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TOP 5 Gluten Free Foodie Finds

January 31, 2014

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Have a case of the winter blues? Add these items to your grocery cart this week to bring the sunshine back into your life and to give your immune system a boost! 

Here are the TOP 5 items for this week:


 

1) Carrots: Carrots are often thought of as the ultimate health food. A serving size of carrots contains 35 calories, 6g carbs and 1g protein. These veggies are higher in sugar than other vegetables, they are loaded with fiber, vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc. That's a lot for these little orange guys! Carrots can be enjoyed raw, cooked or even juiced! They are a small, but simple addition an everyday diet. 

2) Sweet Potatoes: I love sweet potatoes! Loaded with beta-carotene, potassium, iron, folate and at 7 grams of fiber per serving, this is one starch that you must add to your plate this week. Poke holes in a sweet potato, slice in half and place in the microwave for 5-7 minutes (depending on the size), add a touch of butter, sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese to supplement a protein dish. Or, my personal favorite, make sweet potato fries! Preheat oven to 375 degrees, cut sweet potatoes into sticks, toss them in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and paprika (for a heat kick), place in the oven for 15 minutes, turn them, cook for another 15 minutes, ENJOY! A guilty pleasure made in your home, the healthy way! After you try this recipe, you won't be going to the drive-thru at McDonald's ever again. 

3) Bell Peppers: Low in calories, rich in benefits--it is always a good idea to have bell peppers on hand. Easy to slice and dice, enjoy them as a grab-and-go snack, as a salad topper, or stuff them with a mix of other vegetables, quinoa and ground turkey. 

4) Grapefruit: Tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruit has a juiciness that rivals the ever popular orange and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits. Although available throughout the year, they are in season and at their best from winter through early spring. Add some sunshine to a dreary day by indulging in a grapefruit. At approximately 90 calories, this large citrus is loaded with vitamin C which will help keep those pesky coughs and sniffles at bay. For those watching your waistline, research indicates that eating half a grapefruit before each meal helps keep hanger pangs away. 

5) Butternut Squash: Naturally low in fat and only 80 calories per cup, butternut squash is full of powerhouse nutrients. It delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. 

 

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