snack.

10. Lemons and Limes
The Power:  Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer. A wedge has 2 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Buy a few of each and squeeze over salads, fish, beans and vegetables for fat free flavor. See also: Beneficial Bytes: Lemons and Limes.

Vegetables

Vegetables11. Onions
The Power:  Quercetin is one of the most powerful flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). Studies show it helps protect against cancer. A cup (chopped) has 61 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Chop onions for the maximum phytonutrient boost, or if you hate to cry, roast them with a little olive oil and serve with rice or other vegetables.

12. Artichokes
The Power:  These odd-looking vegetables contain silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer, plus fiber to help control cholesterol. One medium artichoke has 60 calories, 0 fat and 7 grams of fiber. Steam over boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top, then pluck the leaves off with your fingers and use your teeth to scrape off the rich-tasting skin. When you get to the heart, you have found the best part!

13. Ginger
The Power:  Gingerols may help reduce queasiness; other compounds may help ward off migraines and arthritis pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins. A teaspoon of fresh gingerroot has only 1 calorie, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Peel the tough brown skin and slice or grate into a stir-fry.

14. Broccoli
The Power:  Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which help protect against breast cancer. Broccoli also has lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene. One cup (chopped) has 25 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Don’t overcook broccoli – instead, microwave or steam lightly to preserve phytonutrients. Squeeze fresh lemon on top for a zesty and taste, added nutrients and some vitamin C.

15. Spinach
The Power:  Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help fend off macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people. Plus, studies show this green fountain of youth may help reverse some signs of aging. One cup has 7 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Add raw leaves to a salad or saute with a little olive oil and garlic.

16. Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage)
The Power:  Brassinin, which some research suggests may help prevent breast tumors, plus indoles and isothiocyanates, which lower levels of estrogen, make this vegetable a double-barreled weapon againstbreast cancer. A cup will also give you 158mg of calcium (16 percent of your daily recommended requirement) to help beat osteoporosis. A cup (cooked) has 20 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Find it in your grocer’s produce section or an Asian market. Slice the greens and juicy white stalks, then saute like spinach or toss into a stir-fry just before serving.

17. Squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn)
The Power:  Winter squash has huge amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help protect against endometrial cancer. One cup (cooked) has 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Cut on in half, scoop out the seeds and bake or microwave until soft, then dust with cinnamon.

18. Watercress and Arugula
The Power:  Phenethyl isothiocyanate, which, along with beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, may help keep cancer cells at bay. One cup has around 4 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Do not cook these leafy greens; instead, use them to garnish a sandwich or add a pungent, peppery taste to salad.

19. Garlic
The Power:  The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor can also lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer. A clove has 4 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Bake a whole head for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft and sweet and spread on bread instead of butter.

Whole Grain Foods

Grains, Beans, Dairy and Nuts

20. Quinoa
The Power:  A half cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams of protein, more than any other grain, plus iron, riboflavin and magnesium. A half-cup has 318 calories, 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of fiber. Add to soup for a protein boost. Rinse first, or it will taste bitter.

21. Wheat Germ
The Power:  A tablespoon gives you about 7 percent of your daily magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps; it is also a good source of vitamin E. One tablespoon has 27 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber. Sprinkle some over yogurt, fruit or cereal.

22. Lentils
The Power:  Isoflavones, which may inhibit estrogen-promoted breast cancers, plus fiber for heart health and an impressive 9 grams of protein per half cup. A half-cup (cooked) has 115 calories, 0 fat and 8 grams of fiber. Isoflavones hold up through processing, so buy lentils canned, dried or already in soup. Take them to work, and you will have a protein packed lunch.

23. Peanuts
The Power:  Studies show that peanuts or other nuts (which contain mostly unsaturated “good” fat) can lower your heart-disease risk by over 20 percent. One ounce has 166 calories, 14 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Keep a packet in your briefcase, gym bag or purse for a protein-packed post-workout nosh or an afternoon pick me up that will satisfy you until supper, or chop a few into a stir-fry for a Thai accent. See also: The Nut Case

24. Pinto Beans
The Power:  A half cup has more than 25 percent of your daily requirement of folate, which helps protect against heart disease and reduces the risk of birth defects. A half-cup (canned) has 103 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Drain a can, rinse and toss into a pot of vegetarian chili.

25. Yogurt
The Power:  Bacteria in active-culture yogurt helps prevent yeast infections; calcium strengthens bones. A cup has 155 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber. Get the plain kind and mix in your own fruit to keep calories and sugar down. If you are lactose intolerant, never fear — yogurt should not bother your tummy.

26. Skim Milk
The Power:  Riboflavin (a.k.a. vitamin B2) is important for good vision and along with vitamin A might help improve eczema and allergies. Plus, you get calcium and vitamin D, too. One cup has 86 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. If you are used to high fat milk, don’t go cold turkey; instead, mix the two together at first. Trust this fact: In a week or two you won’t miss it!

Seafood

Seafood27. Shellfish (Clams, Mussels)
The Power:  Vitamin B12 to support nerve and brain function, plus iron and hard-to-get minerals like magnesium and potassium. Three ounces has 126 to 146 calories, 2 to 4 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Try a bowl of tomato-based (and low fat) Manhattan clam chowder.

28. Salmon
The Power:  Cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of cardiac disease. A 3-ounce portion (cooked) has 127 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 fiber. Brush fillets with ginger-soy marinade and grill or broil until fish flakes easily with a fork.

29. Crab
The Power:  A great source of vitamin B12 and immunity-boosting zinc. A 3-ounce portion has 84 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 fiber. The “crab” in sushi is usually made from fish; buy it canned instead and make your own crab cakes. See also: Fish and Seafood Recipes