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healthy foods

March Is National Nutrition Month

Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages individuals young and old to make small, healthier food choices in order to “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”

Making healthier choices at home can lead to numerous health benefits. Choose a variety of healthy foods from all food groups to incorporate into your diet and try to limit your intake of junk foods. By taking this proactive step, you can stop preventable, life-style diseases before they start.

Start putting your best fork forward by including more of these foods in your diet:

  • Vegetables, including dark green, red and orange veggies
  • Whole fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages
  • Protein-rich foods (seafood, lean meats, poultry, nuts, soy products, beans and peas)
  • Oils (canola, corn, olive, peanut, sunflower, soy)

The key is to start with small steps, slowly adding healthier ingredients while considering your own personal preferences, for a smoother transition. Include your favorite flavors and foods, and remember, everything in moderation.

If you would like help finding a personalized plan that works best for you, you should consult with a registered dietician nutritionist. RDNs can advise you on proper nutrition to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

For a yummy and healthy meal, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. Check out our breakfast menu or come in for one of our signature sandwiches. We’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Healthy Foods 2017

There are plenty of healthy, delicious foods out there for us to discover. The latest of these nutritional powerhouses go far beyond chia seeds and kale, and will add an interesting and new element to your meals. Check out which new healthy foods you should be adding to your diet this year.

Kelp
Who would have thought that stuff that washes up on the shore would make the list? The brown seaweed is loaded with iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron, plus it’s a great source of omega-3.

Try adding kelp sprinkles to homemade soups, salads, and rice bowls.

Ghee
This clarified butter (made by heating butter and skimming off the milk solids) is easier for some people to digest than unprocessed butter because of its low lactose content and its high amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Ghee has a natural nutty flavor and is a staple in Indian cuisine, often used to enhance curries and other traditional dishes. Use it in place of traditional butter when you can.

Dandelion Greens
If you’re a fan of bitter greens, try these. Dandelion greens are great for your bones and muscles and are rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, iron, and potassium. They’ve got a pretty impressive fiber content, too – a 3.5 ounce serving of these will satisfy 15% of your daily fiber requirement.

You can find these at local farmer’s markets in the spring, or your local specialty store may be carrying it.

Millet
This whole grain is naturally gluten free and contains generous amounts of copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Millet is usually eaten as a breakfast porridge, simmered in a pot of water (much like preparing steel cut oats), but it can also be used for granola, muffins, and other baked goods.

Canned Salmon
While not full of the same nutrients as fresh salmon, canned salmon is an affordable and smart alternative.

Get your omega-3s by adding canned salmon to salads, or use it as a way to bulk up a pasta dinner.

Wheat Berries
Despite its deceiving name, it’s not a fruit. Instead, it’s a grain that looks and acts like brown rice or farro and is used to make all-purpose flour. It also boasts great fiber, protein, and iron content.

Use it as a rice substitute or add it to your grain salads.

Marmite/Vegemite
Marmite (British) and vegemite (Australian) are made from yeast extract and are high in B vitamins (namely B3/Niacin). Niacin helps boosts the body’s defenses against bacteria.

Because of its high salt content, you will want to practice moderation. A thin layer on toast will do.

What new healthy foods have you tried this year? Which of these will you add to your regular diet? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Have you joined us for breakfast yet? Visit us in the morning six days a week (Monday-Saturday) for a tasty breakfast. Visit BrickMarketDeli.com to see our full menu.

Healthy Fall Foods

Fall is here, and with it comes an abundance of comfort foods. But instead of indulging in these heavy meals, why not fuel our bodies with delicious, healthy foods? Here are some great nutritious fall foods to make your fall dishes a bit more healthful.

Eggplant
These purple beauties house excellent benefits. The compound nasunin protects your brain cells from oxidation, while chlorogenic acid gives eggplants anti-cancer, anti-viral, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Because they act like sponges when cooking, eggplants fried in oil or loaded with cheese will negate its positive effects. With only 20 calories per cup, there are healthier ways to enjoy eggplant.

Skip the heavy Eggplant Parm and try an easy veggie roll up. Start by slicing the eggplant along the long edge. Sprinkle the slices with salt, let it sit for 10 minutes and use a paper towel to blot the excess water. Next, drizzle the slices with olive oil and roast at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes (flip halfway through). Let it cool then layer each slice with your favorite hummus and veggies (ex. raw or grilled zucchini and bell peppers slices). Lastly, roll each slice and secure each roll with a toothpick.

Butternut Squash
With the beautifully orange flesh of butternut squash, you have an excellent source of beta-carotene (300% of your daily value per cup). Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which supports healthy skin, eyes, and bones. It also contains vitamin C to support your immune system along with dietary fiber for overall gut health.

Add pureed butternut squash to your tomato soup, pancakes, or even your morning smoothie. Experience a new flavor combo plus more health benefits.

Pomegranate
Pomegranates are great for your heart. The juicy little seeds help to reduce the buildup of harmful fat in your arteries, which prevents circulatory damage in the long run.

Aside from tearing it open and enjoying the seeds alone, you can use it as a topping on your oatmeal, salad, or mixed into pancakes.

Cranberries
Anthocyanins are compounds that give cranberries that deep-red color and act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Cranberries can help to improve bladder health, defend against cancers (breast, colon, lung, prostate) and even add a little fiber to your diet.

Instead of making a sugar filled cranberry sauce for the holidays, try a spiced cranberry relish instead.

Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe contains about two times the amount of zinc as broccoli (yet bears no relation to it). Zinc is especially good for your immune system, and with the cold and flu season approaching, your immune system could use a boost. It also contains about 1.5 times as much fiber as kale, which is good news if you’re over kale and ready for something new.

Step up your avocado toast game by adding sautéed broccoli rabe and a poached egg. Or sauté broccoli rabe with some garlic and olive oil for a lovely side dish.

Leeks
Leeks are related to garlic, onions, shallots, and scallions (they resemble large scallions). Because of this, they are a great source of polyphenols, which prevent oxidative damage to blood vessels and atherosclerosis while keeping heart disease at bay. Leeks are also high in vitamin K, which research has shown can be anti-cancer forming, can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, and is great for bone health.

Aside from their traditional use in Potato Leek soup or latkes, you can braise leeks and serve them as a side dish. Or sauté leeks and add them to your omelet.

Do you have any lighter recipes to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Get your fix of freshly made sandwiches and salads at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona. Visit us weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm.

Top Superfoods For You

What are superfoods? Sure, you’ve heard that term tossed around before, but do you know what it really means? Superfoods are generally known as foods that contain high levels of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Check out this list of superfoods you need to know. Some of these are well known, while others have newly emerged.

Açai
Açai is a small purple berry found in the rainforests of South Africa. Many praise the berry for its weight loss and anti-aging benefits. Its high levels of antioxidants in the form of anthocyanins help to fight cancer and heart disease. It is also one of the few fruits that contain oleic acid, the same heart-healthy fat in olive oil.

Goji Berries
Goji berries are tangy, orange-red berries that are found in Tibet and Inner Mongolia. Thanks to their high levels of vitamin C, Chinese herbalists have been using goji berries for centuries to treat visual ailments, circulation problems, and to boost the immune system. While science has yet to back these claims, it is true that these berries are high in plant-based antioxidants and compounds.

Cacao/Cocoa Powder
Cacao powder contains flavonoids (which help to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart), is less than 15 calories per tablespoon, and contains almost no fat. To satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt, cacao powder is the way to go. But be sure to choose the raw or nonalkalized versions, as the others have been processed and have depleted its nutritional benefits.

Seaweed
Seaweed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, iodine, and zinc. The form of seaweed you are most familiar with is likely nori, the seaweed sheets they use for sushi. However, other varieties include dulse, arame, hijiki, wakame, and kombu.

Chia Seeds
Remember Chia Pets? Yup, these are those same seeds (however, do not consume the seeds that come with Chia pets). Found in Mexico, Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and calcium. They have a crunchy, nutty flavor, and can be added to things like salads, smoothies, or stir-fries.

Mangosteens
Mostly found in Southeast Asia (and rather hard to find in the US), mangosteens are about fist-sized with a thick, purple rind, with white segments on the inside. The rind contains xanthones, which may combat cancer and inflammation. Mangosteen-juice products include xanthones and can be found in some health stores.

Maca Powder
Maca is a root grown in the Andes that is pickled, dried and ground into a powder. There have been mixed reviews about its benefits, but maca powder is generally used to boost energy, endurance, and libido. With an earthy and nutty flavor, maca powder can be sprinkled on nearly anything.

Kefir
Kefir a drink made from fermented milk that is a bit sour, usually comparable to yogurt. Originating in Russia, kefir is praised for its probiotics, which is said to boost the immune and digestive systems.

Hemp Seeds
Brace yourselves – hemp seeds are rich in protein, amino acids, omega-6 and omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium. Thanks to their mild taste, you can add hemp seeds to your favorite dish.

Nutritional Yeast
Made from deactivated yeast with no leavening powder, nutritional yeast is rich in protein and fiber and is one of the only vegan friendly sources of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is mostly found in meat and dairy products, but nutritional yeast that is fortified with B12 is a great option for vegans and vegetarians.

Black Garlic
Black garlic is made by fermenting raw garlic with prolonged exposure to heat and humidity, which tones down and sweetens the flavor. Sulfuric compounds that help with heart health and provide anticancer benefits are just part of black garlic’s allure. Since it is fermented, they are a great source of important probiotics.

Is there a superfood that you swear by which isn’t well known yet? Share your secrets with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a light and healthy lunch, join us at the Brick Market & Deli in Pomona. We’re open Monday-Friday 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm, with online ordering available.