Claire Pomorski, a student in Nutrition 360 during spring 2017, created this awesome brochure full of valuable information to help students, living in the residence halls, make healthier food choices. She highlights healthy food options in the Dining Commons, including getting Green 2 Go and healthy meal essentials found in the convenience stores. She also includes meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that can easily be made in a residence hall room. Check it out below.
“The brain represents about 2% of the body’s weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and calories consumed by the body.” (1) New research is being done to identify foods that power and protect the brain. This research is limited, but there is evidence that omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, found in almonds, walnuts, fish, avocados, canola oil, etc. reduce inflammation and promote blood flow in the heart and brain. Antioxidants, found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, are known to fight cancer causing free radicals and help protect the brain from oxidative stress. (2) Oxidative stress is the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defenses. Consuming an overall healthy diet consisting of whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables is the best way to keep your brain sharp and energy levels up. (3) Try cooking up this quick and delicious recipe that contains whole grains, lean protein and a variety of vegetables.
- Clark D. & Sokoloff, L. (1999) in Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, eds. Siegel, G. J., Agranoff, B. W., Albers, R. W., Fisher, S. K. & Uhler, M. D. (Lippincott, Philadelphia), pp. 637–670.
- Gomez-Pinilla, F. (2008) Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 568-578.
If you enjoy frozen desserts, you’ll want to make room in your freezer for this recipe. With three types of fruits and non-fat yogurt, it not only tastes great but also helps you to get your recommended fruits and dairy for the day.
Not only is yogurt an excellent source of protein and other essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, it also contains bacteria that’s good for your health, according to the American Society for Nutrition.
Frozen Fruit Cups
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 24 oz. non-fat strawberry or plain yogurt
- 12 large strawberries, sliced
- 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained
- Line muffin tin(s) with 18 paper baking cups.
- In a large bowl, mix mashed bananas, yogurt, strawberries, and pineapple.
- Spoon into muffin tins and freeze at least 3 hours or until firm.
- Remove frozen cups and store in a plastic bag in the freezer.
- Before serving, remove paper cups. These are also great to throw into a fast smoothie. Just add water or milk and blend them in your blender for a fast smoothie.
Another great thing about this recipe is you can use whatever fruits you like! What ingredients did you use?
Snap a pic and tag #healthypsu on Instagram or Twitter for your shot at becoming the featured image on the blog.
Picnics and barbeques are a fun summer tradition. These events are a great opportunity to socialize with friends and family. Picnics and barbeques also present challenges when it comes to healthy eating and drinking.
Here are some helpful tips to work your way around a picnic table:
- Avoid dips that are cream cheese, mayonnaise or sour cream based. Try other fresh dips like guacamole and homemade salsa or use plain greek yogurt as the base for your veggie dip. Sub out regular potato chips for baked chips or homemade tortilla chips (1).
- Instead of preparing the usual potato or pasta salad with mayo, try making a fresh green salad with fruit or a pasta salad full of fresh chopped vegetables with vinaigrette or Italian dressing. These types of salads are packed with nutrients and the ingredients don’t spoil as quickly in the hot sun.
- Tired of hamburgers and hot dogs? Beef burgers can easily be replaced with turkey, chicken or even veggie burgers. Tuna steaks are a great alternative to regular steaks and are full of healthy fats and proteins (2). Kebobs are great for grilling. You can make them with almost anything and the size helps you be mindful of portion sizes.
- Sodas and juices are always available at picnics. Both are tempting, but are loaded with sugar. If you are looking for an alternative to sugar and caffeine, try seltzer water mixed with 100% fruit juice for a light fizzy drink. You can even opt for fruit-infused ice water for a refreshing drink.
- If you do choose to drink at a picnic make sure you stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water for every standard drink. Alcohol and hot temperatures cause fluid loss and can lead to dehydration. It is also important to have a plan for how you will get home safely if you are drinking. Don’t drink and drive! Keep in mind that if you are boating and/or swimming alcohol affects your judgement, balance, reaction time and increases risk taking.
- Hydration seems to be key on a hot summer day! With plenty of activities going on at a picnic it can be easy to forget to drink water. The recommendations for how much water you should consume per day vary by sex and exercise level. You should drink more on especially hot days or if you are really active outside. Heat exhaustion is real, so be aware of your water intake.
As with everything, moderation is your best bet for a happy and healthy summer. Enjoy!
- EatingWell Magazine. (2012, May). Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/248363/tortilla-chips/
- Health Benefits of Tuna and Salmon. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2017, from https://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Protein/Article-Viewer/Article/89/Health-Benefits-of-Tuna-and-Salmon.aspx
With Spring here, a larger variety of fruits and vegetables are available once again. By eating and cooking in season, you will discover produce has more flavor and can even be more budget friendly.
It is a great time to experiment with new recipes. Fruits and vegetables make great side dishes and main dishes.
Looking for ways to get started? Try one of these ideas:
- Plan one new recipe a week and build from there.
- Host a potluck with “fruits and veggies” as the theme.
- Visit local farmer’s markets
- Check out these free cookbooks at ChooseMyPlate.gov