25 Nov 7 Foods to Shape Up Your Plate
Below you will find 7 foods to take you out of your food comfort zone and into shaping up your plate! Although you might be unfamiliar with some of these foods, they all have their own nutritional benefits that will help you glow and feel amazing!
Kale is a nutrition powerhouse when it comes to getting your plate in shape and reducing your risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancer! Researchers identified over 45 different flavonoids in kale that act as antioxidants and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. A few easy suggestions on adding kale to your diet: try adding a cup to your next smoothie, mixing in with your traditional salad greens, or sautéing with your favorite vegetables. Need to lower your cholesterol? Try steaming kale and serving with lemon juice.
2. Bison (aka Buffalo)
Bison is the new red meat alternative. Low in calories, cholesterol, and fat, high in protein and iron – and it tastes great! What more could you ask for? The American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics all endorse buffalo meat as a part of a healthy, low fat, low cholesterol diet. Next time you are looking to add a little protein power to your plate, try some buffalo!
This tiny seed makes a complete protein and is an excellent vegetarian alternative to animal protein because it is high in the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Besides being high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber, quinoa also provides an excellent source of phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, folate, and iron. Quinoa is easy to prepare and can serve as a great substitute to white rice, couscous, or pasta.
A real “Super Food!” Pomegranates are high in vitamin C and potassium as well as three different types of polyphenols, a very potent antioxidant. The three polyphenols are: tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid – all three play a powerful role in preventing cancer and heart disease. A half cup of pomegranate seeds will provide about 70 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber.
Figs could also be called nature’s portable power bar. Approximately 4 medium figs will pack in 38 grams of energy producing carbohydrates with 6 grams of fiber, 345 mg of potassium, as well as magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants – all essential nutrients for a healthy body, especially when being active. Next time you are looking for a pre-workout snack, try grabbing a few fresh figs for an instant energy boost.
6. Bok Choy
Bok Choy can be a weight loss cheat code. With only 2 calories per cup, this vegetable can add bulk to your plate and help fill you up, helping you control portion size. Not only is Bok Choy low in calories, but it is high in many essential phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some of the nutrition components found in Bok Choy help protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers as well as help decrease “bad cholesterol.”
7. Chili Peppers
Red chili peppers help to “spice” up your body’s chemistry and have been shown to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation. Red chili peppers are also linked with a slight increase in metabolic rate to digest the food, meaning that spicy peppers can help you burn more calories! Go ahead and spice up your next meal by adding in some fresh red chili peppers.
We understand how hard getting out of your comfort zone may be, but you never know until you try it. These foods have their own beneficial components that will help you get closer to achieving your nutrition goal and even help prevent diseases in the future.
by Yvette Quantz & Kevin Vasquez
Learn more about how to make what’s on your plate count with the Weight Management Workbook: