ABC's of a Balanced Diet (Part 3)

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Everyone has heard of an ABC book: a fun, easy way for children to associate words with a letter or picture. We at Andreano Chiropractic thought it would be fun to put our own spin on this and write a blog post about a healthy food associated with each letter of the alphabet that can be used to help build a healthy balanced diet in your life. This is the third entry in this series; if you are looking for letters A-G, click here!

A bowl of quinoa

Q is for Quinoa

Quinoa is a great, healthy food that is not talked about enough. A one-cup serving (185 grams) contains 222 calories, 8.4 grams of protein, 39.4 grams of carbohydrates, 5.2 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.55 grams of fats. As shown in its nutrition, it is a very macro-rich food. It is also rich in minerals such as zinc, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and vitamins such as vitamins B9, B2, and B2.

A bunch of Raspberries

R is for Raspberries

Raspberries are a great fruit to include in any balanced diet. It tastes great, is good for you, and can be easily incorporated into smoothies that can blend various other healthy fruits and vegetables. Per a 1-cup serving of raspberries (123 grams), there are 65 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, with 5 of which being natural sugars and 8 being dietary fibers, 1.5 grams of protein, and only 0.8 grams of fat. On top of their great natural sugars and fibers and low-calorie count, raspberries are rich in Vitamin C and manganese.

A dish of steak with asparagus and carrots.

S is for Steak

Steak is a delicacy for sure, and a healthy one at that. Steak is rich in protein, which makes it a great contender for this list. Although there are various types of steak, the filet mignon/tenderloin has (per 3-ounce serving) 170 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 26 grams of protein, which is great. The top sirloin cut has (per 3-ounce serving) 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 26 grams of protein. Both cuts are high in protein and have a relatively low calorie count. Eating either of these cuts (or almost any cut of steak in general) can be a great meal for achieving a calorie surplus, which is great for putting on muscle and gaining weight. Regarding this entry, less is better, and grass-fed is best. How do you like your steak cooked?

Thyme Plant

T is for Thyme

Thyme itself is not a meal; rather, it is a great herb that can be added to many meals and adds a distinct smell and taste to the dish. Thyme is a great source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic properties. We recommend keeping this herb in your kitchen.

Unagi on a leafy vegetable

U is for Unagi

For this entry on the list, we will change the culinary culture and visit Japan. Unagi is a Japanese freshwater eel, a delicacy in its originating nation and a common ingredient in various dishes. 

Its taste is described as being slightly sweet, similar to salmon. It would taste delicious if you could smoke unagi and give it a glaze of unagi sauce or garlic-infused honey, especially over white rice.

A 100-gram serving would contain 225-330 calories, 3-5 grams of carbs, 20-23 grams of fat, and 15-22 grams of protein (the range depends on the eel and how it is prepared). This dish is clearly macro-rich, and it is also high in Vitamin B12 (46% of Daily value), Vitamin A (60% of DV), and Vitamin E (17% of DV). Some might hesitate at the thought of eating eel, but it is not only delicious but extremely nutritious.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

V is for Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese spring rolls are delicious and can be made in various ways. In Northern Vietnam, this dish is called “gỏi cuốn,” which translates to “salad rolls,” and in Central Vietnam, they are called “rice paper” rolls. With these terms defined, the Vietnamese Spring Roll is a small salad wrapped in rice paper, which gives it so much potential and variety in preparation. Experiment with this; include lettuce, chicken, spinach, tomatoes, crab, shrimp, rice noodles, pork belly, and maybe some peppers; just have fun with it. Peanut sauce also works wonders on spring rolls and adds a whole new layer of flavor.

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