February Health Tips: Sprinkled with Love
The color red reminds me of emotions like love and passion, and it also reminds me of some tasty fruits and vegetables. Have you ever wondered why red bell peppers, tomatoes, cranberries, beets, and cherries are red? Well, they contain antioxidants like carotenoids and anthocyanins which give them a red color. Carotenoids have been shown to scavenger free radicals in the body and carotenoids also help in promoting eye health. Anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, heart health, and anti-cancer properties according to the National Institutes of Health. So, show your body some disease-fighting love by adding more red foods in your diet! Do this by simply adding some cranberries or diced red bell peppers to your salad!
TIP 2 Valentine's Day Special
Light and Romantic dinner for two
Celebrate the month of love with a healthy dinner for two. This light and simple pasta recipe is versatile and will pair well with a glass of wine. This recipe includes red bell peppers and cherry tomatoes which contain antioxidants, so share with your loved ones your cooking skills and your attempt to keep them healthy at the same time!
Light with Love Pasta (Adapted from www.myrecipes.com/recipe/garden-alfredo-chicken)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
5 ounces uncooked pappardelle pasta (very beautiful pasta, but any pasta will be fine)
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes,cut in half
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
4 basil leaves, sliced into thin strips (more for garnish)Preparation
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat
Sprinkle chicken season chicken as desired
Coat pan with cooking spray
Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until well done.
Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes.
Cut chicken across the grain into thin slices; keep warm. Reserve drippings in pan.
While chicken cooks, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
Cut each zucchini and squash in half crosswise. Cut 1/2-inch slices from outer "walls" of zucchini and squash; discard cores. Slice pieces lengthwise into thin strips.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl. Add zucchini, squash, broccoli, bell pepper, and tomatoes; sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt salt. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Combine broth, half-and-half, and flour; stir with a whisk. Add broth mixture to reserved drippings in skillet. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add cheese; stir until cheese melts. Add pasta, vegetables, slices basil and chicken; toss. Season as desired and garnish with basil.
Chocolate Too Good to be True
I recently read an article from the Telegraph about a chocolate bar called “Esthechoc” that has anti-aging benefits….yes. It was developed by Cambridge University scientists, and it contains the antioxidants astaxanthin and polyphenols which showed to reduce wrinkles and boost skin vitality in 50-60 year old individuals. Another great thing about this chocolate is that it is a dark chocolate and it only contains 38 calories in the 7.5 gram bar. The chocolate bar is not available is retail stores yet, but it is expected to be in “high end retailers” next month.
So if you have the chance to splurge, keep yourself updated on news about Esthechoc! But for now, stick to colorful fruits and vegetables that are also loaded with antioxidants vitamins, minerals, and fiber! :]