Spring is in full swing, so now is the time to spring clean your diet and make room for simple, everyday foods for optimal health. In his newest book, 101 Optimal Life Foods -- a follow-up to 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life -- acclaimed author Dave Grotto, RD, LDN offers nutritional solutions for common health ailments and overall good health.
"The right diet can help you feel and look your best," says Grotto. "Incorporating natural whole foods like almonds, whole soy, bananas and blueberries into your meals and snacks will provide energy and overall wellness."
For Grotto, almonds are a perfect optimal food -- they make meals and snacks work harder by adding nutrients and a satisfying crunch.(1),(2) Just a handful of almonds a day provides 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber and may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.(1),(2) The primary fat in almonds is monounsaturated (9g), with one ounce containing a total of 13g unsaturated fat, all with only one gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol. For a convenient on-the-go snack, keep almonds in a portable tin or resealable container. Grotto recommends keeping them in a desk drawer or car's cup holder to fight hunger and avoid less optimal temptations.
Grotto also recommends whole soy as a powerful optimal food. Whole soy is soy in its most natural and nutritious state -- minimally processed to keep soy's many naturally occurring nutrients intact. A half cup serving of whole soybeans provides 47mg isoflavones (plant-based compounds with antioxidant properties), 5g fiber, 14g protein, 6g mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and vitamins and minerals including 46mcg folate, 443mg potassium, 74mg magnesium, 1mg zinc, 4.5 mg iron and 88mg calcium.(3),(4)
It's easy to add whole soy to your diet with dry-roasted soy nuts, canned soybeans, edamame and whole soy bars, such as the new Blueberry SOYJOY, available nationwide in April. Blueberry SOYJOY, made with real blueberries and ground whole soybeans, is tasty and full of all-natural ingredients that are minimally processed and simply baked for a healthy and delicious way to satisfy hunger. SOYJOY's combination of complete protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber and fat helps supply sustained energy with only 140 calories.(5)
Grotto suggests nutritious foods and recipes to help energize the body, improve circulation and support reproductive health, healthy sleep and optimal brain function. The key to making a nutritional regimen simple and sustainable is to include flavorful recipes and optimal snack options that you enjoy and that help you feel your best. Try these tasty optimal foods recipes:
-- Chile Honey Almond Chicken Kebabs -- these crunchy, savory chicken
kebabs are the perfect combination of spicy and sweet for a delicious
snack or meal.
-- Almond Wheat Berry Salad with Edamame, Feta and Mint -- a fresh and
simple salad with the hearty texture of wheat berries, the satisfying
crunch of almonds and gorgeous color from edamame.
Find more optimal foods recipes in 101 Optimal Life Foods. For additional whole soy recipes and information about soy, visit www.soyjoy.com. And, for more almond recipes and information about almonds, visit www.almondboard.com.
About the Almond Board of California: Consumers all over the world enjoy California Almonds as a natural, wholesome and quality food product, making almonds California's leading agricultural export in terms of value. Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 California Almond growers and processors, many of whom are multigenerational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a nonprofit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.AlmondBoard.com.
About Pharmavite, LLC: For almost 40 years, consumers and retailers have trusted Pharmavite for high-quality, science-based products that contribute to optimal health and overall wellness. Pharmavite is a provider of great-tasting, nutritious products, like SOYJOY. SOYJOY is an all-natural, simply baked mix of whole soy and real fruit. (www.Pharmavite.com)
(1) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized almonds with a health claim in 2003, stating, "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."
(2) Good news about fat: U.S. dietary guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28 g) has 13 g of unsaturated fat and only 1 g of saturated fat.
(3) USDA-Iowa State University Database on Isoflavone Content of Food - 1999: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/isoflav/isfl_tbl.pdf
(4) USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference for "1/2 cup serving, soybeans, mature cooked, boiled, without salt"
(5) Marmonier, C; Chapelot, D; Louis-Sylvestre, J. Effects of Macronutrient Content and Energy Density on Snacks Consumed in a Satiety State on the Onset of the Next Meal. Appetite. 2000, 34:161-168. Williams, G; Noakes, M; Keogh, J; Foster, P; Clifton, P. High Protein, High Fibre Snack Bars Reduce Food Intake and Improve Short Term Glucose and Insulin Profile Compared with High Fat Snack Bars. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006, 15(4): 443-450. Williamson, DA; Geiselman, PJ; Lovejoy, J; Greenway, F; Volaufova, J; Martin, CK; Arnett, C, Ortego, L. Effects of Consuming Mycoprotein, Tofu, or Chicken Upon Subsequent Eating Behavior, Hunger, and Satiety. Appetite. 2005, 46(1): 41-48.
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