Healthy Snacking Austin: Strawberries!

February 29, 2012by Brian Talley

austin healthy eatingWhether Austinites live in Olympic Heights or Lost Creek, they tend to believe in a healthy lifestyle. In 2007, Cooking Lite voted Austin among the top 20 healthiest cities in America! Even so, everyday food choices can make all the difference in the world when it comes to staying healthy.

It’s all too easy to reach for “empty” calories at snacktime—for adults and kids alike. Tasty, quick and often inexpensive compared to healthier options, junk food can be hard to resist. Yet these pre-packaged, processed foods come at a very high cost when it comes to nutritional content, unhealthy additives, and calories.

Health professionals agree that for long-term health, our living bodies require a variety of living foods. Fresh produce—fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes—are fiber-rich, nutrient-dense and easy to prepare once they become a healthy habit! The health of our families and communities starts with us, so…

THIS WEEK

Why not replace that unhealthy snack with a cup of fresh strawberries? With three grams of fiber, only 50 calories, plenty of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and loads of vitamin C to boot, it’s a treat worth savoring.

As part of our “Healthier Snacks” series, here’s why Jonny Bowden (board-certified nutritionist, author, speaker and weight-loss coach for over 20 years) believes strawberries are worth the switch.

WHY STRAWBERRIES

Did you know that strawberries contain chemicals that fight cancer? According to Bowden, researchers at Clemson University found that extracts from the strawberry “decreased the growth of cervical and breast cancer cells.” Not only that, but the extracts kept liver cancer cells from spreading, and tumor cells from growing. Who knew it: a cancer superhero! According to Bowden, it is the ellagic acid in strawberries which has these anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic effects. “It causes apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells in the lab, with no change to healthy, normal cells.”

austin nutritionist“Strawberries may also protect your brain and memory,” adds Bowden. Researchers at Tufts University partnered with the USDA in a study that showed improved motor skills, better short-term memory and faster learning in animals that consumed an extract of strawberries, blueberries and spinach!

Jonny Bowden offers only one caviat:  “Unfortunately, strawberries were on the Environmental Working Group’s list of twelve most consistently contaminated (with pesticides and other agricultural chemicals) fruits and veggies.” So go organic if you can, and wash thoroughly. Jonny has a great website and an array of published books if you want to learn more!

FRESH IDEAS

Try slicing fresh strawberries to garnish salad, cereal, or whole-grain pancakes. Or, an easy option for kids, wash the whole carton and leave it on the kitchen table during breakfast or before dinner (be sure to grab a few before they disappear)! On a tight budget? Add frozen berries to smoothies, hot cereal and more. Even organic, frozen is cheaper, and the next best thing to fresh. Buy in bulk to double the savings!  Does the sugar in store-bought yogurt give you the blues? Buy plain yogurt in bulk, add organic berries in bulk, and enjoy—or pack it up for lunches.

Eat well, live well, be well!

The Austin REALTORS® at Regent Property Group believe in healthy living and support health professionals making a difference in the local community. They also help home-buyers stay on top of the latest in Lake Austin real estate trends.

If you’re on the lookout for Austin home for sale, check out Austin Home Search!