Miami VA Healthcare System
Recipes that pack a nutritious punch
Welcome to this edition of the Healthy Teaching Kitchen, brought to you by the Miami VA Healthcare System’s Nutrition and Food Services. My name is Reut Cohen, and I’m a registered dietitian at the Miami VA Healthcare System. Finding recipes that are both healthy and delicious can be a challenge. When working with our Veterans, I always teach them how to make healthy substitutions for ingredients found in recipes.
In celebration of National Nutrition Month, I have a few healthy recipes that are sure to pack a nutritious punch. The Southwestern Chicken Wrap and Green Smoothie recipes are high in protein, full of fiber, and have tons of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and potassium.
“Green Smoothie and Southwestern Chicken Wrap”
Dietary fiber is found in all plant-based foods. Some benefits of fiber:
- Helps many people feel satisfied (full) faster
- Helps with regular bowel movements and digestive system health
- Helps lower cholesterol
- May help improve glucose tolerance for people with diabetes
Food sources high in fiber include avocados, black beans, and other fruits and vegetables.
Proteins serve as the building blocks for muscles, bones, skin, cartilage, blood, enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. They play an important role in normal bodily functions and also provide calories.
Food sources that are high in protein include chicken, yogurt, and beans.
Potassium is important for the heart to function. It also helps with muscle contraction, making it important for normal bodily functions like muscle movement and digestion. People with kidney disease may need to be careful of too much potassium in their diets. Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have concerns regarding potassium.
Food sources from the recipes that are high in potassium are bananas and tomatoes.
Vitamin C is helpful for:
- Growing and repairing tissues in the body
- Helping make collagen, which is used to make skin, cartilage, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons
- Healing wounds
- Maintaining bones and teeth
- Helping to absorb iron from non-meat sources
Your body does not store vitamin C, so it is important to get plenty of it from food. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which can help block damage to DNA that may cause faster aging, cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.
Food sources from the recipe that are high in vitamin C are tomatoes, limes and pineapples.
We want to hear from you
Do you have a healthy recipe? We’d love to hear from you! Share your healthy recipes with the Miami VA's Nutrition and Food Services team by calling 305-575-7000, ext. 3070. It could be featured in a future Healthy Teaching Kitchen video. Happy cooking!