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Your McMurray Nutrition

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5 five quick and healthy snacks:

A quick and easy snack you can grab by the handful, choose a combination of nuts and seeds that meet your specific health and nutrition requirements. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc and essential fatty acids, which support prostate health in men. Almonds contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous to promote bone health, which is a larger concern for aging women.  Walnuts contain heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which benefit everyone. Be sure to choose unsalted, unflavored varieties when possible and always remember that although nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, they should be eaten in moderation because of their high caloric content.

Dried fruits not only contain fibre, which keeps the digestive tract healthy, they also help to reduce chronic disease such as heart disease and stroke.  When choosing dried fruits, be sure to get unsweetened and un-sulphured varieties. Try combining dried fruit with nuts and seeds to make a customized trail mix.  For an extra treat, add some dark chocolate to the mix.  It is not only delicious, it also contains powerful antioxidants that slow the aging process and reduce your risk of cancer.

Fresh fruit is Mother Nature’s candy. It is juicy, sweet and full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.  For specific health concerns, choose your fruit by the colours of the rainbow.  Orange-coloured foods such as apricots, cantaloupe, and oranges are an excellent source of beta carotene which promotes eye health and night vision. Red foods like strawberries, cranberries, and watermelon contain high amounts of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and helps fight off viruses. Blue-purple foods, including blueberries, figs, and plums lower your risk of heart disease and some cancers.  Green fruits such as kiwi, honeydew melon, and limes contain antioxidants that help keep gums and teeth healthy.  In addition to being sweet and delicious, most fruits like apples, bananas, and pears are easy to eat on the go.

Like fruits, vegetables boost health in many ways. Pre-cut veggies are an easy and convenient way to increase your daily intake of fibre, antioxidants and micro-nutrients.  Another great way to add healthy foods to your diet are dips.  Hummus, a spread made from cholesterol-reducing chickpeas and mineral rich sesame seeds, is high in healthy fats and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.  Baba Ganoush, a dip made from vitamin B-rich eggplant and immune-boosting garlic is a fibre-packed dip that will keep you full and satisfied.  Another delicious and low-fat dip is the yogurt-based tzatziki. Tzatziki contains cucumber, which keeps you hydrated and liver-cleansing lemon juice. As well as being a great source of protein, yogurt contains good bacteria that keep your digestive tract functioning properly.  All of these dips are available in the deli section of the grocery store.  Be sure to read the labels and avoid the high-fat and high-sodium varieties.

Whole grains such as wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, and rye keep you full longer, keep your blood sugar levels stable, and reduce your risk of stroke.  An excellent way to increase your daily intake of whole grains is to eat whole grain crackers and rice cakes.  For a great snack, add heart-healthy avocado, anti-inflammatory tomatoes, and blood-healthy alfalfa sprouts.

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