Eat more Orange if you want to Live Longer… and I don’t mean Cheese Puffs.
Have you ever noticed that people with poor diets, eat foods that are mostly beige in color? Breads, pasta, french fries… If you are trying to improve your diet, adding color is where it’s at. Orange pigment in foods, for one, provides a significant nutritional kick and should be incorporated daily into your meal plans. Some of the healthiest foods to be found are sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and other squash, mango, papaya, apricots, cantaloupe and oranges/tangerines.
These foods are usually colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain
healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists consistently report that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and improve immune system function. Recent studies have also shown that people who have large quantities of the antioxidant alpha-carotene in their blood (found chiefly in pumpkins and carrots) have a 61% lower risk of disease-related death. And carotenoid consumption protects against the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Citrus fruits like oranges are not rich in carotenoids; however they are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.
Sweet potatoes are one of the best orange foods. They contain huge amounts of beta-carotene, manganese, copper, fiber, B-6, potassium, iron…. that’s a lot of nutritional power packed into a small potato case!
Adding more orange to your diet is easy. The produce department carries a variety of orange foods year round. Fruits like pumpkin are not just for Halloween. Like the sweet potato, pumpkin is one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can get and is inexpensive and convenient in its canned form. High in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin is simple to incorporate into recipes, like muffins, pancakes, and breads.
Incorporating orange fruits and vegetables everyday is not difficult to do and will improve your overall health while keeping illness and disease at bay.
EASY ORANGE ADD-INS:
ü Sliced orange peppers to a sandwich or wrap
ü Baby carrots to a salad
ü Apricots with mixed nuts for a healthy snack mix.
ü Fresh Orange, Peach, and/or Mango, Vanilla protein and almond/soy milk for a delicious “Orange Dream” Smoothie.
ü Thinly slice or dice sweet potatoes, lightly toss in olive oil, and roast in 375 oven for a simple side dish.
Cut up cantaloupe, mix with cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast, or snack.
On your next trip to the grocery, be sure to fill you cart with plenty of color; and don’t neglect the ORANGE.
All Calories are not created equal.
Contrary to what you may have been told, the body does not burn and store 500 calories of fruit and veggies the way it does 500 calories of refined, processed or fatty foods. Some foods take more work to eat–and therefore burn more calories while you’re digesting them. Just the act of chewing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat can increase your calorie burn by up to 30%! On the contrary, many other foods lack certain nutrients and minerals that have been proven to stimulate the metabolism. The higher your metabolism level, the faster you will lose weight, provided you eat healthy food and pursue an active lifestyle.
Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow it down.
When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is your metabolic rate. Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrate and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to keep your metabolism revved is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.
There are proven nutritional superstars that can fuel your metabolic fire and help you to burn more calories as you kick your diet into high gear. These foods/beverages act similar to the way a thermogenic or a cardio session in how they affect the body. They can ramp up your metabolism, and in essence, assist you in burning fat. When you wake up in the morning it is especially important to “break the fast” (and a sleepy metabolism) by eating breakfast. When you eat breakfast you start burning calories earlier, thereby burning more total calories through the day. And keep your metabolism pumping all day long, by eating several small meals through the day. You will tend to eat less at one sitting, which puts less burden on your digestive system and lets it work more efficiently.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get your metabolism moving!
Food does some amazing things for our bodies, including fight disease. Try adding some of these metabolism friendly foods to your diet each day:
1. Oatmeal If you’re looking to jumpstart your metabolism, start your morning off with a bowl of oatmeal. This super food is rich in fat soluble fiber, which requires a lot of calories to break down. Eating oatmeal can also help decrease your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
2. Grapefruit Studies indicate that eating grapefruit can reduce insulin levels. Lower insulin levels after meals can help your body process food more quickly and efficiently. This means that you burn more calories and store less fat.
3. Hot Peppers Adding some spice to your food can speed up your weight loss. Hot peppers, like jalapenos, contain a chemical called capsaicin, which gives these veggies their heat and causes a spike in your metabolism. This chemical also keeps the calorie burn going hours after you’ve finished your meal.
4. Lean Proteins The protein found in chicken, turkey and other lean meats takes a great deal of energy to break down. Therefore, your body burns a lot of calories during the digestive process. Protein is also an essential ingredient in building lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat.
5. Salmon and Tuna High levels of the hormone leptin have been linked to slower metabolisms and weight gain. A good way to lower leptin levels is to increase your intake of fish. The oil found in fish like salmon and tuna has been shown to cut leptin levels and help your body process foods more effectively.
6. Low-fat Yogurt Low-fat yogurt is one of the best foods to eat if you’re trying to lose weight and boost your metabolism. Yogurt is full of calcium and protein. It gives you the energy your body needs to keep going all day and helps you build lean muscle mass. Yogurt can also help regulate your digestive tract.
7. Green Tea The caffeine found in green tea accelerates your heart rate and speeds up your metabolism. The tea also contains a chemical, known as EGCG, that stimulates the nervous system and helps you to burn calories at a faster rate.
8. Broccoli Broccoli is rich in both calcium and vitamin C. These two vitamins work together to help you burn calories faster and more effectively. Calcium activates your metabolism, while vitamin C helps you absorb more calcium.
9. Almonds Almonds may be high in calories, but they are also jam packed with essential fatty acids which are great metabolism boosters. And the healthy fat in almonds has been proven to help in lowering cholesterol.
10. Apples,Pears, Berries: These fruits are low calorie, high fiber, and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Your body must burn calories to break down. Since they help you stay full for longer, you‘ll eat less. And they are naturally sweet!
In addition to some of the suggestions listed, certain spices such as chiles, cinnamon, curry and ginger fire up your central nervous system and can boost your metabolism by as much as 12%.
Just as there are natural ways to boost your metabolism, there are also natural ways you slow your metabolism — Here are a few:
- Skipping meals–always eat breakfast!
- Sleeping less than 6 hours a night.
- Eating empty calorie foods–exchange them for low carb, low-fat, high nutrition foods.
- Choosing processed foods–exchange them for whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
And don’t overlook the power of water!
Researchers in Germany found that subjects increased their metabolic rates (the rate at which calories are burned) by up to 30 percent after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant that banishes bloat as it flushes out sodium and toxins. Drinking enough water will also help keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger. It is necessary to drink water at frequent intervals, because it is water that helps in digestion of food. So drink up! Make sure that you are starting your day with a big big glass of water and drink all day long. It’s hard to get too much water.
The Secret Super-food Ingredient is: P U M P K I N!
You will not believe how easy these are. AND Only 2 ingredients! This is an approved weight watchers recipe that delivers a healthy cake like muffin that promises to satisfy those wicked chocolate cravings.
Do not add oil or eggs as directed on the cake mix box, even though you might be tempted! I confess I
added 1 heaping tablespoon of non-fat plain Greek yogurt to mine and they turned out incredibly moist… but even that isn’t necessary. If you feel you must add a bit more liquid and don’t have yogurt, 1/4c water would work fine.
- 1 box REDUCED SUGAR Devils Food Cake Mix (Pillsbury)
- 1 Can Pumpkin
THAT’s ALL! Mix together well. Mixture will be very thick. Spoon into muffin tins sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake at 375 degrees for approx 20-25 minutes. – or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12-18 muffins.
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PUMPKIN IS A NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSE
PUT MORE PUMPKIN INTO YOUR DIET!
Simple, versatile and ohh soo good for you….
This is the time of year when people have maxed out on candy, sugar and rich holiday foods and the body screams out: “Feed Me Something Healthy!” Fortunately, Eggs, cottage cheese, spinach all top the “super foods” list!
This protein packed and low carbohydrate, low fat quiche is incredibly healthy and very easy to throw together. It makes for a great tasting party appetizer*, brunch or meatless supper. Experiment with just about any base you want for this dish. You can use practically any vegetables that are in season or whatever is on hand in your refrigerator which means a lot of variety with just this one basic recipe.
The base is practically carbohydrate free and very low fat and packs an impressive 25 grams of lean quality protein per serving! That makes this pie a good meal choice for even the strictest dieters or during contest prep. You can choose to mix in some low fat cheeses for added flavor.. but this does add to the total calories/fat per serving so be sure to add this in if you are counting your fat grams.
This is how I “tossed” mine together… in less than 15 minutes of prep time:
- 6 whole eggs plus
8 egg whites (I used 1 cup of egg beater egg whites)
- 10 oz low fat/fat free cottage cheese
- Herbs – I chose McCormick Mediterranean blend (Oregano, red pepper, Rosemary, Thyme and Paprika)
- Sea Salt-pepper
- Vegetable(s) and/or lean meat (s) of choice
Optional: ¼-1/3 cup fresh shredded cheese – (I used Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan blend) but you can use low fat swiss, chedder, jack, or Feta…
- Blend eggs, egg whites and cottage cheese, (shredded cheese, if using) with wire whisk until well combined. Add salt, pepper and other spices.
- Fill bottom of 9” pie pan with vegetables of your choice. I used fresh baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, 2 green onions, and 1 diced tomato.
- Pour egg mixture over vegetables. Bake 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees until center is set and outside edge is golden brown. . Let cool.
- Slice “pie” into 4-5 servings:
Can be stored 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Approximate Per portion. (Without added cheeses): Calories 183, 25 g of protein, 7g fat, and 4g of carbs
*Use muffin tins in place of pie pan if preparing as a party appetizers.
For Meat Eaters… try it with diced Canadian or turkey bacon, ham or diced chicken.
This was my first attempt at making a quiche and I cannot believe how simple and how GOOD this was. This will definitely become a new staple in my kitchen. Cannot wait to try it with zucchini! THANKS TRACY!
Fresh spinach paired with tender chicken is the perfect quick-fix meal.
Known in the nutrition world as a “power” food, spinach is packed to the brim with essential nutrients. Unfortunately, spinach does not top a lot of peoples list as a favorite food. Is it worth the effort to try to get your kids, or yourself for that matter to eat spinach? ABSOLUTELY! Eating spinach will help you meet your daily need for a number of nutrients, including calcium, iron, folate and vitamin A. Spinach is an excellent bone-builder, and contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the brain, thereby preventing the effects of aging on mental activity. It’s also high in flavonoids, plant molecules that act as antioxidants, which have been shown to prevent breast, stomach, skin, and ovarian cancer.
Whether you’re choosing a prepackaged bag of spinach or a fresh bundle, look for spinach that is bright green in color with thin stems and leaves that are not wilted or spotted with yellow. If you prefer tender spinach, choose baby spinach, which is smaller and much more tender. The larger the leaves, the more mature they are and more likely to be tough or stringy.
So Simple Spinach & Chicken Saute
ü 1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
ü 1 10 oz bag baby spinach
ü 2TBSP Olive Oil
ü Minced garlic to taste,
½ onion chopped
ü Salt and Pepper
ü Red Pepper Flakes to taste
ü 1TBSP Dijon Mustard
ü ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
ü ~1/2 c chicken broth + 1/3 c fat free/low fat milk
In measuring cup, mix together chicken broth, milk, and mustard. Set aside.
In large heavy skillet, heat olive oil. Saute minced garlic over med –high heat briefly to coat pan. When pan is hot, add chicken strips and chopped onions; season with salt and peppers to taste. Sear and brown on each side, turning only once (approx. 3-4 minutes each side).
Reduce heat to med-low. Gradually stir in milk mixture and cook until bubbly, turning chicken occasionally. Simmer about 4-5 minutes to blend flavors and juice of chicken is no longer pink when center of thickest part is cut. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
Increase heat to medium and stir in spinach. Sprinkle with nutmeg and additional salt/pepper. Cook aproximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and some of liquid has been absorbed. Return chicken to pan.
Can be served alone as a low carb, low fat entrée or over couscous, quinoa, or rice if desired as there will be extra sauce. (If desired, you can add a little cornstarch to thicken).
There aren’t many foods that have such high nutrition that they fall into the complete or nearly complete food categories. However, Quinoa is pretty darn close!
Although not a staple in most kitchens today – those who have discovered quinoa know how delicious it is and how good it is for them. Quinoa is a nutrient dense, amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.
I finally decided to give into my curiosity and bought a box of quinoa… and am quickly discovering how really simple, delicious and versatile is. ..
If you do not know what is so special about quinoa here are six secrets.
Secret 1 – Quinoa is gluten free
Quinoa is a good source of many vitamins and nutrients. Although technically a seed, quinoa ) is commonly referred to and used most often as a grain
because it is also gluten free and very non allergenic, people with restricted diets can usually eat it wit out any problems.
Secret 2 – It is a complete protein
One cup (cooked) quinoa contains eight grams of protein, nearly twice the amount found in other grains. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it provides the body all nine essential amino acids. For
vegans and vegetarians looking for alternative to tofu and soya it is ideal. It is also far more versatile in the kitchen then other vegan sources of protein.
Secret 3 – Quinoa is REALLY good for your health
It is a vegetable protein which is easy to digest. It also is a complex carbohydrate that slowly releases its goodness into the body. You do not get a rush of carbs followed by a lull. This is great for diabetics and people with kidney problems
Secret 4 – It is available in different types, colors and forms.
The most common is white quinoa. (Also, black quinoa and red quinoa). The different varieties also have different levels of oils in them making some crunchier than others. Quinoa is available in seed (grain form), flour, and flakes. It’s texture is what many love most about this grain (seed).
Secret 5 – Quinoa Can Help You Lose Weight.
Quinoa offers a lot to anyone looking to get healthy. However there are a number of great benefits for those looking to lose weight as well.
- Because of its protein content and complex carbohydrates quinoa will have you feeling full longer and will also help prevent cravings. You do not need to eat very much to feel satisfied.
- The amino acids and high quality protein will help you build more muscles. This in turn will have you burning more calories and it will prevent you from losing muscle tone as you lose weight
Secret 6 – It Is Very Easy To Cook
If you can boil pasta or rice then you can cook quinoa. Bring one part quinoa and two parts liquid to boil. Simmer as you would rice for about fifteen minutes or until the grains are translucent. It has a nutty flavor that complements many other ingredients and adds wonderful texture to soups, stews, stir fry’s and salads
Quinoa is very rich in magnesium,a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines. Increased intake of magnesium has been shown to be related to a reduced frequency of headache episodes reported by migraine sufferers. Low dietary levels of magnesium are also associated with increased rates of hypertension, ischemic heart disease and heart arrhythmias, and since magnesium helps to relax blood vessels, adding Quinoa to your diet offers your body protection and can improve your cardiovascular health.
Quinoa and Black Beans (adapted from Allrecipes.com)
|1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
|1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
|1.||Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.|
|2.||Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,|
|3.||Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro|
Servings Per Recipe: 10
|Amount Per Serving
||Amount Per Serving
*My customized version:
I substituted olive oil instead of vegetable oil, low sodium chicken for the vegetable broth, used 1 can black beans (instead of 2) and mixed in about ½-3/4 cup of black bean salsa in at the end.
This is satisfying enough as a meal or as a hearty side dish. I served with Chili and Lime grilled chicken breasts.
This bread is packed with many health boosting, anti-aging and disease fighting nutrients.
This hearty bread makes for a healthy and satisfying breakfast or mid day snack that is high in protein and complex carbohydrates. The flax and walnuts provide heart healthy fats. The pumpkin and oats both contribute to making this bread both high in fiber but low in sugar. Pumpkin also contains powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals making it one of the most nutrient rich foods available…so much so that pumpkin is considered by many nutritionists as one of the top “SUPERFOODS”.
- 1 ½ c Low carb baking flour
- 1 c. oats
- 4 scoops ViSalus Vi-Shape Nutrition Mix (or 2 scoops Vanilla protein)
- 2 TBSP Flax Seed
- 1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon
- 1Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 tsp Baking soda/ ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce (or more)
- 1 whole, 2 egg whites, beaten
- ~½ cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 Tbsp Flax oil
- 3-4 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend (more or less to taste)
- 1 Tbsp honey
Optional: 1/2c walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one regular size (or 4 mini) loaf pan with non-stick spray.
Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl. Gradually add wet ingredients to dry and stir well. Stir in walnut pieces. Pour batter into pan and place on center rack in oven. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
Spread sliced bread with apple or pumpkin butter if desired!
The sweet potato is the champion of all veggies when it comes to nutrition.
The numbers for the nutritional sweet potato speak for themselves: almost twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, 42 percent of the recommendation for vitamin C, four times the RDA for beta carotene, and, when eaten with the skin, sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of copper, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. All these benefits with only about 130 to 160 calories!
Did you know that…
- One cup of cooked sweet potatoes provides 1,922 mcg_RAE of beta carotene (Vitamin A).
It would take 16 cups of broccoli to provide the same amount.
- Sweet potatoes have four times the US Recommended Daily Allowance (USRDA) for beta-carotene when eaten with the skin on.
- Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin E, and they are virtually fat-free, which makes them a real Vitamin E standout. Most Vitamin E rich foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts and avocados, contain a hefty dose of fat.
- Just two thirds of a cup of sweet potatoes provides 100% of the USRDA for Vitamin E, without the unwanted fat.
- Sweet potatoes provide many other essential nutrients including Vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
- Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber which helps to promote a healthy digestive tract. Sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal.
- Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate which means they digest more slowly than white potatoes and therefore will not cause your blood sugar to spike.
- Sweet potatoes are virtually fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium. One cup (200 grams) of cooked sweet potatoes has 180 calories.
Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts (for one medium size sweet potato)
Fat 0.39 g
Protein 2.15 g
Net Carbs 31.56 g
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
Calcium 28.6 mg
Sodium 16.9 mg
Potassium 265.2 mg
Folate 18.2 mcg
Vitamin C 29.51 mg
Vitamin A 26081.9 IU
Source: US Department of Agriculture
Among root vegetables, sweet potatoes offer the lowest glycemic index rating. That’s because the sweet potato digests slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar so you feel satisfied longer. It’s time to move sweet potatoes to the “good” carb list.
Oven fried sweet potatoes offer a nice change from traditional baked potatoes.
( by baking, they have ALOT less fat than fried potatoes…. but still all the flavor)
Wash and scrub 2-3 sweet potatoes or yams. Slice in ¼- ½ inch rounds. In medium bowl mix 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil, salt, butter buds and generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Toss in sweet potatoes to coat with seasonings and oil.
Arrange in single layer on baking sheet.
Bake in 450 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, turning once during cooking. Top with additional cinnamon, if desired.
- For spicy potato rounds, substitute, cumin,chili powder, and garlic salt for the cinnamon and butter buds.
- Cut lengthwise into 1/3 inch strips for potato “fries”.
” My boy says he can eat fifty eggs, he can eat fifty eggs” – Cool Hand Luke 1967
Scientists have shown that those who start their day with poached, boiled or scrambled eggs can lose up to two-thirds more weight than others. The secret of the egg’s success lies in its ability to make us feel full for longer than many other foods.
Eggs make a valuable contribution to a healthy, balanced diet. And they are one of the most complete and versatile, not to mention abundant and inexpensive foods available. Nutritionists recommend that an egg a day be incorporated into your daily meal planning for maximum health benefits. We all know the importance of protein in the muscle building process; without it, your muscles will simply not grow. One egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein: so high that it is used as the standard by which other foods are measured. The whites are fat free; it is in the yolk where you find the fat and cholesterol.
Eggs are also a rich source of vitamins, including A, E, and K and a range of B vitamins such as B12 (energy), riboflavin and folic acid. Eggs also contain all eight essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and building valuable minerals like calcium, zinc, and iron. It is no wonder that eggs are included among the “superfoods” because of the way they both boost health and tackle obesity.
Eggs are far less expensive than most other animal-protein foods. Although eggs contain a significant amount of cholesterol, they need not be excluded from the diet. Most people need not be concerned about eating eggs in moderation.
As you can see, eggs contain a lot of good nutrition. One egg has about 80 calories but one egg also contains approximately five grams of fat, which is important if you are watching your fat and calorie intake. The white part of the egg contains no fat what so ever, and although all of the fat is contained in the yolk of an egg (yellow) – only a small proportion of this is saturated fat (Bad Fat) – about 1.6 grams. One egg each day is good, but eating three or four eggs every day may add too much fat.
In order to get the high quality protein and nutrients while reducing your fat intake, try using one whole egg and adding extra egg whites per serving. (I generally use one whole egg to two addition egg whites). You should also poach, hard boil or scramble your eggs, don’t fry them in butter. If you want your eggs sunny side up or over-easy, use a non-stick skillet without the extra butter or oil.
With recent egg recalls, people are concerned about safety and contamination. Always thoroughly cook your eggs to eliminate the risk of getting sick from salmonella.
MY FAVORITE OMELET:
Spinach, mushrooms and cheese, crabmeat add additional nutrients and flavor to this “not just for breakfast” egg dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 Minutes Yield: 1 Omelette
You will need:
ü 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites (beaten)
ü 2-3 mushrooms, diced
ü ~1 cup fresh baby spinach, cut in pieces
ü 1 slice low fat Swiss cheese
ü ~ 3oz imitation crab meat, flaked or chunked
ü Salt and pepper.
ü Cooking spray, butter flavor
- Spray bottom of small pan with cooking spray. Heat on med until hot.
- Sauté crab meat until warmed, add mushrooms and spinach. Continue to saute just until spinach begins to wilt.
- Add beaten eggs, salt and pepper and sliced cheese. Cook until eggs begin to set. Reduce heat, (so you don’t burn your eggs). Continue to cook until eggs are firm and cheese begins to melt.
- Fold omelet to seal.
They say an apple a day. I say tomato a day…. the OTHER red fruit!
Tomatoes are considered to be one of the most nutritious among all fruits and vegetables. This is because tomatoes contain the highest concentration of a highly potent antioxidant called lycopene, which is where the tomatoes vibrant red color comes from. Lycopene is known to help flush free radicals from the body and provides anti-aging benefits. Many
studies have also discovered that lycopene rich diets can help in the fight against cancerous cell formation as well as ward off many other health conditions. The most compelling evidence so far is the role of lycopene in prostate cancer prevention. Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute stated that whole tomatoes offer better protection from prostate cancer than lycopene supplements alone.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin K, a vitamin important to bone health. The fiber in tomatoes aids healthy digestion, lower cholesterol and aids in weight loss. Tomatoes also contain lutein which is needed for healthy eyes and may help prevent macular degeneration and to improve vision.
If that weren’t enough, tomatoes are low in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat and are an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals as well. One medium-sized tomato containing only 22 calories. And since tomatoes are low on the glycemic Index, they do not cause spikes in insulin in the body and help to keep blood sugar balanced.
Maximizing the Nutrients in Tomatoes
Fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes contain more vitamin C than cooked tomatoes as the cooking process destroys some of the vitamin C; however, cooked or processed tomatoes contain higher concentrations of lycopene. Eating or cooking tomatoes with a small amount of healthy fat or oil increases the body’s absorption of lycopene.
Although only mid-June here in South Georgia, fresh garden tomatoes are already plentiful .
Forget Pappa John and Little Caesar….Try this for a quick, light and nutritious fresh tomato pizza:
SUPER QUICK and DELICIOUS TOMATO BASIL FLATBREAD PIZZA
- 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
- 2 whole grain flatbreads, each about 7″ across
- 1 large garden fresh tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon basil
- Oregano to taste
- low fat mozzarella or provolone cheese