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Pack Meals With Superfoods to Maximize Healthy Resolutions

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- For the majority of Americans who are unhappy with their weight at any given moment, the New Year brings mixed emotions: the renewed resolution to shed pounds and the challenge of learning how to eat right to reach those goals. Helping to bridge the gap between resolutions and reality, nutrition expert Keri Glassman, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., identifies foods that pack an unexpected nutritious punch.

Mushrooms are one such example - a best-kept secret to make any diet possible thanks to their flavor, value, nutrition and versatility. "Mushrooms have emerged as a nutritional powerhouse," says Glassman of the hidden treasure that provides B-vitamins, antioxidants and vitamin D. "I recommend tossing a handful of nutrient-dense mushrooms into your favorite everyday dishes, from salads to pastas. They're easy to prepare and once you start dabbling with mushrooms, you'll want to share this superfood with everyone," adds Glassman.

According to Glassman, the overall approach for success should be to focus on adding, not subtracting, from current eating plans. While you want to limit things such as refined carbs, processed foods and unhealthy fats from your diet, the emphasis should be on adding a few superfoods that can help maintain or whittle your waistline while adding important nutrients, such as antioxidants and vitamin D.

Surprising Secrets to Slim-Down Success

Learning more about these superfoods can help transform the way you look at meals. Instead of feeling like a food victim, plagued by calorie counting and the scale, become a diet champion by choosing nutrient-rich foods that not only help you maintain your weight, but can improve your overall health in the process. Keri Glassman suggests the following tips for boosting antioxidants in her newest book, The O2 Diet:

  • Sprinkle Chile peppers into your favorite dish. Aside from containing the beneficial antioxidant capsaicin, it's been shown that people who eat meals with spice feel less hungry as a result.
  • Start each meal with vegetables: a starter salad is an easy way to pack in antioxidants and will help keep you full. Toss in artichokes, mushrooms and bell peppers for extra antioxidants.
  • Make time for green tea; it's rich in antioxidants called catechins, which may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decrease body fat.
  • Spice up your day with a little cinnamon, and you may find that the smell alone is enough to curb fatigue, ease frustration, and increase alertness.
  • Don't let the pressure to eat perfect become the enemy of eating well. Sure it's great to choose the foods highest in antioxidants and lowest in fat, but it's important to keep nutrition in perspective and not fixate on the details.

Extended Health Benefits of Mushrooms

  • Weight management: Preliminary research suggests increasing intake of low-energy density-foods (meaning few calories given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal.(1) Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium.
  • Vitamin D: Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable with vitamin D. The top three selling mushroom varieties (button, crimini and portabella) have vitamin D ranging from 1 to 97 percent of the Daily Value (400 IU) per raw 84 gram serving. Scientists are currently exploring links between low vitamin D status and increased risk for a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Antioxidants: Within the produce aisle, mushrooms are the leading source of the antioxidant selenium. Antioxidants, like selenium, protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. They help to strengthen the immune system as well.
  • Essential nutrients: Mushrooms provide B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. B vitamins also play an important role in the nervous system.

To learn more about the health benefits of mushrooms visit or schedule an interview with Keri Glassman.

The Mushroom Council is composed of fresh market producers or importers who average more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms produced or imported annually. The mushroom program is authorized by the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990 and is administered by the Mushroom Council under the supervision of the Agricultural Marketing Service. Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual agricultural commodities in the United States and abroad. These industry self-help programs are requested and funded by the industry groups that they serve. For more information on the Mushroom Council, visit

Keri Glassman's new book, The O2 Diet, empowers people to live a more nutritious life by translating complex scientific research on antioxidants and free radicals into useful and useable tools that everyday people can benefit from. The book promotes a nutrient-dense, high-antioxidant diet based on scientific research on antioxidants and the ORAC scale (ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, and the scale measures how well the components of a food "mop up" the free radicals in the bloodstream).

(1) Cheskin LJ, Davis LM, Lipsky LM, Mitola AH, Lycan T, Mitchell V, Mickle B, Adkins E. Lack of energy compensation over 4 days when white button mushrooms are substituted for beef. Appetite. 2008:51;50-57.

    Kirsten Stahlberg

SOURCE The Mushroom Council

SOURCE The Mushroom Council
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