Health & Fitness
Dec 11, 2008

Food for thought

By: Tammy Sutherland
Elle Canada
Health & Fitness
Dec 11, 2008

Food for thought

By: Tammy Sutherland

1. How many servings of grain products should you eat each day?
a) 2-3
b) 4-5
c) 6-7
d) Carbs? Are you kidding?

2. Which food has the highest concentration of vitamin C?
a) Brussel sprouts
b) Oranges
c) Cauliflower
d) Papaya

3. What spice is often used as a natural remedy to help ease menstrual cramps, prevent morning sickness, and improve digestion?
a) Ginger
b) Garlic
c) Cinnamon
d) Oregano

4. A single serving of nuts should be:
a) 1/8 cup
b) 1/4 cup
c) 1/2 cup
d) 1 cup

5. How much folic acid is in a cup of cooked spinach?
a) 230 mcg
b) 365 mcg
c) 400 mcg
d) 513 mcg

6. Which of the following options contains the most caffeine?
a) Diet cola
b) Green tea
c) Chocolate mousse
d) Brewed coffee

7. What should you eat to add more fibre to your diet?
a) Lentils
b) Whole grain breads and cereals
c) Fruits and vegetables
d) All of the above

8. What snack food can help make your skin look fantastic?
a) Gummy worms
b) Dark chocolate
c) Tortilla chips
d) Frozen yogurt

9. If you're suffering from depression, fatigue, dry skin, joint pain and an inability to concentrate, what could be missing from your diet?
a) Calcium
b) Zinc
c) Omega-3 fatty acids
d) Vitamin B12

10. How often should you eat?
a) Whenever you feel hungry
b) Every few hours
c) Three square meals a day
d) All day long, a little bit at a time

Find the answers on the next page...

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Answers – 1 point for every correct answer.

1. Answer: C

According to Canada's Food Guide, women aged 19-50 years should have 6 to 7 servings of grain products, such as brown rice, quinoa, whole grain breads and oatmeal, every day. These fibre rich foods not only help you feel full, but choosing whole grain options may also help reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Answer: D
While all of the foods listed are great sources of concentrated vitamin C, papaya is the winner. You can also add red bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi and kale to the shopping list.

3. Answer: A
Ginger, which can be used in its fresh form or taken as a capsule, tea or tincture, is also used to treat colds, arthritis, heartburn, high cholesterol and more. However, since it is a natural remedy, you may want to consult your doctor, particularly if you suffer from high or low blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.

4. Answer: B
Nuts are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, which give you healthy hair and skin while helping to control your blood pressure, but they're also high in calories. By measuring out a 1/4 cup, you're getting all the benefits without overindulging. Include all sorts of nuts in your diet, such as almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios, but be sure to choose dry roasted varieties, without added oils or salt.

5. Answer: A
Cooked spinach is an excellent source of folic acid, but you should actually aim to actually ingest about 700 mcg a day – more if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant – so a supplement is in order. Looking for more foods rich in folic acid? Try lentils, avocados and black-eyed peas. (The food, not the band!)

6. Answer: D
The winner is brewed coffee at 135mg per 8oz, with diet cola coming in second at 39-50mg per can. Green tea is in third place at 30mg per 8oz and the chocolate mousse is in last place at 15mg. Health Canada says that the average adult can have about 400mg per day without any adverse side effects, but women who are planning to become pregnant, are currently pregnant or who are breast feeding should limit their intake to no more than 300mg per day.

7. Answer: D
All of these foods, along with beans, will add much needed fibre to your diet. According to the Dietitians of Canada, women need to consume about 25g per day, yet many Canadians eat less than half that amount. If you're one of them, increase your daily dose slowly and drink plenty of fluids to reap the benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and certain types of cancer.

8. Answer: B
The antioxidant compounds in cocoa can improve your skin's texture, thickness, hydration and blood flow. It may even make it more resistant to sun damage! But don't eschew your sunscreen just yet and don't overindulge on the chocolate. A few ounces a day will go a long way.

9. Answer: C
Omega-3 fatty acids may sound sort of scary, but they do great things for your body! Try sprinkling flaxseeds on your cereal, walnuts in your salad and grill some salmon for dinner to get your daily dose.

10. Answer: B
To keep your energy level constant, the Dietitians of Canada recommend eating every 3 to 4 hours. Waiting too long between meals could result in a desperate hungry feeling that leaves you reaching for high-fat and high-calorie choices, while grazing all day could cause the calories to add up to far more than you need.

Find your score on the next page...

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If you scored:

0-3 points
Nutrition Newbie

You're just getting the hang of this whole “eating right” idea, but take heart! We've just armed you with a whole bunch of excellent information, so you can start making smart choices every day.

4-7 points
Decent Diner

Sounds like you've got a pretty good idea about what you should be eating, but there's always room for improvement. Look to super healthy friends for guidance.

8-10 points
Expert Eater

Congratulations! You know what to nosh on to keep yourself in tip-top condition. Feel free to spread the good eating gospel to family and friends, but try not to give anyone a hard time over the odd cupcake.

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5 ways to boost your energy now!

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Health & Fitness

Food for thought