Whether you are growing some or all of your own food, buying it at farmers markets, or at a grocery store, focusing on fresh produce while you shop, plan and cook meals will help move the spotlight from the meat’n’potatoes to the lower-in-calories and higher-in-fiber, vitamins and minerals fruits and vegetables of which most people are not eating enough.
Here is a short list of great choices (by no means a definite list and in no special order), which I created for a group of people I worked with to help them loose weight. Whether you want to loose weight too, or want to improve your health in other ways, spending more time in the produce section of your store, and making fruits and veggies the central point of your diet will help you reach those goals. Feel free to print this list to refer to while you are shopping. And enjoy the flavors, colors, and aromas of fresh fruit and vegetables!
Watermelon – is mostly water, so great for staying hydrated. It has half the natural sugar of an apple and is a good source of vitamin C.
Squash – varieties such as acorn, butternut, buttercup, pumpkin give you fabulous concentrated goodness: sweet flavor, great carb choice, supportive of healthy blood sugar levels, good for vitamin A, C potassium and magnesium.
Sprouts – low in fat and calories, the process of sprouting increases the nutritional value.
Berries – high in flavor, vitamins and minerals, but also fiber, which makes them a great addition to any meal.
Pomegranate – delicious little seeds are full of nutrients and take so much time to extract it is hard to eat too fast.
Pear – with the skin on, good source of fiber and supports healthy blood sugar levels.
Parsley – don’t leave this good source of nutrition on your plate as a garnish anymore — eat it up! It contains high amounts of vitamin A, more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than spinach. It is good for proper digestion and is a great breath-freshener (remember this one after you’ve eaten garlic).
Celery – a relative of parsley, good for digestion and elimination.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – many different varieties of goodness, so you can have a different one everyday. Think kale, collards, broccoli, chard, bok choy, dandelion, turnip, mustard and beet greens, and don’t forget culinary herbs, which are also green and leafy!
Onions – 90% water and low in calories.
Lemons – keep adding to your water, salad dressings, fish dishes, since they are very helpful in keeping your liver and kidneys working well and good for digestion (and therefore weight loss!) and to stave off colds and flus.
Grapefruit – similar to lemons, but easier to eat more of.
Asparagus – contains a good amount of vitamin A, B complex, C and E, potassium and zinc, as well as rutin, which helps prevent small blood vessels from rupturing. It is used as a diuretic, and has been considered an aphrodisiac (so enjoy!).