Mr. Norris, the Super Bowl is near, and so are parties with fatty junk food. Any super “bowl” tips to keep my hand from continually reaching into the bowl of M&M’s? – Sean D., Plymouth, Mass.
Let me offer you my twofold party strategy.
First, in response to a host’s initial offer or invitation for a drink, always ask for a bottle or glass of water. It not only hydrates your body but also begins to fill the endless reservoir called your stomach without turning to high-calorie alcoholic beverages, which enhance your hunger, too.
Second, when handed or grabbing a food plate, focus all your energies on filling it with 10 super-foods that we should eat every day, not just during football festivities. Pile it high, not only because the foods are nutritious, but also to last throughout the game and keep you from taking a tempting second lap around the lunch line. I’m not dodging the need to sup some on the main course; just make sure you load up your hors d’oeuvres and meal plate with copious amounts of the following, too.
Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines both ran recent articles about these must-eat daily foods, which are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (many also are listed in the popular book “Eat This, Not That,” by David Zinczenko).
1. Carrots are the chief of all brightly colored veggies and fruits that are flowing with cancer- and inflammation-reducing carotenoids. You can eat them as raw baby carrots, shredded in salad or soup, on a baked sweet potato, in mango sorbet, etc. Men’s Health recommends a daily half-cup of carrots. If carrots are absent, go for the tomatoes, broccoli or guacamole dip, which contains avocados, a good source of monounsaturated fat and potassium, which can lower blood pressure.
2. Tomatoes are loaded with the antioxidant lycopene, which decreases your risk of coronary artery disease and bladder, prostate, lung, stomach and skin cancers. Men’s Health recommends 22 milligrams of lycopene daily, the equivalent of about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. If you enjoy V8, make sure it’s low-sodium.
3. Blueberries are more packed with antioxidants (as well as fiber and vitamins A and C) than any other North American fruit and are often a big splash at parties individually or as a part of fruit salads – along with grapes and bananas. Blueberries help with age-related memory loss and cardiovascular health, and they lower the risk of cancer and diabetes. Men’s Health recommends 1 cup of fresh blueberries daily or a half-cup of frozen or dried ones (which maintain nutrient levels).
4. Yogurt may not always be offered individually at every party but is often swirled in the midst of fruit salads or other sweet dishes in lieu of heavy creams. Probiotic organisms, which permeate live and active cultured yogurt, support millions of beneficial bacteria and fight harmful bacteria in the body, helping to help build up our immune system and even providing protection against cancer. Men’s Health recommends you daily consume 1 cup of “live and active cultured” yogurt.
5. Walnutsoften are found in nut bowls, salads and pastries at parties. They are the king of all nuts, according to Men’s Health, “richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken.” If walnuts are absent in the snack dish, go for almonds, pistachios and peanuts, in that order. Men’s Health recommends only about 1 ounce, or seven nuts, for daily nutrition or as a post-workout recovery snack.