Superfoods!Posted on: June 4, 2012Categories: LiveWell 24/7
SuperFoods – What are those?
“Superfood” is a popular term in the health food industry. It refers to foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. Since the magic health pill has yet to be invented, superfoods are the body’s answer. These antioxidant-rich foods reduce the risk for fatal diseases like cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, while allowing us to meet our daily nutritional requirements.
Superfoods require healthy preparation. Be sure to purchase fresh rather than canned fruit, and don’t add sugar. Try to consume vegetables raw whenever possible, and avoid unhealthy dips and dressings like ranch or blue cheese. For a healthy alternative, mix mustard with a bit of honey. When cooking superfoods like salmon and barley, use olive oil–another superfood–instead of butter.
Superfoods provide a variety of health benefits. Since they’re low in calories, superfoods are a great way to lose or control weight. Many superfoods are also high in fiber, which promotes digestive health; calcium, which promotes bone health; or omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health.
Many people adopt an all or nothing philosophy to nutrition, but this shouldn’t be the case. It’s nearly impossible to give up all unhealthy foods and consume only superfoods. The key is to eat as many superfoods as possible and practice portion control with everything else.
Here are the reasons these foods have made the list of the SUPERFOODS of choice!
1. EGGS! – A relatively inexpensive protein source loaded with nutrients, eggs certainly earn their superfood status. A single large egg is just about 70 calories and offers six grams of protein. Eggs are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for normal body function and heart health!
2. Almonds – Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, meaning they offer the highest concentration of nutrients per calorie per ounce. For just 190 calories, a one-ounce serving provides 3.4 grams of fiber and a healthy dose of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron. Plus, you can eat them in butter form!
3. Salmon – This heart-healthy fish is packed with protein and a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, which studies suggest may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And bonus points: Salmon may also protect skin from the sun and damaging rays!
4. Watermelon – Low in sugar and high in vitamins A and C, this summer treat is the prefect fresh, low-calorie snack. Studies suggest watermelon could also potentially lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And the lycopene in watermelon could help protect the body from UV rays and help prevent cancer!
5. Spinach – Antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins that promote vision and bone health are what make spinach so exceptional! And those bones will be thanking spinach, too! Just one cup of the stuff packs up to 12 percent of the recommended daily dose of calcium and enough vitamin K to help prevent bone loss. (Think Popeye!) 🙂
6. Broccoli – This lean and super mean veggie is packed with vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting compounds, and the fiber essential for any diet. Though all members of the cruciferous vegetable family are super-duper healthy (like cauliflower), broccoli stands out for its exceptionally high levels of vitamin C and folate.
7. Strawberries – Vitamin C is the superstar of this superfood. Just one cup of these red beauties satisfies the daily requirement for vitamin C (74 milligrams per day for women, 90 for men). Studies suggest the antioxidant helps build and repair the body’s tissues, boosts immunity, and fights excess free radical damage!
Make sure some of these are in your grocery cart this week!