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May/17/2013 - 05:04:44 pm

Dash Diet Cooking Tips: How to Make Healthier Meals

For those already following the DASH diet, the reasons behind it are clear as day. For one, the diet is proven to lower high blood pressure in just 14 days without even necessarily lowering sodium intake. How can this be? Well, the Dash diet book, which is a New York Times “best seller”, gives you many different choices to turn your diet in the right direction. The focus of the DASH diet is not weight loss; the goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to help you make better food choices. On the DASH diet, weight-loss simply happens if that’s what’s right for you body.           

Based on a 1600-3000 calorie, a person is recommended to have 6-12 grain products per day. This includes 3 whole grains a day, which is important because of the numerous health benefits whole grains offer. The number of fruits and vegetables consumed is one of the key differences between the DASH diet and other diet solutions. Every day, it is recommended to eat between 4 and 6 servings of both fruits and vegetables. Most Americans only consume 2-3 servings of fruit and vegetables combined. Low fat dairy foods come in at 2-4 servings per day. Lean meats, fish and poultry come in at 1.5-2.5 servings per day. Nut servings are hashed out by the week: 3-6 servings. Fats and sweets, which are all right in moderation, are allotted 2-4 servings per day, which is completely different from many diets.           

Here are  Dash diet meal tips for a healthy body! 

1.  Raw Vegetables

Believe it or not, some vegetables lose essential vitamins and minerals when they're cooked. Take broccoli for example. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and kale contain myrosinase, an enzyme that helps with preventing some forms of cancer and some ulcers. Another example of a vegetable that has raw benefits is carrots. Carrots contain polyphenols, which also aid in the prevention of cancer and help with preventing heart disease. A good in-between method would be to steam your vegetables rather than boiling them. Interestingly enough, microwaving vegetables is a good way to keep them antioxidant rich. Boiling and pressure-cooking may cause vegetables to lose the most nutrients, comparatively. 

2.   Try Exotic Fruit

If you’re getting tired of buying the same old vegetables at the supermarket (read: apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes), why don’t you pay a quick visit to Chinatown and pick up cool fruit like dragonfruit, papayas and mangos? These alternative fruits offer a slew of benefits and will spice up your fruit bowl with some exotic flavor. 

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