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See-Food, Supplementation and Exercises for Your Eye Health

January 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Have you been spending a lot of ‘screen time’ with a new gadget from Christmas? The average American adult spends an average of 9.5 hours every day in front of a screen. Do you think that sounds too high? It adds up. Between a computer screen at work, watching the news at home, playing Candy Crush on an iPhone, browsing Pinterest on your iPad. Cooper Clinic Dietitian Meridan Zerner explained recently on Fox 4 Good Day that all of those devices (and anything with a screen) emit a blue light which is problematic for the retina. Yes, we can be more aware about our ‘screen time’, but what else can we do? Meridan gave suggestions for diet, supplementation and even eye exercises. Check it out below.

Diet

Try a “see-food” diet. Ha! Really, though—eat salmon, sardines or tuna two to three times a week to receive omega-3—this acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Meridan said to literally eat your garnish. Kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens and baby spinach should be in your daily diet. These veggies are not only for good health, but also for your eye health. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are actually in your eyes. When I think of eating healthy for my eyes, I think of carrots. But I learned lutein and zeaxanthin have been proven to be much more effective than beta-carotene, which is found in carrots and other orange vegetables.

Supplementation

Do you really need supplements? Meridan said this is when to take a reality check. Are you going to eat perfectly every day? Are you really going to have fish two to three times a week and five to nine servings of vegetables a day? New Year’s is a great time to make healthy changes, but if the answer is no, then that’s where supplements come into play. Cooper Complete®’s newest product, MVP (Maximum Vision Performance), is a great supplement to support eye health. It includes vitamin D, omega-3, lutein and zeaxanthin. Learn more about it here.

Eye Workouts

Yes, these really help. Meridan said eye works are beneficial, especially for those of us who have a lot of screen time!

  • Do an exaggerated eye roll and blink definitively. Do it in the other direct and repeat for five reps. This exercise will stretch your eye muscles.
  • She also suggested using the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen, look 20 feet away and focus for 20 seconds.

Also evaluate the distance you sit from a computer screen. Studies show that you should be at least an arm’s length away from a computer screen. Take frequent breaks for your mind, body and eyes.

For more information about Cooper Complete nutritional supplements, visit coopercomplete.com.

10 Ways to Eat More Veggies

Eat more fruits and veggiesMany of us seem to do really well getting vegetables or fruits in our daily eating, but not necessarily both. One-half cup of cooked vegetables, or one cup of fresh vegetables or greens counts as one serving towards our goal of “five a day”. Registered dietitian at Cooper Clinic Kathy Duran-Thal shares ten helpful ways to work more veggies into your daily diet.

1. Eat twice the servings of vegetables as starches per meal. In other words, 2 cups vegetables for 1 cup of rice, pasta or potato.

2. Strive to have one colorful, veggie-packed salad each day. Suggestions: dark leafy greens (spinach, kale), mixed leaf lettuce, shredded red cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots, bell peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.

3. Eat two or more meatless, vegetable-rich meals a week.

4. Keep fresh veggies handy for quick and easy snacks. Sugar snap peas, carrots, bell pepper slices and celery sticks are easy on-the-go snacks. Also carrots and celery sticks will stay fresh for several days in a container of water in the refrigerator.

5. Add fresh veggies to tuna or chicken salad. Popular ingredients include onion, celery, water chestnuts, etc. We’re talking veggies today, but apple slices or Ocean Spray Craisins (cranraisins) are also delicious.

6. Add vegetables to sandwiches. Opt for onions, bell peppers, bean sprouts, cucumber, tomato and lettuce. Build your sandwich like a local sub—shop and pile your veggies a mile high. Remember, vegetables not only add nutrients, color, flavor and volume, but they fill us up!

7. Add vegetables to your pot of beans—canned or fresh tomatoes, onion, carrots and celery.

8. Make your homemade soups and stocks chock full of your favorite vegetables. Cabbage, bok choy, spinach, carrots, onion, celery and tomatoes are great in a slow cooker.

9. Prepare a “stir-fry” and try experimenting with some new and exciting vegetables to tempt your palate while broadening your cooking horizons. We like bok choy, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, carrots, scallions, celery, kale, water chestnuts, and various colorful peppers, including jalapenos.

10. Add some flavor pizzazz to your vegetables by sprinkling on a zesty seasoning blend or melting an ounce of grated cheese over the top. Try spritzing lemon on broccoli, glazed carrots, or baked asparagus, topping cauliflower with Gruyere cheese (1 ounce grated cheese will flavor an entire head of cauliflower), and sprinkling tarragon on squash and zucchini and thyme on baked sweet onions.

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule a nutrition consultation, click here or call 972.560.2655.

Snack Time: Try Kale Chips

KalechipsA few months ago I worked with Amber Odom, RD, LD, one of our Cooper Clinic dietitians, to get a few green recipes for a Dallas Morning News story around St. Patrick’s Day. One of the recipes Amber shared was for kale chips. She listed kale as the number one way to Go Green Healthfully because it is high in vitamins A, C and K and is also an excellent source of fiber, folic acid and potassium.

Amber mentioned that kale chips are super easy to make, and even her kids love them. Since the story ran, I have been wanting to test out this recipe. I finally got the chance to make it last night, and it lived up to the hype. It was delicious! This will definitely be a go-to snack at my house. Here is Amber’s recipe:

Kale Chips
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Morton Kosher salt (I added a little black pepper, too)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. Wash and cut kale into 2-3 inch pieces.
  3. Spread kale out on baking sheet in single layer.
  4. Mist the kale with olive oil spray and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are crisp and begin to turn brown. Be careful not to burn.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories: 53.39
Fat: 2.72 g (0.37 g sat)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 185.66 mg
Fiber: 1.34 g
Carbohydrates: 6.71 g
Protein: 2.21 g

This was written by Christine Witzsche former Communications Director at Cooper Aerobics. Christine is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.