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As a registered nurse, I try to be as healthy as I can most days, but I definitely have my moments when I give-in to ice cream and chips. And, as a busy mom of three kiddos and two fur babies, who works a job, maintains the household, and takes the kids to their after-school activities, there is not a lot of time to exercise. So what’s a girl to do? Well, I consider running up and down my stairs about forty times a day to be sufficient. Just kidding! I do try to stretch most mornings for about 20 minutes, drink nothing but water (and ONE cup of coffee in the morning — come on!), eat low-fat foods, and do the 2-mile walk on the nature trail around my neighborhood every other day. Anyway, I did a little research and wanted to give you some of the top foods that we should eat to give us energy and to maintain our health so we can stay well and take care of our kids, fur babies, parents, grandparents, etc.
- Soy Protein – It’s found in tofu, soy milk, soy nut butter, and cereals. Soy protein is heart healthy and is rich in phytonutrients. Aim for up to 25 grams of soy protein per day.
- Whole Grains – Whole grains are high in fiber and help stave off digestive problems that are so common in women. Try to incorporate brown rice, bran flakes, whole-grain breads, barley and quinoa into your diet. This one is not too difficult.
- Folate – Foods like asparagus, oranges, fortified cereals and beans. Folate is important during pregnancy and has been shown to be important for heart health. Make sure to get the RDA of 400 micrograms per day.
- Cranberries and cranberry juice -The proanthocyanidins found in cranberries help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, thus warding off urinary tract infections (UTIs). New research also suggests that cranberries may promote cardiovascular health.
- Water – (wait, that is not a food?) Water is important for all metabolic processes in the body. It also helps with digestion, weight loss and improves the appearance of the skin. Drinking eight to 10, eight-ounce glasses of water each day is vital.
- Nuts – Nuts are full of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol levels, and polyunsaturated fats, which can help prevent heart disease.
- Green, leafy veggies – Foods like kale, bok choy, and darker lettuces. These vegetables provide important nutrients as well as fiber. Try to get at least three servings of vegetables each day.
- Foods rich in Vitamin C -These include citrus fruits, strawberries, green and red peppers, collard and mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, kiwi, guava and parsley. In addition to contributing to overall health, fruits rich in vitamin C have recently been linked to a decreased risk of coronary heart disease. Fit two to three servings of fruit into your daily diet.
- Iron-rich foods – Good sources of iron are garbanzo beans, lean beef, Swiss chard, tofu and dried apricots. (I also love me some steak!)
- Calcium-rich foods – Calcium helps keep bones strong and along with regular weight-bearing exercise, helps to stave off osteoporosis. Good choices are low-fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, collard greens), calcium-fortified soy products and tofu, calcium-fortified juices and calcium-fortified grains.
- (credit: http://www.thefoodfitcompany.com)
So lets all agree to walk the extra steps from the far end of the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and add-in most of these ten healthy foods to help us maintain our energy, stamina, and focus so we can get through the week.
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