Fish: A Four-Letter Word for Healthy!
Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet, and nowhere is fresh fish easier to find than the coast. Increase your odds for a long and healthy life with a simple, tasty change: add fish to your weekly menus.
Here are some nutrition facts to motivate you. Fish is a lean, low-calorie source of protein and a great source of critical omega-3 fatty acids. These play a crucial role in brain function, as well as growth and development, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease.
But here’s the catch: the body can’t make them. We must go to the source for omega-3s, and in a seafood-centric environment, that’s easy. They come from fish – such as salmon, tuna, and halibut; other seafood, including algae and krill; some plants; and nut oils.
A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to the whole family’s well-being. Just remember, you don’t have to go overboard to reap the benefits. A little bit of “daily catch” goes a long way. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week (especially fatty fish like trout, herring, sardines, tuna and salmon) at least twice a week. I personally recommend consuming no more than one fish meal per week from predatory fish (shark, tuna, swordfish, etc.) and no more than two per week from non-predatory fish (sardines, salmon, shrimp, etc.). Very few palate-challenged people will be overwhelmed by this schedule.
Some of you are thinking ‘I know fish is good for you, but my family doesn’t really like it.’ There are many recipes that you can use which will increase the appeal. Look for salmon stuffed with crab and breadcrumbs, or use a tasty pesto to enhance the flavor (Costco offers one of the best I’ve found, in its refrigerated section) . Add grilled fish to a salad loaded with other items. Throw some shellfish into your marinara. Be creative and research ways that might make your family happy when consuming fish or shellfish. Here are two seafood recipes which will help:
Easy, tasty tuna salad
1can (12 oz) water-packed solid white tuna, drained
1/3 cup Yoplait® Fat Free plain yogurt
1can (4 oz) crushed pineapple, drained; or grapes
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (1/3 cup); or sweet onion
¼ cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium bowl, mix tuna, yogurt, pineapple, celery, pecans, mustard, and cinnamon.
1 serving has approximately 180 Calories, Calories from Fat 50; Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 420mg; Total Carbohydrate 11g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 9g); Protein 22g.
Shrimp tomato sauce over pasta; makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small bunch scallions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
¾ cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic white wine
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or basil
12 fresh or frozen and thawed jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
8 ounces spaghetti
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Warm oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, or just until scallions begin to turn golden.
2. Add tomatoes, wine, sugar, and 1/2 cup parsley or basil. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.
3. Add shrimp and return to a summer. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.
4. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add sauce and toss to mix.
5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup parsley or basil.
Approximately 1 serving has about Calories 380, Calories from Fat 60; Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 650mg; Total Carbohydrate 59g (Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugars 10g); Protein 19g
Next week, I’ll share some insights about mercury in fish. We’ll sort the truths from the rumors so you can relax at mealtime.
Lions and tigers and berries, oh my! When following the yellow brick road to good health, berries are a wonderful snack to enjoy along the way.
You may already be adding sliced strawberries to your granola or cereal in the morning, but once you uncover the many different health benefits of berries, you will want to add those little marvels to every meal. Why not? They are berry, berry good for your skin, health and heart.
Berries are the perfect snack food. Not only are they naturally sweet and low in calories, but they are also high in fiber, making them a great choice for fending off the between-meal munchies. In addition, berries are loaded with vitamin C and powerful antioxidants that give your immune system a boost while helping to prevent the cell damage that leads to diseases such as cancer.
Eating the sweet treats may even help slow down the natural aging process, improving skin’s appearance from the inside out.
Berries are truly little wonders of nature. Each type of berry carries its own special health properties. For example:
- Blueberries contain anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that help with memory functions.
- Raspberries are full of ellagic acid, a compound that is known for its cancer-fighting abilities.
- Strawberries are high in vitamin C, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
- Cranberries contain compounds that can treat or prevent many urinary tract infections.
In addition, research is under way to determine how different berries contribute to weight loss. In order to obtain the wide spectrum of health benefits that berries provide, it is best to add a variety of different types to your diet.
Choosing from the large selection of berries that are available in your local farmers market, supermarket or health food store will prove to be a fun and delicious experience. Along with the more well-known choices such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries, expand your tastes by exploring the delectable flavors of blackberries, boysenberries, currants and honeyberries.
Selecting fresh, local, organic berries is always the best option, yet berries retain most of their nutritional value even when they are frozen or dehydrated. So, stock up on fresh berries when they are in season, but feel free to opt for canned, frozen and dried berries to benefit from their valuable phytonutrients year-round.
Just be sure to read nutrition labels when buying dried or frozen berries. Steer clear of those that contain added sugar or are packed in heavy syrup, which adds unnecessary calories.
With just a quick rinse, most berries are ready to be tossed into a storage bag or portable container for easy snacking on the go. While berries are delicious and easy to enjoy on their own, there are many more ways to enjoy those nutritional powerhouses.
- Blend frozen berries with fat-free yogurt for a refreshing smoothie.
- Top fresh berries with low-fat whipped topping for a speedy dessert.
- Add berries to whole-grain waffles or pancakes for a filling breakfast.
- Layer berries with granola and yogurt for a decadent parfait.
Now that you know the numerous health benefits surrounding berries, and are ready to add them to every meal, head out to your local market or produce stand to load up on the ultimate treat – just watch out for any lions, tigers and bears on the way.