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Ready to Improve Your Diet? Start with Your Kitchen

By Sandy Schroeder

Every year about this time, a healthier diet emerges as one of my top goals. Making that happen might be easier if I reset my kitchen, tossing the chips and cookies, and restocking with healthy staples full of fresh whole foods, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Health.com has some suggestions to help.

Keep it fresh – Stock onions, peppers, potatoes, oranges, and lemons, and your favorite fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, apples, and pears. Nutritionists tell us to eat two serving of fruit and three of vegetables daily. Add shredded or chopped veggies to omelets or casseroles, and serve fruit with breakfast and as dessert.

Eat nuts daily – Researchers now recommend about an ounce of nuts daily to lower risk for some cancers, and improve heart health. Choose cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts or peanuts. Toast them and toss them with salads or sprinkle them over oatmeal. Pack them in lunches and use them to replace chips for snacks.

Get a boost with beans – White, black, kidney, lima and green beans all add fiber, protein, iron, potassium and antioxidants to protect the heart and maintain weight. Make black bean tacos, turkey chili or beef and bean burritos, along with spicy hummus made from chickpeas.

Try Greek yogurt – In place of sour cream, cream cheese and butter, nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt is thick and creamy, supplying 17 grams of protein in each container. Use it to make smoothies, top your morning oats or as a base for dips instead of mayonnaise.

Canned tuna and salmon – Wild caught salmon or a pouch of chunk tuna delivers omega-3 fatty acids to protect the brain, heart and eyes, and keep joints healthy. Anchovies and sardines work, too. Serve them with salads or as snacks, and make salmon patties for dinner.

Enjoy whole grains – Breakfast oats and vegetable barley soup are healthy choices, along with couscous, brown rice and quinoa to protect the heart, and fight cancer and diabetes. Bake with whole grain flour.

Extra virgin olive oil – Cook with this heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and combine it with vinegar and herbs for tossed salads. Sprinkle it over green beans, asparagus, zucchini, and little potatoes to create a roasted vegetable dinner.

Canned tomatoes, chicken broth and spices will add more variety to your healthy kitchen to prepare soups, sauces and poultry dishes. As you perfect your healthy diet, look for more nutritional staples and savory recipes to enjoy your healthy kitchen.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Missouri City, Tex.

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