You are what you eat. We’ve heard it countless times but it’s true—because a healthy diet keeps your body healthier overall. Good nutrition strengthens your immunity to fight disease and viruses.
Today is a great day to start adding more fruits, vegetables and fiber to your diet. Here’s a closer look at foods and nutrients to help you stay healthier and strong:
• Push the protein. Protein helps your body maintain and build strength, and repair tissue in your muscles, bones, skin and hair. Proteins also help suppress your hunger and boost metabolism if weight loss is your goal. Many protein-packed foods contain vitamins B6 and B12, which are key to fueling a healthy immune system. High protein foods also are rich in immunity-building minerals such as selenium and zinc. Some good protein sources include eggs, dairy, meat, fish and poultry, as well as plant foods such as beans, grains, soy, nuts and seeds.
• Color your world. The bright colors in fruits called flavonoids pack powerful nutrition that may help prevent heart disease, cancer and other illnesses and boost the immune system. In addition to fruits’ generous supply of vitamin C and other nutrients, the soft white skin in citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes are loaded with flavonoids. Berries, kiwi, clementines, plums, peaches and small apples are all good options for fiber with fewer calories, too.
• Go green. Leafy greens offer a bounty of vitamins, minerals and fiber while being low in calories. Adding more greens such as kale, spinach, endive, arugula and romaine lettuce to your diet can reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, cruciferous vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli and cabbage contain powerful, infection-fighting antioxidants to keep you healthier during cold and flu season.
• Dial up the D. Vitamin D is vital to help your bones absorb calcium and build bone strength. In addition, it can help regulate insulin levels to better manage diabetes. Scientists also have found Vitamin D is critical to activating our immune defenses to fight flu and other viruses. Low levels of Vitamin D may lead to low energy levels, depression, hair loss and obesity. Studies show Vitamin D deficiency also is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Foods with vitamin D include tuna, sardines, salmon, oysters, shrimp, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified projects such as milk, juices, cereal and oatmeal.
• Fiber is your friend. Fiber-rich food is both healthy and satisfying. Fiber helps your digestion and can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Fruits that help you meet your daily fiber quota (25-30 grams a day on average) include raspberries, pears, apples with skin, bananas, oranges and strawberries. Higher fiber vegetables include green beans, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, baked potato with skin and sweet corn. Grains can be high in fiber, too. Aim for whole wheat pasta and breads, barley, bran flakes, quinoa, oatmeal and brown rice. Beans and seeds pack the biggest fiber punch. For example, one cup of black beans covers about half of your daily fiber total. Lentils, split peas, chia seeds, almonds and pistachios are also good choices.
Enjoy Healthy Meals the Easy Way
The Gatesworth makes it easy to enjoy healthy, delicious meals right at home. Residents choose from casual or fine dining in one of three on-site restaurants. The expert culinary team starts with fresh, local ingredients and handles all prep work in-house. Award-winning Chef Brian Hardy and his team create their culinary masterpieces just the way you want them. With a simple request, they will meet your specific tastes and dietary needs in the most delicious way.
“With other establishments, processed food is the norm,” Hardy states. “We bring things in and do the work ourselves. We use fundamental techniques to maintain the best part of the food, its nutrients.
“From adding herbs, aromatics, garlic and vegetables to a low-sodium brining liquid for meat flavoring, to peeling and blanching all vegetables in-house, each menu item is made flavorful and remains good for you.”
To schedule a visit or sample the menu at The Gatesworth, please call us at 314-993-0111. We look forward to meeting you.