Nutrition tips and a healthy recipe from nutritionist Joy Bauer.
Combining good taste with good health is a challenge. One person up for that challenge is Westchester resident Joy Bauer, host of NBC's "Health & Happiness" and the health and nutrition expert on the TODAY Show, whose motto is “Life is hard, food is easy.”
Many of the mouth-watering meals Bauer makes are rich in nutrients and vitamins, and she shares some healthy facts about foods that are commonly found in the kitchen:
- Beans are the ultimate heart food, providing plant-based protein. In particular, black beans have a high fiber content that helps prevent constipation and are low in sodium and contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which have been found to decrease blood pressure.
- “Tomatoes contain lycopene, which can reduce the risk of certain cancers,” says Bauer. “They help protect our skin from the sun’s rays, have a lot of vitamin C and are an immune booster.”
- There’s a myth that bananas are fattening. One banana has approximately 105 calories. They’re naturally sweet and contain potassium, which helps to flush out excess water in our bodies.
- Kosher salt. “When a recipe calls for a tablespoon of salt, keep in mind that one tablespoon of table salt has more sodium per teaspoon than kosher salt,” notes Bauer. “Most kosher and sea salts have larger particles and are coarser, so they contain less sodium, which is especially helpful for anyone trying to keep track of their blood pressure."
- Research shows that eating onions may help reduce heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels and inflammation.
“When someone asks me about good nutrition, I say ‘Eat the foods you love that love you back,’ Bauer notes. “By paying attention to what you put in your body and how much, you can also reap the benefits of increased energy, boosting your immune system and living a longer life.”
Here’s a recipe from Bauer for Tex Mex Soup to try at home:
1 large diced red onion
1 large chopped bell red pepper
1 medium chopped carrot
1 celery stalk
Sautee for 7 minutes
2 minced garlic cloves
1 ½ tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of paprika, sweet or smoky.
6 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth.
28 ounces of canned fire roasted tomatoes – with the liquid.
1 can minced black beans (drained).
Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Add shredded reduced 2% cheese (regular cheese has a lot of saturated fat).
3 cups of shredded chicken remove the skin.
I cup of corn (optional)
Let simmer for 5 minutes
Top with scallions, cilantro or parsley, tortilla chips and lime wedges.
And for a topper make tortilla Strips...
While waiting for the soup to boil, cut several tortilla wraps into small strips. Put in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, ½ teaspoon of chili powder.
Spray non-stick oil and put on baking sheet. Put in oven for 12 minutes. Turn and let sit.
Joy L. Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, is the host of NBC's "Health & Happiness" and the health and nutrition expert on The Today Show. The author of 12 bestsellers, Bauer is a monthly columnist for Woman's Day and the official nutritionist for the New York City Ballet.