Why it’s good for you: Pumpkin is a low-calorie vegetable that’s high in fiber and vitamin A. “Its orange color is a dead giveaway of its high amount of beta carotene, which helps prevent heart disease,” says Brill. “It’s also so versatile for cooking.”
How to eat it: There’s no need to cook your jack-o-lantern; canned pumpkin is an easy and accessible grocery-store staple.
Serving size: 1 cup, from canned
Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal with Yogurt and Raisins
Yield: 4 servings
1 ½ cups water
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup quick-cooking steel-cut oats
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
¼ cup raisins
1 tablespoon molasses
½ cup sugar-free vanilla yogurt
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts, divided
In an 8-cup microwave-safe dish, stir together the water, cinnamon and oats. Cook in the microwave on high power for 4 to 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the microwave and stir in the pumpkin puree, raisins and molasses. Spoon into 4 bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.
Nutrition per serving:
Fat: 6 g
Sodium: 23 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 12 g
Protein: 6 g
Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com
Walnuts Why they’re good for you: Nuts tend to be high in calories and fat, but the monosaturated fat in nuts is healthier than the saturated fat in meat and dairy products. And their high omega-3-fatty-acid levels make them a go-to for heart health. A recent study also found that walnuts carry some of the highest antioxidant content...
Apple Why they’re good for you: Apples are high in fiber, specifically a soluble fiber called pectin, which targets and clears away LDL, the bad cholesterol. Many of apples’ beneficial compounds are contained in the skin, including high levels of phytochemicals, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re “the perfect diet food too,” says Janet Brill,...