4th of July

73746512617699055_nJZmwufD_fBy: Nikki Nies

Happy early 4th of July! I know you’re prepping for the family BBQs and gathering of friends.  We Dish Nutrition couldn’t help ourselves, but join in the the festivities as well! As a time for celebration of this great nation, there’s no better way to celebrate than with some hearty, yet fresh foods.

Healthy options:

  • Meat: when choosing which meats to grill or BBQ, opting for the lighter colored meats such as skinless chicken breast.  135-46392-crop_mg_1736-1372111761Not only is this a great lean protein, but also packed with B6 and niacin
  • Take it Easy on the BBQ Sauce:It can easily add up in calories and fat.  To be safe, sticking to no more than 2 T of BBQ sauce is ~45 calories, 254 mg of sodium and 8 g of sugar
  • A refreshing treat, such as the Fruity Ice Drinks are not only patriotic, but antioxidant rich too!
  • Don’t be shy with mustard and ketchup: As a great flavor enhancer, mustard contains no calories, fat or cholesterol; yet it’s worth noting that 1 teaspoon contain 60 mg of sodium. Ketchup’s rich in lycopene–an antioxidant that protects against free radicals, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
  • Grab an ear of corn!: One ear provides 3-4 g of fiber, 130 kcal and is packed with B vitamins and beta carotene.  Perhaps, use the corn in a Corn Salad or to make my personal favorite, corn muffins!
  • Fill up on watermelon! While having a cookie or two is reasonable, if you’re still craving something sweet, eating 1 cup of watermelon  contains vitamin A and C and has great anti-cancer effects
  • Show your patriotic side by loading up on “red”, “white” and “blue/purple” foods: It’s not a coincidence that during the summer there are great antioxidant foods that just so happens to be part of our patriotic flag.  Grab some “in season” strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, cherries, tomatoes, cabbage, and red peppers.  The blue/purple foods contain flavonoids and anthocyanidins, which are provide antiinflammatory and neurological protection.  Check out blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, plums and beets.  You’re often told to stay away from refined grains and sugar, but cauliflower, onions, garlic, mushrooms, bananas, and white varieties of peaches, nectarines and grapes are the often overlooked “white” foods that are great for one’s circulatory system and bone health due to their indole rich properties.

With the official kick off to the summer, sorry Memorial Day, remember, 4th of July is a great day to celebrate independence! Enjoy the holiday weekend!



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