Taylor Swift is riding high on the release of her new album, 1989. Big deal! It’s Jessica Swift we’re interested in for her knowledge of food and nutrition during the holiday season.
You’ve discussed the anti-aging positives of legumes and berries. What other changes can people make to prevent aging?
Include more “good” fats in their diet. Oils such as olive contain antioxidants called polyphenols which may help prevent some anti-aging diseases. Also Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like salmon, walnuts, and avocado assist in fighting against the aging of your cardiovascular system..
What if men and women have already aged? Is there anything that can be done in undoing some of this?
Sleep is key! Several studies have linked lack of sleep to accelerated onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss! Most adults require 6-8 hours so please get some Zzz’s.
Regarding your tips on the need for a better school lunch, how can parents who don’t have much money create an all around healthy sack lunch for their kids?
Choose from the rainbow! Whether fresh, frozen or canned; fruits and vegetables contain vital nutrients important for child growth. Fruits and vegetables contain different antioxidants depending on the color of the produce. Try to fit in reds, blues, greens, yellows, etc. When choosing produce on a budget make sure you choose items without added salts, sugars and preservatives.
What comfort foods have you learned are actually good for people?
One of my family’s southern traditions is mashed sweet potatoes. These are usually peeled and sweetened with tons of brown sugar and butter. We have now modified the recipe by making smashed sweet potatoes. We now leave on the skin to take advantage of its fibrous properties, use a little, cinnamon, vanilla and a touch of agave or natural honey!
When you’re exhausted from work, what is your secret food for energy?
Believe it or not, I have quinoa readily available! Quinoa is not only a versatile complex carbohydrate but it is high in protein. I make oatmeal with it in the morning, protein packed salads in the afternoon and throw it on a yogurt, berry and quinoa parfait for a late night treat. I noticed when I eat foods high in protein, I am less hungry and full of energy!
What’s one food you know is bad for you but you indulge in anyway every so often?
Well, it’s not all bad. I love chocolate truffles with cayenne pepper! I use dark chocolate and a sprinkle of cayenne to give me a boost of antioxidant!