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CHOICES, CHOICES and MORE CHOICES

While perusing my lastest online edition of "Runner's World" magazine I came across an article entitled "Food Fight" written by Matthew G. Kadey, M.Sc., R.D., that gave a quick synopsis of a few common food options we have on a regular basis. I've included them below as I thought they were insightful. Every time we make a healthy small decision it leads us closer to our larger goal of wellness. STRAWBERRIES *VS* BLUEBERRIES Both are health all-stars, but a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that blueberries (particularly wild ones) showed the most antioxidant activity of all the fruits tested. These antioxidants help keep your immune system strong.

CHICKEN BREAST *VS* TURKEY BREAST Both breast meats are free of saturated fat, but turkey has three additional grams of protein per three-ounce serving, plus more iron and selenium. This enzyme works as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radicals that may contribute to cancer and heart disease. HEALTHY CHOICE: Make your own lunch meat to avoid the excess sodium in most deli turkey. Bake turkey breasts and slice thinly. PEANUT BUTTER *VS* ALMOND BUTTER Almond butter has more calcium and magnesium, a mineral that's often lacking in diets. While the two nut butters contain about the same amount of fat, the almond variety has 60 percent more monounsaturated fat. When consumed in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated fat lowers harmful LDL levels to help decrease heart disease and stroke risk. Almond butter also has three times more vitamin E, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer risk. HEALTHY CHOICE: Use almond butter instead of PB on your bagel. Blend it into a postrun smoothie, or stir it into oatmeal. SPINACH *VS* KALE Kale's nutritional might would win over even Popeye. Gram for gram, kale contains four times more vitamin C, and one and a half times the amount of immune boosting vitamin A and vitamin K. "Vitamin K ensures that blood clots properly," says Eberle, "but it's also needed to make a bone protein essential for strong, healthy bones." Kale contains three times more lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants deposited in the retina that work together to protect eye health. HEALTHY CHOICE: Make kale "chips": Spread bite-sized pieces on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil, season with a small amount of crushed sea salt, and bake for 15 minutes (until crisp). COW'S MILK *VS* GOAT'S MILK When Spanish researchers compared cow's and goat's milk from animals raised under similar conditions, they found that both have the same amount of essential amino acids. But goat's milk contains a larger percentage of omega-3 fats, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA). Studies suggest CLA has a number of effects, including lowering cancer risk, improving bone health, and helping reduce body fat. WHEAT BREAD *VS* RYE BREAD According to a study in the Nutrition Journal, researchers in Sweden found that participants who ate rye bread for breakfast experienced less hunger later in the day compared with those who ate wheat bread. Hanna Isaksson, the lead study author, believes that rye's ability to quell hunger is due to its high fiber count. Rye can have up to eight grams of fiber per slice—even more than whole wheat. Olive Oil *VS* Canola Oil: Earthy, rich-tasting extra-virgin olive oil contains more anti-inflammatory compounds than canola oil. Use it when you make dips, pesto, and vinaigrettes. So next time you are at the market choose wisely, choose wellness.

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