Strawberries add zest to National Nutrition Month
SAN DIEGO, March 11, 2014 — Celebrating National Nutrition Month throughout March is the ideal occasion for valuing sound nutrition as a precursor to good health.
Established in 1973 through presidential proclamation, National Nutrition Week eventually evolved into National Nutrition Month.
Originally promoted with the theme, “Invest in Yourself–Buy Nutrition,” this early presidential initiative was readily supported by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which was formerly known as the American Dietary Association.
National Nutrition Month gained prominence and popularity as a growing number of Americans, health care professionals, elected officials and others recognized its value and embraced its healthy nutrition message for over 33 years.
Choosing healthy foods as a dietary preference does not need to mean a lifetime of eating tasteless, colorless, or boring foods.
In fact, California strawberry growers recommend to “Just add strawberries” to a variety of everyday meals and recipes.
The strawberry is a popular bright red super fruit which is enjoyed many people. It is available for consumption year round, which makes it an easily accessible choice.
Registered dietitian and nutritionist, Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean, published in http://www.californiastrawberries.com/in_the_kitchen, offers the following delightfully healthy and easy to prepare strawberry-filled panini recipe:
Balsamic Chicken and Strawberry Panini
4 slices sourdough bread
2 teaspoons butter (or low-fat butter substitute)
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
6 ounces cooked, sliced chicken
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup sliced California strawberries
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup mashed avocado
Spread butter (or substitute) on the outside of the bread. Layer spinach onto two slices of bread (non-buttered side). Top with sliced chicken. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Add strawberries and mozzarella. Spread avocado on non-buttered side of remaining slices of bread. Place on top of sandwiches, avocado side in. Place on panini press or grill and cook until the outsides are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Serve and enjoy!
Loaded with vitamin C, strawberries are also packed with antioxidants, potassium and fiber–and are very low in calories.
As the leading producers of strawberries in this country, more than 2.1 billion pounds of California strawberries were harvested in 2011, according to the California Strawberry Commission.
California’s uniquely temperate year-round climate and cool ocean breezes makes it the ideal climate for growing strawberries, with farmlands stretching from San Francisco to Southern California.
Whether a strawberry aficionado or a proponent of healthy eating, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers the following food, nutrition, and exercise suggestions included in their Health Tips for 2014:
-Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
-Watch portion sizes
-Fix healthy snacks
-Get to know food labels
-Consult a registered dietitian
-Enact family meal time
-Dine out without ditching your goals
-Banish brown bag boredom
-Drink more water
For further information about healthy eating, go to www.eatright.org/nutritiontipsheets.
If the versatile, juicy-red strawberry has captured the imagination, learn more about it at http://www.californiastrawberries.com/in_the_kitchen.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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