Healthier ME

A whole and halved red bell pepper

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Towards the end of the semester our livestock judging team decided to begin a biggest loser club and try to get healthy and fit over the summer. We all put $20 dollars in a pool and weighed in at the last practice to weigh back in when we return in August. Judging is hard on our bodies as we are constantly on the road, sitting in a van, and consuming junk foods and beverages. I got the “men” of our team to agree to do the competition per percent of body weight and told them I was going to beat them all. So far, I have only shed a pound or so, as my desk job is not providing me with that physical labor that I am so used to getting during the summer. As a result, I have invested into some workout videos and I am going to try to be more conscious of what I am consuming…I CANNOT let the boys win. Today’s blog is going to be about the 12 Best Power Foods for Women!

  1. Parmesan Cheese- Parmesan cheese is rich in calcium which helps strenghten bones. During your 20s (NOW FOR ME) calcium is crucial to prevent osteoporosis. Other sources can be yogurt and non-fat milk, but after eating those things three times a day, parmesan cheese can be a great alternative. There are 340 mg ofcalcium per ounce.
  2. Apples- Rich in quercetin apples help boost your immunity. Quercetin is an anti-oxidant that boosts your bodies disease fighting ability.
  3. Lentils- Over 12% of young women today have low iron stores (myself included), Low-calorie lentils pack about 30% of your  daily iron per cooked cup.  Wish I knew what I lentil is…I don’t feel as if I would enjoy them very much….look flavorless
  4. Broccoli– ONE CUP OF BROCCOLI HAS 100% of your NEEDED VITMIN C!!  (YUCK, too bad I hate broccoli, but good news for those who do enjoy it). Broccoli also helps prevent wrinkles as it gives the skin elasticity and helps in vitamin A production which replaced old skin cells with new.  Why couldn’t this be any other green vegetable in the world?
  5. Potatoes- OH YEAH!!!! potatoes pack healthy carbs called resistant starch that helps keep weight in check. A medium sized potatoe with the skin on provides MORE potassium than a banana and helps maintain low blood pressure.  Glad I can still eat potatoes!!!
  6. Spinach- This vegetable does it all! This “Super Veggie” is jam packed with Vitamin K and also contains calcium and magnesium. This things slow down the breaking of bones and help prevent birth defects. So like Popeye always taught..we must eat our spinach to big and strong!
  7. Dark Chocolate– yes,  you just read CHOCOLATE as one of the 12 best power foods. According to research, eating an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks will relieve stress by producing less cortisol which will help lower rises in blood pressure. (Mom, since Dad likes dark chocolate so much, sounds like you should be feeding him this for dessert after the week he has had!!)
  8. Mushrooms- eating 1/3 oz. of mushrooms a day can lead to a 64% reduction in breast cancer. YEAH FOR MUSHROOMS!!!
  9. Sardines- Great sources of omega-3 acids which decrease inflammation that leads to blocked arteries. They also can prevent blood clots and keep arteries in good shape. Sorry, but I will not be partaking in this power food.
  10. Avocados- High in monosaturated fat, avacados and the mono fat. help drop belly fat!!! Load up on the guacamole ladies!
  11. Bell Peppers– Packed with over twice the amount of daily vitamin C along with other vitamins, bell peppers can help your vision stay strong and prevent things like cataracts and AMD. Sounds like I better load up on my bell peppers so I don’t drive into any cables in high school parking lots….(inside joke)
  12. Whole Grain Pasta- LAST BUT NOT LEAST- loaded with vitamin B which converts food into energy AND allows you to feel satisfied with fewer calories.

Don’t forget that Beef is an excellent source of Zinc, Iron, and Protein and should be included in your diet as well! For more information on these 12 power foods check out www.shape.com ! P.S. my video links are in black!

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