To Eat and (What) Not to Eat

July 30, 2008

Thank you, New York!!!

With the induction of calories to all chain restaurants in New York, reporters have been quick to eat up (pun: intended) the now, perhaps overly, visible calorie counts appearing on menus and signage across the city.

I was lucky enough to hear on Wall Street Journal This Morning (subscribe via iTunes!) that a wonderful indulgence of mine, something I try to have when I head back to my native of Chicago, is a real, legitimate and traditional slice of Chicago style pizza. No, just because it’s deep dish does NOT mean it is Chicago style…trust me. Anyhow, I digress. My point is that I started my morning by hearing that a slice of the most famous pizza in the city, Pizzeria Uno– has 2,330 calories. Sick. Seeeeee ya Uno!

So to better lift my spirit, I loved seeing the Times’ piece today on “The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating.”

Here are their recommendations- now go be bold and fill up your baskets (and stay AWAY from pizza!)

photo courtesy of New York Times

1. Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters. How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power. ***WIT Note: A favorite salad of mine at the best neighborhood restaurant by me, Luella, combines spinach, golden beets, and pecan-crusted warm goat cheese and is completely do-able in your own kitchen. If that doesn’t make you like beets- you never will!***

2. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes. How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.

3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes. How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.

4. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol. How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.

5. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants. How to eat: Just drink it. ***WIT Note: pomegranate is everywhere right now- so stock up and definitely try POM juice– it’s sweet goodness and loaded with antioxidants!***

6. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants. How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.

7. Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death. How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.

8. Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.’’ They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins. How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.

9. Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,’’ it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.

10. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies. How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.

11. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories. How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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