Tag Archives: fitness

Foods that are Great for your Brain Health

Brain Food

You hear a lot about heart-healthy foods, immune system boosters, and snacks that supercharge your gut. But, the one we seem to hear about rarely is about these days “brain food.” If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that you are what you eat by now. Your diet often defines your overall health, and that includes your brain. Believe it or not, the nutrients in certain foods can boost your cognitive abilities and brain functions over time. Keep reading to find out what those foods are!

Leafy Vegetables

The first stop on our list is leafy veggies. These leafy greens are already associated with healthy diets. Yes, these veggies make a great addition to any diet when you’re trying to lose weight, but the benefits go beyond weight loss. What are the leafy veggies in mention? Kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli. These veggies are rich in brain-boosting nutrients such as vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. There is research that suggests that these leafy foods may patiently slow cognitive decline. Keep that in mind when you’re putting together a salad or putting together a vegetable medley.

Whole Grains

Last on our list is whole grains. Whole grains such as bread, pasta, barley, brown rice, oatmeal, and bulgur wheat are full of vitamin E. Your body uses vitamin E to protect and preserve healthy cells. By doing so, protects brain function and prevents neurodegeneration. Swap out your processed grains for some whole ones and aim to fit more oatmeal into your morning breakfast routine, along with some vitamin B-filled eggs, of course. 

Fatty Fish 

At this point, fatty fish is a Nutropia blog regular. We’ve discussed its benefits in several of our articles already, like the one we released last month, Foods That Help Inflammation in the Body. Fatty fish like herring, lake trout, and salmon are full of omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats that have been linked to lowering blood levels of beta-amyloid. For those who don’t know, beta-amyloid is a protein that forms harmful clumps in the brain. This occurrence is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Now that’s one powerful food and yet another reason to add fatty fish to your diet. If your not a fish fan, all is well. Try adding an omega-3 supplement to your morning routine, or try adding other omega-3 sources such as flaxseeds, avocados, and walnuts to your diet. Speaking of walnuts…

Walnuts

All nuts are fantastic sources of protein, full of healthy fats and more. But what you probably don’t know is one nut, in particular, may improve memory. That nut in question is walnuts. Like fatty fish, walnuts are full of omega-3, but they contain fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Diets full of rich ALA and other omega-3 fatty acids are linked to lower blood pressure and cleaner arteries. That’s a win for heart health and brain health. All the more reason why you should include walnuts in your snack time.

Eggs

Everyone loves breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, as they say. Eggs are an essential part of breakfast and a brain-healthy diet. Eggs are full of B vitamins. B vitamins are proven to slow cognitive decline. Plus, vitamin B deficiencies have been associated with depression and even dementia. That brings the most important meal of the day to a whole new level.

There you have it! Fill your diet with these healthy brain foods to boost your brain health. Eating foods with the proper nutrients simply fortifies your cognitive function over time. It’s not like you’ll eat a handful of walnuts and automatically remember every. That’s not the cause! Are you having trouble fitting the proper nutrients into your diet? We just so happen to specialize in that. Click here to learn more. 

Sources

health.harvard.edu

premierneurologycenter.com

3 Healthy Soups to Help you Stay Warm This Winter

There’s nothing quite like a nice bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day. Soup is savory, warming, and, when done right, healthy. Yes, cheesy potato soup tastes fantastic, especially with bacon bits on top. But there’s no denying the fact that it’s not great for you or your diet. When you create a soup full of veggies, lean cuts of meat, and wholesome ingredients, you get yourself one healthy meal fit for cozying up next to the fireplace. Here are 3 healthy soups you can make to stay warm and faithful to your diet this winter.

Vegetable Soup

The name says it all. Vegetable soup is made of the very thing you probably don’t eat enough of. The average vegetable soup consists of onions, celery, carrots, and sometimes tomatoes. This soup helps you get a serving of vegetables and stay warm at the same time. Click here for a simple recipe.

Butternut squash 

If you have a sweet tooth, this soup is for you. Butternut squash is low-calorie and a great source of fiber. So naturally, it’s food fit to be the main ingredient in a healthy soup. However, the average run-of-the-mill soup is full of heavy cream and other fatty ingredients. But like many meals, alternatives make it more nutritious. You can make a nice butternut squash soup with onion, carrots, garlic, and vegetable stock. Click here for a recipe.

Chicken noodle soup

Last but not least, the one and only chicken soup. This soup is a classic. It’s reasonably healthy, even if it’s store-bought. But you can step up this dish’s health game with just a few different ingredients. For one, white chicken breast is key to dropping the calorie count in this soup. Of course, the veggies, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, are a must-have. What makes this dish different is the healthy seasonings involved. Tumeric and bay leaves invite more nutrients to the party. To top it all off, a nice squeeze of lemon juice for an extra dose of vitamin C. Try it for yourself! Click here to read the recipe.

Nutropia Spicy chicken tortilla soup

Now you know which soup to fill your bowl full with. These soups are tasty and great for those of us on a low-calorie diet. Of course, portions are everything. Too much soup means too many calories. So keep that in mind when you cook up and dig into these fine soups. You can also get a nice warm meal pre-portioned and perfectly seasoned delivered straight to your door. We provide delicious healthy, fit foods all around the NYC area. Click here to learn more! 

Sources:

  • allthehealthythings.com
  • healthline.com
  • inspiredtaste.net
  • thecleaneatingcouple.com

Three Easy Healthy New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

We’ve all been there before. You make a promise to yourself on New Years’. “I’m going to be healthier this year,” you think. But one way or another, that promise never seems to hold up. Without the right know-how, changing the way you eat and the way you treat your body can be a bit of a struggle. But with a few easy tricks, you can make it happen. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog posts, you might remember a few of the hints and tricks we’ve shared about how to achieve a healthier diet. Here are 3 of our many suggestions you can use to keep your 2021 New Year’s resolution.

Portion Sizes

Portions are everything. After all, how much you eat correlates to your calorie intake. When you have a big plate, filling it up is your first instinct. At that point, what you’re eating doesn’t matter that much. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. It’s as simple as that. An easy solution? Use a smaller plate. You can fill it up with healthy foods and never feel guilty about it. It’s the easiest way to cut your calorie intake and keep a steady diet casually.

Greens in every meal!

Veggies are full of vitamins that are great for your body. It’s fair to say most people prefer not to eat them, though. That’s why we tend to avoid them when possible. However, we all know eating the green stuff is ideal when you’re on a diet. So how can you fit them into your daily diet without making yourself miserable? Try to have some veggies in every meal. Add some peppers and onions to your omelet. Have a side salad instead of fries when you go out to lunch. Cook up some asparagus alongside the hamburgers when you have a grill out for dinner. This option takes a little effort, but it’s easier than eating a salad for every meal.

Healthy alternatives

The little things make significant differences over time. That’s sort of the running theme for this blog post. Fried snacks and foods taste amazing, but they aren’t great for you or your diet. Alternatives are the answer. Instead of salt and vinegar potato chips, go for reduced-fat chips or pretzels. Get a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a fried one. I think you get the idea!

So there you have it. Three easy ways you can keep your simple new year’s resolution. Of course, changing your diet takes time and patience. Nothing happens overnight! If you happen to live in the NYC area, we can help you achieve your healthy diet goals without breaking a sweat. We deliver a variety of healthy portioned meals and snacks straight to your door. Click here to learn more!

3 Easy Ways to Cut Calories on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the king of food holidays. It’s an entire day dedicated to a meaningful, shared meal. All that food can become a problem if you’re on a diet though. It’s very, very tempting to throw causation to the wind and break your diet, especially if your Thanksgiving table is full of good cooks. Don’t feel like you have to make your own special meal or skip the holiday entirely though. If you’re strategic, you can fill your plate and keep your diet at the same time.

White meat

Judd Pilossof / Getty Images

Turkey is delicious. Plus, its not as fatty as other meats. But that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for your diet. Let someone else enjoy the turkey leg this year and stick to the white meat aka turkey breast. For example, 100 grams of dark meat is equivalent to 167 calories and 100 grams is around 139. That’s not a huge difference, but when you’re counting calories, every bit counts. 

Take it easy on the Sauce

Gravy is a thanksgiving icon, but it’s no thanksgiving turkey. This one is fairly easy. On average, a cup of gravy will put you back 188 calories. The best way to save those calories is to avoid the sauce all together. Or you could just use a few tablespoons less. Simple as that! 

Small plate 

This is the big one. The size of your plate really contributes to the size of your stomach. Filling up a small plate is healthier and way more gratifying than filling up a huge one. By filling up that little plate, you’re practically tricking your brain into thinking you have more to dine down on than you actually do. This is a great habit to develop when it comes to meal times in general. Click here to read more about it.

Keep these ideas in mind on Thanksgiving this year. Eating healthy on the foodiest day of the year isn’t possible with a little self-control and creativity. If you’re not sure what you’re doing for Thanksgiving this year, get in touch with us! Nutropia is cooking up fantastic healthy holiday meals that can be delivered straight to your door. Click here to learn more about our services. 

Sources

fdc.nal.usda.gov/

loseitblog.com

gettyimages.com

Tips For Keeping Your Gut Healthy

You are what you eat. We’ve all heard it before. We all know that what we eat affects our bodies. The foods we consume have nutrients in them and eating the right ones helps the body function at its best. But have you ever thought about how what you eat affects your gut? Stomach health is the real deal. Your gut’s health contributes to your metabolism, your ability to take in nutrients, and well, your ability to eat. Bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and nausea are absolutely horrible. When your gut’s not having a good time you can’t eat your favorite meals. There are a few different things you can do to keep your gut healthy and avoid any unnecessary hardship. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your gut happy.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The benefits of apple cider vinegar, according to a dietitian
Natalia Klenova / Getty Images

You’ve probably heard of this one before. One shot of apple cider vinegar a day helps your waistline. Yes, it comes in handy if you’re trying to lose weight, but it does your gut a big favor by helping it maintain healthy acid levels. Healthy acid levels mean less acid issues, aka reflux, heartburn, and indigestion. If you have GERD, this is a good habit you should add to your routine. Bonus points. This stuff is also great for your heart and heart health, as we all know, is incredibly important. 

Pro-biotics

Pro-biotics are the tiny bacteria that do that heavy lifting when it comes to GI health. They’re known as the “good” bacteria for a good reason. It helps the body move along food throw the digestive tract from start to finish. Probiotics help keep the important enzymes in line, which helps keep the stomach and intestines running smoothly. You can get probiotics in supplements, yogurt, kombucha, and more. Just do a little search and find out which method works best for you.

Small bits

The phrase “chew your food before you swallow” doesn’t just apply to choking. You have teeth for a reason so use them! Big pieces of food can make digestion harder than it has to be for the body. When you eat too fast and too much at once in one sitting, your body’s enzymes can’t keep up. Well chewed food is good for digestion, esophagus health, and even your metabolism. So chew that food. Don’t gulp it all whole!  

Alkaline Rich Foods

This may not be one you’re familiar with. Alkaline means pH level over 7. By now, you’ve probably noticed that acidy is a pretty big deal when it comes to gut health. It’s the same premise as apple cider vinegar. The stuff helps the gut maintain its pH level. Tons of veggies are full of alkaline. Yet another reason why you should eat your vegetables! Leafy greens, broccoli, fresh fruits, and ginger are rich with alkaline and all its glory. These foods can help you fend against acid reflux and heartburn. Nobody whats to deal with those acid issues. So eat your fresh fruits and veggies.  

Take it Easy on the Fried stuff

Last but not least, the obvious one. Fried foods. They’re full of fat and grease. Does fried food taste great? It sure does. But does your body actually need it? No, in fact, it hates it.  Fatty fried foods prevent the lower esophageal sphincter from fully tightening, which leads to dreadful heartburn and acid reflux. If you have acid issues, avoid fried stuff entirely. Go for grilled, not fried or else your stomach will make you pay for it. 

Stomach health seems like a complicated thing but the truth is, eating correctly and developing the right habits can keep it happy and make mealtime easier on you. Get your veggies in small bites, drink some apple cider vinegar, and avoid fried food like the plague if you have gut issues. Your stomach is important. So take care of it and fill it with the right stuff. If you need a little help eating the right stuff, we can lend you a hand. Click here to learn more.

Sources:  

asweetpeachef.com

healthline.com

ndtv.com

everydayhealth.com

3 Healthy Produce In-season During Fall

It’s fall! Believe it or not, it’s more than just pumpkin season. In fact, there are plenty of fruits and veggies in season during this time of the year. We’re not talking about apples either! Here are 3 tasty in-season produce you can cook a healthy seasonal meal with.

Sweet Potatoes

If you haven’t had sweet potatoes, you’re missing out! These spuds are delicious, nutritious, and in season. Replace your regular Yukon golds with some healthy sweet potatoes. Enjoy your burger with a tasty side of sweet potato fries or chips. These spuds are so sweet, they’re practically dessert. Try baking a nice sweet potato casserole. Be mindful of what you put in it though. After all, healthy foods are only as healthy as what you serve them with!

Winter Squash

Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean winter squash can’t be in season! Squash is one of those foods that tastes just like what you cook it with. It takes on the flavors of the spices you cook it with, so it’s not too difficult to work within the kitchen. Bake it alongside your favorite veggies or try your hand at squash soup and even squash spaghetti noodles.

Spinach

Spinach, arugula, shredded chicken and more!

Last but not least, spinach. This tasty leaf makes a great salad. You can toss it in with arugula or any other leaf of your choice. Pick out your favorite dressing and toppings to make a great, nutrient-filled salad.

One of our delicious Nutropia salads with chicken, mixed greens and more!

Keep this list in mind next time you’re in the produce section at the grocery store. These seasonal fall foods are good for you and great for dinner time. But if you’re not the biggest fan of cooking, we got you covered. We use all the foods on this list and more in our tasty meals and snacks. Click here to learn more.

Easy Ways to Make Breakfast Healthy

As Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec once said, “why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” There’s just nothing quite like sitting down and digging into bacon, eggs, and, waffles. For those of us who are big breakfast buffs, it’s a magical thing. But unfortunately, breakfast foods aren’t very healthy. Bacon and sausage are full of grease. Pancakes, waffles, and french toast are full of sugars. That’s why these tasty foods are pretty much off the table when you’re on a diet. Thankfully, there are a few things you can change up to make your breakfast healthier and more diet-friendly. Substituting a few things here and there can help you stay on your diet and enjoy the breakfast of your dreams at the same time!

How to Make Bacon in the Oven | SimplyRecipes.com
Simplerecipes.com

First things first. Bacon and sausage are delicious but far from nutritious. Why? It’s full of pork fat. That’s where turkey comes in. Turkey bacon has about 25% fewer calories than regular pork bacon. The same goes for turkey sausage. Pork sausage has somewhere between 290-455 calories, while turkey sausage has somewhere around 140-160 calories. The numbers speak for themselves. Relacing regular old pork sausage and bacon with turkey can potentially cut your breakfast calorie count in half. If you’re interested in learning more about turkey as a substitute, click here to read our article about the magic of ground turkey.

How to Cook Eggs Perfectly With Every Method | Eat This, Not That!
eatthis.com

Ditch the yolk and keep the egg whites. This is a pretty common one but it’s important to mention. Egg yolk contains most of an egg’s fat and calories. If you get rid of the yolk, you essentially avoid those fats and calories. It’s very simple and easy!

Keep your favorite breakfast carbs but ditch the unhealthy flowers and grains you’re used to. Make your pancakes or waffles with oat flour instead of using the usual box mix. Use whole-wheat bread when you make your french toast. If you’re going to eat a muffin, make sure it’s bran. Switch your plain bagel with a multigrain one too! 

Last but not least, dairy. Avoid whole milk and opt-out for reduced-fat or skim. Top your multigrain bagel with some reduced-fat cream cheese. Replace your coffee creamer or half-and-half with almond milk instead. 

There you have it! A few easy hacks you can use to enjoy your breakfast responsibly. Don’t forget though, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Portions are everything. You can still wreck your diet if you eat more of these foods than you should. Of course, Nutropia just so happens to make incredible, healthy breakfast foods that are perfectly portioned. So if you’re a busy breakfast foodie on a diet, we got you covered. Click here to learn more. 

Sources

Foodnetwork.com

healthline.com

myfitnesspal.com

3 Fun Snacks You Can Make With Yogurt

Yogurt is a great healthy snack to eat in-between meals. It’s a good alternative to most junk foods and it comes in a variety of flavors. But plain old yogurt can get old and boring fast, especially for kids. With a little pizzazz, you can change that. Here are 3 fun yogurt snacks you and your whole family will love.

1) Yogurt Smoothie

Green, clean eating!

This is a pretty common one. It’s pretty easy and healthy too. All you need is yogurt, fruit and a blender. But you have to be mindful of what you put in it. After all, the little details always make a difference in your diet. For starters, use low-fat yogurt. It’ll lower your calorie count. Don’t forget, you can add more than just fruit and yogurt in there too. Try tossing in some kale for extra nutrients. The best part is, with all that tasty fruit, you and even your kids will barely taste it!   

2) Homemade Parfait 

Tasty Layers!

Parfaits are another popular treat. You buy one at the grocery store and even some fast-food drive-throughs. But you can do way better than those. Grab some vanilla yogurt, some gram crackers, and some fresh fruit if your choice. Then grab a cup and layer in your goodies one at a time until you’ve reached the top. After that, all you need is a spoon. It’s quick, healthy, and easier than jumping in the car to go buy one.  

3)Yogurt Ice Pops

Perfect of a cook out!

Here’s another dairy snack hack your family, especially the kids, will love. Popsicles are a wonderful snack to have on a hot summer day. The average popsicle is full of sugar. They might taste yummy, but they’re not the best for you. There’s a great alternative to that, thanks to yogurt. All you need is a popsicle stick, a small cup, and your favorite yogurt. Fill up the cup, place the stick in, and pop it into the freezer for an hour or so. Once it’s frozen, it’s ready to eat! 

There you have it, 3 tasty, healthy, yogurt treats you and your family can enjoy. Remember, snacks like these are only healthy when you’re keeping an eye on what you put in it. Consider low-fat options when buying your yogurt. Don’t add tons of sugary toppings in like chocolate chips either. Lastly, don’t forget to portion. Too much of even the healthiest of things is a bad thing!

We’ll whip you up a snack asap. Just say the word!

If you’re having trouble finding the time to make healthy snacks, visit our website or give us a call at 866-877-5433. We offer tasty meals and stacks your whole family will adore!

Three Easy Ways to Eat Better

When life is hectic, it’s hard to eat healthily. It’s the little things that make a big difference in the long run, whether you’re trying to lose weight or just eat healthier. Here are 3 easy ways you can eat better.

1) Avoid the temptation of Junk food by not buying it.

Ditch the chips!

When you’re stressed or just flat out exhausted, it’s easy to camp out on the couch with your favorite bag of chips. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of binge-watching every now and then. It’s the chips that are the real problem here. You know you shouldn’t snack on the whole bag in one sitting, but you do it anyway because the temptation is too strong. It’s even harder to avoid snacking on junk food when you’re a parent. Your kids love delicious goodies like cheese puffs and pastries. Sure it’s not great for them, but they can afford the calories because after all, they’re young!

Kids or not, there’s a simple way to avoid junk food. Just don’t buy it! That’s way easier said than done, but when you’re going down the grocery aisles and see a tasty treat, just tell yourself no. Browse the alternatives instead. Consider baked chips, dried fruit chips, or just popcorn. The fewer calories, the better. Do your kids love ice cream? Buy frozen yogurt instead. Chance are, they won’t know the difference! Just consider the alternatives and avoid temptation entirely by not buying what you know you should eat!

2) Use a smaller plate!

Big plate, big difference!

When you have a big plate or bowl, you want to fill it. That’s why portion control is a vital part of losing weight. Measuring out your meal calorie for calorie, cup to cup is too tedious when you’re in a rush. Let the plate or bowl do the hard work. Use smaller plates and bowls to gauge how much you eat. It’s not a unit of measurement but helps in the long. Filling up a small plate is just as satisfying as filling up a big one, just with fewer calories!

3) Make fruits and veggies mandatory for every meal.

Always eat your veggies!

We’ve all heard it before, “eat your fruits and vegetables.” Whether you’re 8 or 28, fruits and veggies are always part of an important daily diet. They’re full of vitamins and minerals you’re body needs to run smoothly. Eat a banana with your toast in the morning, a salad at lunch, and broccoli at dinner. Admittedly, fruits tend to be tastier than veggies. If you aren’t a veggie fan, consider looking into recipes that spice things up a little bite. Baked asparagus tossed in a little olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper might just change your mind when it comes to the vegetable world. You don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian. Just add a little color to every meal.

All three of these tips can make a difference over time. Ultimately, it’s about making little life changes and altering some habits. Don’t forget that you’re the one who has the power to change the way you eat. Practice self-control, stay motivated and be patient. After all, life changes don’t happen overnight!

Small Plates: A Meal Portioning Hack

Chances are, you’ve heard this before. Using a smaller plate can help you lose weight. The truth is, small plates and bowls aren’t an end all be all. It’s about altering a small habit. Think about it this way. When you go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, which plate are you grabbing? The big one or the small one? Of course, you want to try a little bit of everything. There’s tons of room on that plate for everything too. But, you end up getting and eating too much. By the time your plate is empty, you’re full. There’s no more room in your belly for the other tasty foods you didn’t get to try at the buffet. Your eyes were too big for your stomach.

That’s the concept behind portioning. When you have a big plate or bowl, you want to fill it up as much as you can. The bigger the eating surface, the more calories you eat. Naturally, most of us aren’t food experts. We don’t know exactly how much to eat or how many calories we’re consuming. That’s where the little plate comes in handy. Filling that small plate up with food is just as visually satisfying as filling up a big one. The less you consume, the more likely you are to lose weight over time.

Keep in mind that eating off a small plate isn’t an exhaust for seconds. Eating two full small plates might just be worse than eating a large one. As always, losing weight and getting healthier is a matter of habit changing and self-control. Use a smaller plate to simplify meal portioning. Don’t go back for seconds. Your body will thank you in the long run!

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