February 2012 | Dr. Stephen Gullo

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Foods That Help Prevent Breast Cancer

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Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer

Image source: fashion.argylenews.com

Over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. One of them was singer Sheryl Crow. After her diagnosis, Sheryl Crow immediately revamped her diet to emphasize fresh fruits and veggies, rather than red meats. Eating a low-fat diet like Crow’s can help you not only survive breast cancer, but also prevent your chances of being diagnosed with it in the first place. Aim for a fat intake of 30 percent or less of your daily calories and choose healthy sources of fats, like avocados. Pile your dinner plate high with veggies like broccoli and snack on fresh fruits like apricots. A cancer prevention diet that emphasizes produce can also help you achieve a healthy weight.

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Foods to Eat After a Workout

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Post-Workout Recovery

Image source: cookinglight.com

The foods that you eat – both before and after a workout – have a significant impact on your performance. If you’re trying to lose weight, avoid starving yourself before or after working out. Instead, provide your body with the right type of fuel to feed your muscles and maintain good blood circulation. After your workout, eat a snack or a light meal that consists of a balance of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats. According to “Fitness” magazine, eating “carbs and protein together (results in) a better response to post-workout recovery.”

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Foods That Help Lower LDL Cholesterol

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Heart-Healthy Groceries

Image source: cookinglight.com

If your doctor diagnoses you with high cholesterol, chances are he will tell you to eat a low-fat diet, lose weight, exercise, and possibly take cholesterol-lowering medication. Cutting out fattening foods is great for both weight loss and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, but the foods that you do eat also have a significant impact on your health. Select foods that are high in fiber, like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Continue to eat a fiber-rich diet even after you lower your total cholesterol to below 200 mg/dL (the ideal range).

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Apricots

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Sliced Apricot

Image source: apricotfacts.com

Apricots are small, yellow-orange fruits that are related to plums and peaches. They have a smooth, sweet flesh. The ancient Romans called apricots “praecocium,” or precocious, because the fruit tends to ripen early in the growing season. Like apples, apricots are a healthy snack that can help sate the appetite between meals.

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Collard Greens

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Bowl of Collard Greens

Image source: seriouseats.com

Collard greens are dark green, leafy vegetables. They are cruciferous vegetables, which means that they belong to the same family as broccoli and cabbage. Collard greens are also related to kale, another healthy vegetable. While they are generally associated with Southern cooking, collard greens and other cruciferous vegetables should be eaten on a regular basis by all dieters. It’s generally recommended that people eat cruciferous veggies at least two to three times per week for better health.

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Apples

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Apples in a Tree

Image source: grandadsapples.com

Apples are among the most popular and most commonly cultivated fruits. There are over 7,500 different types of apples, from crisp, sweet apples to tart apples. An apple a day may not only keep the doctor away, but it can also keep your dentist happy. In addition to their abundance of nutrients, apples can help clean your teeth and get rid of bacteria.

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Kidney Beans

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Sack of Red Kidney Beans

Image source: gardenofeaden.blogspot.com

Kidney beans have a dark red skin and a shape similar to a kidney. They are often used in chili dishes or for meals like red beans and rice. Kidney beans are an excellent source of nearly fat-free protein for vegetarians; just one cup contains 30 percent of the daily recommended value of protein. Kidney beans and other sources of lean protein can also help suppress the appetite, which is why supermodel Heidi Klum began eating them when she needed to lose a little weight.

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Edamame

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Edamame in Pods

Image source: chooseveg.com

Edamame is another name for soybeans. It refers to fresh, green soybeans that are typically prepared by boiling or steaming. These small, green beans aren’t just for hippies; Victoria Beckham has been known to eat a diet that consists almost solely of edamame when she wants to lose a little weight. (Not recommended, by the way – eat a varied diet for better health.)

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Chia Seeds

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Spoonful of Chia Seeds

Image source: foodmatters.tv

Chia sprouts may be best known for adorning small, inanimate “pets,” but that’s not all these flowering plants are good for. Chia, or Salvia hispanica, is a plant native to Mexico. The ancient Aztecs cultivated the chia plant and ground the seeds for food. Aztec warriors even carried the seeds with them as survival rations. Like flaxseed, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be stored for a longer period of time without going rancid. They also offer antioxidants, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and niacin.

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Kale

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Chopping Kale Leaves

Image source: elanaspantry.com

Kale is a dark green, leafy vegetable. It is a type of cabbage, although its leaves do not grow into a central head. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable – the same as broccoli and cauliflower. It’s typically recommended that you eat cruciferous vegetables at least two to three times per week, with a serving size of at least 1 1/2 cups.

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