1. Do add muscle with berries
Who says you can't enjoy fresh blueberries before the summer months? Or that you have to put cranberries away after turkey season? Squeezing more berries into your diet (think homemade cranberry sauce, blueberry breakfast smoothies and no-sugar-added blackberry jam) will help keep you sleek and slim. That's because berries are loaded with anthocyanins, phytonutrients that are believed to assist with muscle repair and may reduce muscle fatigue, too — a recent study found desk-bound people who ate black currants had less shoulder stiffness. As a rule, the darker the berry, the more potent the anthocyanins. And in the hierarchy of healthy fruits, cranberries, blue- berries and raspberries reign supreme, with some of the highest levels around.
2. Do fight disease with roasted beets
Dark veggies like kale, broccoli and beets are rich in phytonutrients that boost cell regeneration (which slows as we age). They will help stave off everything from age-related diseases to crow's feet.<br />
<strong>Roasted-beet and grapefruit salad</strong><br />
Prep time: 10 min<br />
Total time: 1 hour 30 min<br />
4 to 5 beets<br />
1 large grapefruit, preferably pink<br />
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar<br />
2 tbsp horseradish<br />
1 tbsp olive oil<br />
2 tsp honey<br />
½ tsp salt<br />
1/4 cup thinly shredded mint or chopped fresh parsley<br />
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Trim and discard tops and tails from beets. Wash well, then wrap each beet (unpeeled) in foil. Roast on a baking sheet until fork-tender, 60 to 75 min. Unwrap and let cool. Peel and slice into rounds.<br />
2. Cut thin slices off top and bottom of grapefruit. Cut off and discard remaining peel, including white pith, so flesh is showing. Slice into rounds. In a large bowl, stir vinegar with horseradish, oil, honey and salt.<br />
3. Toss warm beets and grapefruit with vinegar dressing. Sprinkle with mint just before serving. Great warm or at room temperature.<br />
Serves 4.<br />
Per serving: 106 calories, 2g protein, 18g carbs, 4g fat, 4g fibre, 355 mg sodium.
3. Do save your eyes with sweet potato fries
For a fun change the whole family will love, replace traditional fries with these spuds. They're loaded with beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of eye and vision problems.
Make your own tonight: Wash 2 sweet potatoes thoroughly. Slice into wedges (with or without the skin) and toss with olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary and salt and pepper. Spread on a parch- ment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400F, flipping halfway through, for 30 minutes.
4. Do cook with heart-smart canola
Ted Morrison / Stockfood
Healthy fats like canola oil — which contains less saturated fat and more omega-3 fatty acids than olive oil (and is usually cheaper!) — can help keep arteries clear, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. Use canola for broiling and baking and when sautéing veggies.<br />
<strong>Make it a habit: </strong>Keep it top of mind by leaving a bottle out on the counter (near the stove) instead of tucked away in a cupboard.
5. Do fight Alzheimer's with brussels sprouts
We can practically hear you saying, "I've never liked brussels sprouts."
But have you ever really given them a chance? Our delicious recipe is
one reason to change your mind. The other? A study from Harvard Medical
School and School of Public Health that found women who ate the most
cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and brussels sprouts, were most
likely to continue to breeze through the Sunday crossword puzzle.
Researchers followed 13,000 women for 27 years, calling them
periodically over a six-year period with memory tests, and found that
those who regularly filled their plates with green vegetables showed
much slower rates of cognitive decline.<br />
<strong>Balsamic brussels sprouts</strong><br />
Prep time: 5 min<br />
Total time: 10 min<br />
500 g brussels sprouts<br />
2 tbsp olive oil<br />
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar<br />
1 tbsp granulated sugar<br />
1/8 tsp salt<br />
1. Cut brussels sprouts into quarters. Heat a large saucepan over high.
Add olive oil, then sprouts. Cook until sprouts turn bright green, about
2 min. <br />
2. Stir in vinegar, sugar and salt. Cook, stirring occasion- ally, until sprouts are lightly caramelized, 3 more min.<br />
Serves 4.<br />
Per serving: 140 calories, 4g protein,16g carbs,7g fat, 5g fibre, 105 mg sodium.
6. Do build bones with a salmon sandwich
Don't sweat it if you don't do dairy: Canned salmon – with the bones mashed in – is an excellent way to get your fill of calcium. Just one serving (about half a can) gives you about 50 percent of your daily requirement.
Avoid toxins: Opt for wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Research by the American activist group Environmental Defense Fund has found it has the lowest risk of mercury contamination and is among the most environmentally friendly.<br />
For the salmon cake recipe shown in image, <a href="http://food.chatelaine.com/Recipes/View/Salmon-cakes-with-lemony-snow-peas" target="_blank">click here</a>.
7. Do prevent wrinkles with red peppers
These naturally sweet beauties are packed with vitamin C, a
phytonutrient that stimulates collagen to ward off wrinkles. And you get
more than you need in just 1 cup of red peppers, which contains 124 mg
(nearly twice the optimal daily dose).
Make it a habit: </strong>Add peppers to sandwiches, pizza, salads, omelettes and
stir-fries. Vitamin C doesn't stick around in our bodies for long, so
top up often. Cooking peppers can make them lose some vitamin C, so for
maximum benefit, eat them raw.<br />
For the pork stir-fry with red pepper recipe shown in image, <a target="_blank" href="http://food.chatelaine.com/Recipes/View/Pork_broccoli_stir_fry">click here</a>.
8. Do fight diabetes with cinnamon
A half teaspoon of cinnamon a day may help lower blood sugar levels, according to a study of type 2 diabetics in the <em>Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine</em>. They found the spice helped participants with appetite control and even helped prevent weight gain over the long term.