Guys, I’m talking to you - did you know June is Men’s Health Month? The purpose of this yearly initiative is to heighten your awareness of preventable health problems and encourage the early detection and treatment of any disease that may be lurking about. A proven way to help lessen your chance of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other medical issues is to eat a well-balanced diet of whole foods. So, do you want to be a soft and squishy loaf of white bread or a healthy and lean, clean-eating machine?
Many guys have told me that the lack of time and cooking skills are the primary obstacles keeping them from a nutritious meal – some also mention the expense of healthy foods. Well, my recipe for Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls with Chipotle Cream makes all of these excuses null and void – it’s quick, easy and cheap. Oh, and it tastes better than take-out food, too! Canned beans, sweet potato and frozen corn keep the cost down while prepared pico de gallo, Litehouse Food’s Chipotle Greek Yogurt Opadipity Dip keep it tasty and convenient. The only cooking skills required are chopping a sweet potato, spreading frozen corn on a baking sheet and turning the oven on.
You can have your burrito bowl and eat it too! That’s because this dish is brimming with an abundance of superfoods including black beans, sweet potato, spinach and avocado. These healthy ingredients are all over-achievers when it comes to providing your body the vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients needed to perform optimally. For example, black beans are packed with protein, have no saturated fat and are the highest-fiber legume around – they will keep you feeling full for a good, long while. Just a four ounce serving of sweet potato meets more than 100 percent of your daily need for beta carotene and is also a great source of iron and vitamin C and E. Not only do the antioxidents in sweet potatoes help protect against cellular damage, but experts say they are first rate when it comes to a post-workout recovery meal.
Spinach is packed with iron, calcium and magnesium, along with many other nutrients that are important for men of all ages. Spinach has been linked to the prevention of certain cancers and medical professionals often recommend spinach to those with high blood pressure – the high potassium content negates the effects of sodium in the body. Most men I know love avocados and this fondness for the creamy, quirky fruit is a good thing. Avocados are a powerhouse of nutrition, loaded with fiber and an impressive source of protein for a fruit – avocados are also more abundant in potassium than bananas, who knew?! While avocados are fairly high in calories, the calories come from heart healthy fat that actually aids in satiety; some research reports that the filling feeling avocados create will help keep your weight in check. If inclined, you can even make a couple batches of this vegetarian burrito bowl recipe to take to work all week – your wallet, waistline and overall health will thank you. Enjoy!