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Health and Nutrition Class Spotlight

After reading about Macro and Micronutrients and understanding their uses in the body, the Health and Nutrition students were asked to build a one-week menu (three meals a day) and explain the health benefits of the foods included. Here are some of their recommendations:


Breakfast Recommendations

Overnight Oats with Eggs and Cranberry Juice

Prepare overnight oats with almond milk, spices (such as nutmeg, cinnamon, etc), hemp seeds, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds.

  • The oats are a grain which are a great source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, contributing to overall health

  • Almond milk is a low-calorie, dairy-free option, that has been enforced with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins D and E, and calcium.

  • Spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and clove are anti-inflammatory

  • Chia seeds and flax seeds have many health benefits including plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (specifically alpha-linolenic acid - ALA). Omega-3s are beneficial for heart health and may have anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Ground flax seeds are also a rich source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Hemp seeds provide a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, contributing to heart health.

Prepare eggs in your preferred method and enjoy. Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein containing all the essential amino acids your body needs for muscle development and repair, and overall body function. They are also rich in various vitamins, including vitamins B12, D, A, E, and several B vitamins. These vitamins play essential roles in energy metabolism, immune function, and overall well-being.

Cranberry juice is good for reproductive health and helps prevent stomach cancer and heart disease.


Whole-grain pancakes with fresh strawberries and a dollop of Greek yogurt

Whole-grain pancakes provide complex carbohydrates; strawberries offer antioxidants and vitamin C; and Greek yogurt supplies protein and probiotics. The "full fat" option provides healthy fats including monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids


Whole grain toast with avocado and poached eggs

Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates, and a variety of essential nutrients, including vitamins (such as B vitamins), minerals (like iron, magnesium, and zinc), and antioxidants. Avocados offer healthy fats and eggs are an excellent source of protein


Multigrain French Toast and bacon with a side of strawberry yogurt

 

Multigrain bread is a healthier alternative source of carbohydrates. It also aids in digestion. Bacon is a good source of protein and also contains B vitamins. Strawberry yogurt contains calcium and probiotics which can support gut health.

 

Two eggs, bacon, whole grain toast with glasses of orange juice and milk

 

Eggs are high in calcium and protein. Bacon also is high in protein and can also provide sodium. Whole grain toast for a healthy carbohydrate. Orange juice for vitamin C and milk for Vitamin D.

 

Egg Muffins

 

The egg provides calcium and protein that will help you start your day. Add veggies for extra nutrients. Veggies such as; bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, or mushrooms. These veggies are good for vitamins B, C, and A.  Maybe even add bacon for more protein.


Lunch Recommendations

Grilled salmon with green beans and lemon garlic cream sauce

 

Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, which aids in DNA synthesis. Green beans have potassium and vitamins A, C, and K. The lemons in the sauce are high in vitamin C and will also help balance the meal. The garlic is high in vitamin B6 and manganese. These help regulate a healthy working immune system.

 

Fried chicken (fried in avocado oil) with watermelon.

 

The breading of the chicken has carbohydrates! The chicken is a lean protein and the watermelon is a low-calorie fruit that contains vitamins A and C. It also is 92% water so it's a good way to hydrate. (Does NOT substitute for water itself.)

 

Grilled chicken and a side salad with a pomegranate vinaigrette.

 

A lean protein full chicken breast. Salad leafy greens are a nice source of vitamin A and K. Pomegranate vinaigrette’s antioxidants help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.


Quinoa and black bean bowl with salsa and avocado

Quinoa and black beans together provide a complete protein, and avocado adds healthy fats.

  • Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit containing various vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, and several B vitamins. These nutrients play essential roles in bone health and immune function. The vitamins and antioxidants in avocados contribute to skin health. Vitamin E, in particular, is known for its role in promoting skin elasticity and reducing the signs of aging

  •  Quinoa has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels compared to high-glycemic foods. This can be beneficial for managing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Quinoa is a good source of various essential nutrients, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, copper, iron, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, and B6.

Turkey and avocado wrap with whole grain tortilla

Turkey is a lean protein source and provides important nutrients such as vitamin B6, niacin (B3), phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Avocados provide healthy fats, and whole-grain tortillas offer complex carbohydrates and fiber.


Lentil soup with a side of spinach salad and sweet potato mash.

Lentils are rich, not only in protein and fiber, but are packed with essential nutrients, including folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and various B vitamins. These nutrients play vital roles in energy production, and blood cell formation. Spinach is also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and various B vitamins. These vitamins play crucial roles in immune function, vision, blood clotting, and energy metabolism. Spinach contains minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Iron is essential for transporting oxygen in the blood, while calcium and magnesium contribute to bone health and muscle function


Tofu and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice

Tofu is a plant-based protein source, and the variety of vegetables provide a range of vitamins and minerals. Tofu provides all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. This is important because our bodies cannot produce these amino acids on their own, and we need to obtain them from our diet. Brown rice adds fiber and complex carbohydrates.


Dinner Recommendations

Prime rib roast with a roasted veggie salad.

Prime rib contains all nine essential amino acids and is high in the essential amino acid threonine, which is important for healthy liver function, and is also high in zinc. The roasted veggies such as; sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, onions, zucchini, and broccoli. All of these contain vitamins K, C, Bs, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and selenium.

 

Salmon with quinoa and brussel sprouts and a balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Salmon is omega 3 acids yummy! BRUSSEL SPROUTS HAVE VITAMIN K!!! (a lot). Quinoa has iron, potassium, manganese, and fiber! The vinaigrette will help add flavor and balance the meal.

 

Chicken with rice pilaf and green beans. 

 

Chicken is a nice lean protein. Yummy. Rice pilaf is a good grain and carbohydrate. The fresh parsley is rich in vitamins A, C, and K. The green beans contain protein and also have vitamins A, K, and C.


Baked salmon with quinoa and steamed broccoli

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as the B complex vitamins, quinoa offers complete proteins, and broccoli is a good source of vitamins and fiber.


Chickpea and vegetable curry with quinoa

Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, vegetables offer various nutrients, and quinoa provides complete proteins.


Grilled shrimp with sweet potato and asparagus

Shrimp is a low-calorie source of protein, sweet potatoes offer complex carbohydrates, and asparagus provides various vitamins.


Baked cod with quinoa and roasted Brussels sprouts

Cod is a lean source of protein, quinoa offers complete proteins, and Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamins and fiber.


Snacks and Desserts


Almond and dried fruit trail mix

Almonds provide healthy fats and protein, and dried fruits offer natural sweetness and additional vitamins


Apple slices with peanut butter

Apples supply fiber and vitamins, while peanut butter contributes healthy fats and protein.


Greek yogurt with almonds

Greek yogurt is high in protein and probiotics, while almonds provide healthy fats and vitamin E.


Oatmeal raisin cookies.

Oats help blood sugar levels and weight loss. (in small amounts). Raisins contain fiber which helps lower your cholesterol.


Strawberry sorbet.

The antioxidants and vitamin C help support your immune system and refrain you from getting ill.


Green and red fruit salad with mint syrup.

The fruits will provide a plentiful amount of antioxidants and vitamins (A, C, E). The mint syrup adds an extra note of flavor.


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