KUSA – Want to get the most bang for nutritional buck out of your food? Chances are you aren’t getting the most nutritional mileage out of these foods. Dr. Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD, is a nutrition scientist and registered dietitian at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. She went through a few commonly eaten foods. Greek yogurt Greek yogurt (Photo: Wikipedia) Yogurt You know that watery substance that you often find on top of your Greek yogurt? The one that looks gross and you may have thrown down the sink? Turns out, that is whey, which contains protein and vitamin B12, along with healthy minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Rather than dumping out the whey, just give your yogurt a quick stir so you retain all of its health benefits. Remember to keep it cold, too, because the active cultures can’t survive excessively hot temps. A great way to eat it this summer is to serve your yogurt cold, and pair it with fresh berries and KIND Granola clusters (available at King Soopers or https://www.kindsnacks.com/) for the maximum protein, fiber, and nutrient benefits. Steamed broccoli Steamed broccoli (Photo: Wikipedia) Broccoli Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are loaded up with vitamin C, antioxidants, and compounds associated with cancer prevention. However, a 2004 study in Food Chemistry found that boiling broccoli was associated with a loss of antioxidants, ascorbic acid, phenolics, and carotenoids. To get the full spectrum of nutritional benefits out of these veggies don’t boil them, steam them! Flaxseed Flaxseed (Photo: Wikipedia) Flaxseed Flaxseeds are high in fiber and brain-healthy omega-3s. However, whole flaxseed may pass through your body undigested, so simply stirring them into your yogurt or smoothie isn’t going to reap many nutritional benefits. Grind those flaxseeds or purchase them pre-ground to get the most nutritional value out of them. Generic cluster of strawberries Generic cluster of strawberries (Photo: Wikipedia) Strawberries One of my favorite parts of summer is all the juicy, fresh berries available. Not only because they taste amazing, but because they are so high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Some nutrients, particularly vitamin C, are sensitive to light and oxygen. When you cut into the fruit, you are exposing them to both light and oxygen, and may lead to some nutrient depletion. A 2009 study in the Journal of Food Science demonstrated that to get the most nutritional mileage out of them, you want to avoid cutting them for as long as possible. However, if the only way you are going to eat those fruit and vegetables is by purchasing convenient, already cut fruits and veggies, then by all means. The pre-cut ones are still a much better option than not eating them at all. Frozen food Frozen food (Photo: Wikipedia) Frozen Fruits and Veggies So many people think fresh is best when it comes to fruits and vegetables. However, studies have shown that frozen fruits and veggies (without anything added to them), can be just as, if not more nutritious then their fresh counterparts. This is particularly true for berries, carrots, whole green beans and spinach, which one study showed did not lose much vitamin C when frozen. This is because fruits and vegetables are frozen when they are at their peak of freshness, which preserves their vitamins and nutrients. Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD is a nutrition scientist and registered dietitian at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

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KUSA – Want to get the most bang for nutritional buck out of your food? Chances are you aren’t getting the most nutritional mileage out of these foods. Dr. Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD, is a n... Read More