January 21, 2016

Best Nutrient Dense Foods To Eat


“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”- Hippocrates

colleen mcginn's food

As the Executive Chef at Fort Healthcare I carefully choose each product I serve based on what provides the most nutrition per serving. So what does nutrition mean? Well, nutrient density refers to the level of nutrition per a specific volume of food. Nutrient-dense foods have lots of nutrients, generally with fewer calories. For those of you wondering which foods are best to consume and for what reasons,

Here is a list of super foods that are nutrient dense:

Foods that are loaded with antioxidants-

  • Dark colored fruits (strawberries, red grapes, raspberries, blueberries)
  • Leafy greens and orange colored vegetables (kale, broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potatoes)
  • Nuts (lowers cholesterol), fish, green tea, beans and whole grains

What is so special about eating antioxidants? These minerals and vitamins help to-

  • Maintain healthy blood cells
  • Support the immune system
  • Promote weight loss
  • Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and cancers

Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D-

  • Fish and seafood (salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, oysters)

Foods containing foliate-

  • Beans and peas (lentils, black-eyed peas and I don’t mean the band, black beans and kidney beans)

Heard of juicing but aren’t sure what it’s all about?

Juicing provides a quick and easy way to increase your consumption of these foods, and is recommended in addition to a high fiber diet. It is my responsibility to offer opportunities for patients and employees to add healthy drinks and supplements to their diets for healthy alternatives. Fort HealthCare offers wheatgrass shots, and fresh juices. Wheatgrass is quickly becoming one of the most widely used health food supplements. This nutrient dense drink is packed with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes that feed and cleanse the cells of toxins. Interested? Wheatgrass, along with a well-balanced diet is a great way to improve your health and well-being.

Fresh juice provides us with minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins and much more. All of these factors are vital to maintaining good health. You will find that when you make fresh juice a daily part of your diet, you will have:

  • Increased energy
  • A glowing complexion
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Stronger bones
  • Reduced risk of disease

I recommended that you drink at least 16 ounces of freshly squeezed juice each day. Although eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state does provide us with a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals, we obtain the most amount of benefits when they are juiced. Much of their goodness is locked in the fiber which is expelled from the body. When we juice the fruits and vegetables, their goodness is released from the fiber and we are then able to drink the highly concentrated nutrients which are then able to enter our bloodstream very quickly. Fiber is also essential to health, so be sure to continue eating raw fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains in conjunction with fresh juices to gain the maximum amount of nutritional value from what you eat.

Hippocrates had it right when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Every day we have the opportunity to help or hurt our bodies with what we choose to put in them.

If you’re interested in learning more about healthy substitutions and how to get the most nutrition out of your food, please register for my cooking class being offered:

Thursday, January 28th from 6:30-7:30pm

Register at FortHealthCare.com/Classes under “Health Events”