Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vitamin-Rich Diet: Getting the Most Out of Your Foods!

We all have the need for essential vitamins and nutrients to build and maintain our bodies and enjoy optimum health. Getting them in our daily diets, however, has become increasingly challenging. From processed and frozen foods to fast food and packaged meal replacements, our regular foods have lost their freshness, and this does not even take into account the negative impact of depleted soils and added chemicals. So how can we get the most vitamins in our foods, and retain them to be sure we're eating healthy, wholesome foods? Read on for a few tips.

There are, in fact, many ways to ensure you serve healthy meals full of vitamins and essential nutrients. Buying whole organic foods is the starting point, and eating a wide variety of mostly fresh organic vegetables will go a long way toward improving and maintaining your health. It is a rare person who gets enough vegetables in their diet, but there are lots of ways to get them in if this is a challenge for you.

Healthy cooking techniques help to retain vitamins as well, for instance steaming rather than boiling vegetables, or sauteeing them lightly and including them in casseroles, etc.. Some ideas for making vitamin rich recipes include:

  • Choose recipes that call for cooking foods very little or not at all. Salads with a variety of healthy ingredients, grilled vegetables on fresh whole grain bread and al dente whole grain pasta tossed with lightly sauteed veggies and fresh extra-virgin olive oil would be examples.
  • Steam, bake, grill or braise foods when possible rather than boiling, which leeches crucial minerals and vitamins into the water. If you decide to boil vegetables, use the water as a broth for a soup or a sauce so you can enjoy the nutrients.
  • Avoid heavy sauces, high sugar content and high salt content. All impede your ability to absorb healthy nutrients and make you feel full before you've had a chance to eat enough healthy alternatives. Processed foods are usually rife with at least two if not three of these poor health culprits.
  • Eat vegetables (and fruits) raw when possible. You may enjoy some veggies lightly steamed, but raw is usually healthier. Wash them carefully before eating and choose organic to avoid pesticides and for the most nutrient-dense specimens. A special mention goes to tomatoes, which when cooked provide an essential phytonutrient called lycopene.
  • Add vegetables into your casseroles, baked breads (zucchini bread, anyone?) and other dishes such as pastas for extra nourishment.
  • Eat live foods like sprouts and sprouted seeds, which are extremely high in nutrients. Sea vegetables like dulse are very healthy, as are marine algae and other green sources of food energy. (Greens are available in powder or pill form if you want these supernutrients but cannot bear eating them.)
  • Mix it up: Change the veggies eat all the time, giving your body a wide variety of nutrient intake. Add various spices for fun, and try and use healthy flavorings such as garlic, onions and herbs (all extremely beneficial) instead of salt and sugar.

Shauna Arthurs writes about healthy living at her vitamin website. Visit today for information about vitamins and vitamin rich recipes.

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