Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Bowl Snacks to Fill Nutrition Gaps!

Game on!
There’s almost as much hype about the menu for Super Bowl parties as there is about the big game. Many restaurants, bars and food markets have their flags flying high with special football focused menus to attract hungry fans. Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for food. Some say it’s the second biggest day of over-zealous eating next to Thanksgiving. Fans will be snacking before kick-off and all the way through half-time to the final cheers and trophy presentation to feed their nerves and celebrate the great plays with nachos, wings, pizza, burgers, ribs, submarine sandwiches, guacamole, chips and plenty of beer.

Here’s just one sports fan statistic to put consumption into perspective - The National Chicken Council estimates 1.25 billion pounds of wings will be devoured on Super Bowl Sunday.

Here come the Game Day Dietitians!
Add to the scrimmage nutrition experts who are out in numbers to throw a cautionary “flag on the field” to evaluate high calorie menu choices. After all, weren’t we just talking about New Year’s diet resolutions a month ago? There are some fairly simple ways to lighten up football food favorites. Use low fat sour cream or Greek yogurt in dips. Try to calm your nerves by crunching on celery sticks instead of diving into the tortilla chips. Use a small plate to create your game day meal plan instead of mindlessly grabbing finger foods so you lose track of your intake score. Tackle the stuff you really crave first such as guacamole with a few chips or small order of wings and then move down the field to secondary players when you’re not as hungry so you won’t eat as much.
Super Bowl Scores for You

Snacks, such as those served on game days, may have the reputation for being high calorie extras but they can play starring roles by saving the day with nutrients you may be missing in other meals. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many Americans fall short of the nutrition goal post for these seven nutrients: fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E.

Here’s how to snack on Super Bowl Sunday to boost your health. Game on!

Fiber: “The Safety” –aids digestion, lowers cholesterol and linked to appetite satiety. Foods: whole grain crackers, tortillas, bread, fruit, vegetables.
Broaden the veggie team to include cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash.

Calcium: “The Running Back” - supports bone health and healthy blood pressure.

Foods: Fat free or low fat milk or chocolate milk, yogurt or frozen desserts, low fat string cheese and Greek yogurt in dips. New research from the University of Maine shows that drinking one glass of milk per day boosts mental power in visual, verbal and memory tests. Think fast: should we run the ball or throw it?

Potassium: “The Wide Receiver” -regulates blood pressure to keep the cardiovascular system healthy and strong. Foods: citrus, citrus juices, cantaloupe, banana and green leafy vegetables including popular spinach dip made with frozen chopped spinach!

Vitamin E: “The Nose Guard” -supports immune system, healthy skin and works as antioxidant to lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Foods: Avocado in guacamole, in salads and on sandwiches. Nuts including walnuts, almonds and Georgia pecans.

California Haas Avocados smooth, creamy and rich source of Vitamin E.

Magnesium: “The Offensive Guard”- needed for bone and muscle health, nervous system and heart health. Foods: Pumpkin seeds, spinach, black beans, shrimp and soy beans. Calm close score nerves with healthy peel-and-eat shrimp and edamame beans.

Vitamin A: “The Kicker”-needed for healthy eyesight, skin and immune system. Foods: Orange colored produce such as tomatoes in salsa, carrots and mango.

Vitamin C: “The Quarterback” – lead player in looking and feeling good by supporting immune system, wound healing and healthy skin. Foods: Citrus, strawberries, bell peppers and tomatoes found in salsas! Hey add some chopped orange segments to the salsa too.

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