When NASA sends its first manned mission to Mars, it’s going to have to be careful about the foods it chooses for the astronauts to eat on their long journey. Space aboard the ship will be at a premium and there will be no food waiting for the astronauts once they land on Mars. So, which healthy foods will be part of the astronauts’ daily diet? NASA officials have narrowed it down to five selections. These five healing foods were chosen for their vitamin and mineral content and their nutritional versatility.
In no particular order, here they are: soy; potatoes; wheat; peanuts; and tomatoes. Why these five foods, and not others? According to NASA, these choices are not only good sources of food. but also contain oils that can be used with other foods. They can also be processed into a variety of other food products such as flour and soy milk cheese.
Nutritionally, let’s take a moment to explore why NASA chose these five foods. Soy, as you may already know, is a very versatile food. It can be made into soy milk, soy cheese and tofu — to name just a few. Nutritionally, it contains a number of beneficial ingredients. By replacing some of your meals that include meat and dairy with soy instead, you could potentially improve your intake of folate, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber. You could also help reduce your cholesterol levels.
Peanuts, though excluded from many diets due to allergies, are actually a very healthful food when eaten in moderation. They contain protein, manganese, tryptophan, vitamin B3,and folate. They’re also a very good source of monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in a heart-healthy diet.
Whole wheat contains manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, and fiber and can be used in an astonishing variety of recipes. And, as for potatoes and tomatoes, they’re both full of vitamin C. Potatoes also contain a healthy dose of potassium, vitamin B6, and tryptophan. Tomatoes contain vitamin A, vitamin K, and lycopene — a powerful antioxidant. Like wheat, these two foods are very versatile and can be used at breakfast, lunch or dinner in combination with other foods to boost nutritional value.
Even if you aren’t planning a trip to Mars anytime soon, these five foods can help fuel your body as it makes its way through each day.
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