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by Michele Shackelford, staff writer


Fruits:
Fruits are not only healthy, they also are delicious sweet snacks providing many benefits. Fruits contain many of the vitamins needed in everyone’s diet, especially vitamins A and C and two essential elements, natural sugars, and water. The vitamin C found in fruits strengthens the immune system, and helps us deal with stress.

Vegetables:
It is common knowledge that vegetables are good for us, but why? They prevent diseases such as heat attack and high blood pressure. Dark green vegetables are considered the best for our health; they are rich in antioxidants and help cleanse our bodies. There are a variety of ways to prepare vegetables, but it is essential to incorporate at least five or more servings a day in our diet.

Whole Grains:
Whole grains are essential in a woman’s diet; they help reduce the risk of many diseases that affect women later in life such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Whole wheat breads, breakfast cereals, organic granola bars, and various other products made of grain are the main source of whole grains to Americans. One recommended serving of whole grain is considered almost enough to be a complete meal since it contains all the necessary nutrients: fiber, protein, carbohydrates, vitamin B and E complexes, and many more essentials of a healthy diet.

Calcium Rich Foods:
These include such foods as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Osteoporosis is a weakening and increased brittleness of the bones that affects many women as they get older, but a balanced intake of calcium lowers the risk for this disease, and strengthen the bones in the process. The main goal of incorporating calcium into our diet is to protect it against incapacitating bone loss. It is recommended that women take a calcium supplement because it is hard to get the amount needed even in a healthy diet. As women, our bodies need 1000-1200 mg of calcium a day.

Essential Fats:
Salmon, tuna, and other types of fish are some of the best ways to get fats such as Omega-3 into our diet. Fish and meats offer the protein needed in a balanced diet, but only fish, seeds, and nuts are also good sources of both protein and essential fats. Essential fats, such as those found in seeds, nuts, and flaxseed oil, help speed up the metabolism, which in turn transforms bad fats and fatty acids into good fats or push bad fats out of the body.

References:
Lark, Susan M. MD. “Foods To Eat For Good Health.” Excerpted from Women’s Health Companion.
Benefits of Calcium. Mama’s Health.com.
The Benefits of Green Vegetables. Communications Ltd. www.vegetables.co.nz.

 
 

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