Research and common sense shows you that fresh foods as opposed to processed foods contain vital nutrients to safeguard your health.
What are the health benefits of fresh vegetables and fruit and other foods? The vitamins and minerals in fresh foods may help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and Type II diabetes.
Diets rich in fresh foods give people more energy and help support weight loss and weight maintenance. Fresh vegetables and fruits can also slow the aging process. Choosing organic fresh foods is healthy not only for you and your body, but for the environment as well.
How can you eat more fresh foods?
The old adage is “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is so true. For those who are taking responsibility for their health care before they have to rely on the medical world for help, eating fresh foods can cut your risk of disease-caused-early-death by cancer, heart disease or other disorders by 20%.
Most health publications and research imply that individuals should eat five portions of vegetables and fruits per day. During your day, fresh vegetables should be the highest consumed fresh food, then fruits, then fresh fish and other lean meats, then fruits and then whole grains. The key is to make sure they’re at their peak of freshness.
Shopping for fresh foods
Super markets today offer many fresh foods that are locally grown, organic and healthy. Keep this in mind when developing your shopping list. You’ll be going through the vegetable and fruit aisle, deli section with fresh whole grain pastas and locally produced cheeses; the refrigerated fresh juices aisle, the dairy and egg aisle choosing organic products and the fresh meat and fish aisle. Almost every other aisle in the grocery store offers unlimited processed foods however you can stay clear of those products and focus on whole fresh foods only. If you have access to a farmer’s market, take advantage of gathering local farmer’s fresh produce and even whole grain breads and occasionally fresh meats.
Have you noticed how many commercials on television are now hawking digestion enhancing products? The reason these products are so popular is because our diet has been taken over by processed foods that do not aid healthy digestion. In our race for efficiency, we’ve given up our health. Creating your own fresh pastas, yogurts and combining them with fresh vegetables and fruits will delight your digestion and improve your health immensely.
Preparing fresh foods
Preparing each week for the meals ahead is a great way to be able to incorporate fresh foods in your daily meals quickly and easily. When you arrive home from grocery shopping spend a few hours prepping for the next week.
Clean and wash all your vegetables and fruits and pat dry. Store unused portions in air tight containers in the fridge. Grill up some vegetables to use in sandwiches, salads and omelets and store them in the refrigerator. Start some sprouts from wheat, beans, alfalfa and put them on the window sill to start germinating. Start a fresh loaf of whole grain bread in the bread machine. Create some whole grain and vegetable pastas and put them in air-tight containers. Cook a few sauces for the pastas using fresh vegetables and spices. Cook an organic chicken in some water then de-bone the chicken and save the stock (by freezing or refrigerating) for soups. Cut up vegetables for fresh soups and store them in the refrigerator or the freezer. When foods are at their peak of freshness, freezing them preserves the same nutrients as fresh vegetables. This little time of preparation on a free day can mean your healthy eating routine is on track and ready to go each day of the following week.
Now that you are prepared, use these tips for healthy fresh food meal and snack choices.
Combine fresh fruits with whole grain cereals. Slice up some fresh fruits and add to yogurt with some granola. Have a slice of your fresh baked bread as toast with a little smashed banana on top. Whip up a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie with your fresh yogurt and eat your breakfast on the run.
Fresh food snacks
Of course apples, pears, oranges or other fruits work very well for snacks as well as fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, sweet peppers and broccoli florets. You can bring some fresh yogurt as a dip or try almond butter for a treat. Raw nuts such as almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds are a healthy snack packed with nutrients. Keep the latter down to no more than a handful as they also contain fats.
Lunching with fresh foods
You can enjoy some fresh soup that you prepared or go with a wrap of whole grain filled with your freshly grilled veggies. Add a salad with fresh varieties of vegetables on hand and you’ll be filled, satisfied and your body with have the nutritious fuel to keep you going strong.
Fresh foods for Dinner
Prepare fresh pasta with fresh vegetables, a whole grain pizza smothered in fresh cheese and veggies, a fresh grilled fish with freshly grilled veggies and you’re good to go! Enjoy a fresh fruit kabob with yogurt dip for dessert and watch your children smile!
Eating out with friends and family
Restaurants (not fast food) offer great healthy choices for dinner. Get a grilled meat with no butter or oil used in preparation. Order 2 sides of steamed fresh vegetables without any sauces or butter added and forget the white rice or loaded baked potato. Many restaurants offer fresh whole grain pastas and brown rice.
With commitment and planning, you garden cup can eat more fresh foods easily. Your heart, organs, muscles and brain will respond with health and vitality. Take back your own health by eating more fresh foods every day.