Healthy Eating with Global Flavors
March brings us National Nutrition Month® and this year’s theme Celebrate a World of Flavors embraces cuisines and flavors from cultures around the world. Celebrating flavors from cultures around the world is a tasty way to nourish ourselves and appreciate our diversity. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! A healthy plate can include foods from all parts of the globe.
Regardless of your food choices, follow these guidelines for a healthy plate: make ½ your plate fruits and vegetables; make ¼ protein such as lean meat, poultry, seafood, or beans; make the remaining ¼ grains, preferably whole grains, such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, or quinoa.
Nutritious meals can fit within any cultural preference
Examples of healthy plate menu items from some global cuisines include:
Chinese: Stir-fried chicken and vegetables such as bok choy, snap peas, carrots and bean sprouts; brown rice; and a dish of mango
Italian: Minestrone soup with kidney beans added for protein and fiber; grilled salmon served with gnocchi (flour or potato dumplings) tossed with chopped vegetables and tomato sauce that is rich in the antioxidant lycopene
Greek: A. whole grain pita topped with Greek turkey meatballs with Tzatziki sauce (a creamy dressing of low-fat yogurt, garlic and cucumber) and thinly sliced veggies such as cucumber, tomato and onion
Mexican: Baked corn tortilla tacos filled with grilled chicken, lean steak, or grilled fish and added veggie toppings such as black beans, lettuce, tomato, salsa, avocado and cilantro
Indian: Chana Masala (chickpeas stewed in a sauce made from onions, tomatoes and spices that include anti-inflammatory turmeric) served with roti (unleavened whole wheat flatbread)
No matter what cuisines you prefer, there are healthy and tasty options. Cultural dishes can often be made with simple ‘tweaks’ that maintain the authenticity while boosting the nutrition. Think about using March as a time to expand your meals and tantalize your taste buds by trying a new globally inspired dish into your diet.