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A Nutritional Menu

Your mother was right about broccoli, say Mayo Clinic experts in picking healthy foods

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Dietary recommendations from self-proclaimed health gurus abound, but what do nutrition experts from the highly regarded Mayo Clinic choose when preparing lunches or dinners?

An article in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource offers some clues. Here are a few of the experts' picks for favorite foods and why they recommend them:

  • Broccoli: The experts say broccoli contains a phytochemical that may prevent growth of cancer tumors and lutein, a powerful vision-protecting antioxidant. They recommend including broccoli in your menu two to three times a week.
  • Vegetables: Because they're high in nutrients and low in calories, vegetables can be a great choice if you're looking for volume. Consider this: One cup of vegetables is about 50 calories, while a cup of M&Ms is about 850 calories. The experts recommend eating vegetables every day.
  • Apples: How can an apple a day keep the doctor away? Here's how, say the experts: Since they're a good source of phenol antioxidants, they can keep the "bad" LDL cholesterol from getting oxidized, and oxidized LDL is bad for your arteries.
  • Soy nuts: They are a good source for protein and isoflavones, which may protect the heart and bones and reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Fish: Salmon and tuna, in particular, are high in omega-3 fatty acids. They taste great and can be prepared many ways. Eat a 3-ounce portion once a week.
  • Nuts: They are high in monounsaturated fat and are a great snack. Pistachios, in particular, are recommended for snacking and toasted almonds for salads.

More information

Visit the American Dietetic Association for much more nutritional information.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource, news release, Jan. 1, 2003
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