7 Tips to a Healthier St. Patrick’s Day

fresh green cabbage fruit isolated on white 1) Load up on cabbage. Be generous when dishing up your cabbage; make it the largest proportion of foods offered. Cabbage has only 17 calories for a 1/2 cup cooked and is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and powerful phytonutrients. All of the above strengthen our body’s immune system, and fight cancer as well as inflammation. Try sautéing, roasting or steaming cabbage to retain the most nutrients.

Purple potatoes2) Switch to purple potatoes. While white potatoes cause inflammation, purple potatoes decrease inflammation in the body. Also, the carbohydrate in purple potatoes is released more slowly into the bloodstream, making blood sugars and body weight easier to manage. Purple potatoes have 4 times as much antioxidants than white potatoes and include powerful anthocyanins (from the purple pigment) which help protect us from cancer and heart disease, as well as strengthen our immune system and protect against age-related memory loss. The extra antioxidants in purple potatoes make them even more effective in regulating blood pressure than white potatoes. This Roasted Potato Medley recipe uses a variety of colored potatoes including purple ones for delicious flavor, visual attractiveness, and more nutrition.

Roasted Vegetable Mix3) Eat small amounts of corned beef. While the cabbage should be the biggest portion on your plate, the meat should be the smallest. One 3-oz portion of corned beef contains a little over 16 g of fat and 964 mg of sodium. You can still enjoy your meal –  just cut your meat portion in half or more, and cut your corned beef into smaller bites to make it go farther. Your brain won’t know the difference if you don’t think about it.

Roasted Potato Kale Salad without wordssm4) Add other vegetables to the mix. A variety of vegetables offers more healthy options and dilutes less healthy food. Roasted vegetables add a delicious caramelized taste, or serve this Roasted Purple Potato Kale Salad for a St. Patrick twist.

5) Chew your food until there is nothing left. The slower you eat each bite, the better you can digest your food. In turn, the more nutrients you will obtain from that food and the less you’ll eat. Chewing your food isn’t a new directive, but recent studies have confirmed that this old and simple advice is more powerful for your health and your waistline than previously imagined.

Frozen Lime Pie6) Avoid green food coloring. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, many food dyes are potentially dangerous and may even cause allergic reactions. Use foods that are naturally green to provide fun and festive green we all enjoy on this day. Avocados and leafy greens, perhaps. How about kiwis to make a festive dessert or fruit salad that is rich in nutrients? Go green, naturally!

7) Eat, drink and be merry in moderation. Limit your alcohol for a more memorable evening. Alcohol packs on the pounds, while other options still provide fun as well as super nutrition. Provide other alcohol-free festive green drinks using kiwi and limes, for example. Even water can transform into a fun beverage when laced with cucumbers and /or mint.