Move over Batman, there is a new superhero in town
Superfoods to the Rescue!
What are they?
Superfoods are amazing – they are foods that are jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and some even have capabilities of fighting your cholesterol levels while you sleep. Also known as functional foods, they do MORE than just provide calories – they do super things like fight disease, boost immunity or boost your eyesight. There are SO many different kinds of superfoods out there but let’s start with everyday foods – foods you DON’T have to run to a health foods specialty store to find. It’s easy to be intimidated by foods that you know nothing about, but what if I told you that you probably have these super foods in your pantry already? Let’s get rid of the empty calories and get a bang for your buck with superfoods.
It would definitely win in a nutrient fight against white rice. The main difference? The white rice has gone through the refining process. Hint: white rice used to be brown rice. Brown rice still has the hull and bran intact so that is why it’s the winner. It’s higher in fiber, which is ideal for heart health and diabetes blood sugar control. It contains selenium for reducing the risk for things like cancer or arthritis and manganese which helps with our nervous systems. Try brown rice in place of white rice with any meal. As a side, as a bed underneath some grilled chicken, or in a stir fry. Watch out for your serving size though – it’s easy to go over the 1 cup COOKED serving suggestion.
You didn’t think I’d write a list on superfoods and not put kale on the list, right? This leafy green fights off disease – especially ovarian and breast cancers. It’s high in carotenoids, which helps with that vision and has 3 grams of protein in every cup. Kale is fiber rich – which helps stabilize blood sugars and helps keep you fuller, longer) and also has a type of Omega 3 Fatty Acids that we need to get from food (not as much as salmon, but we’ll take it!). Vitamin A, C and K – the list goes on and on! There are too many health benefits from kale for you to make any excuses about this one. TRY IT! Add some to a smoothie, make some kale chips or a fresh kale salad with your dinner.
One word: lycopene. It’s an amazing antioxidant that fights off multiple types of cancer and it’s what gives tomatoes their bright red coloring. Potassium, fiber, vitamin C – oh my! Try planting them in your garden this year and reap the amazing health benefits, Add them to your sandwiches, make your own marinara or Caprese salad.
Don’t be fooled by these sweet little treats – they are real fighters. Blueberries are great at fighting off free radicals, the cancer causing and aging cells. They have also been known to fight off diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease and dementia. Add them to your smoothie, have them as an afternoon snack or put them in your pancakes for a fun Saturday morning
Beta-carotene and fiber are the two biggies here. Prevention of macular degeneration and cancers are a huge benefit of beta-carotene. The fiber definitely helps with gut health and digestion. They are rich in vitamin C (immune booster), potassium (vasodilator) and also help with oral health by increasing saliva content to help decrease bacteria. Eat them raw as a snack, add them to a crockpot for soups or your smoothie!
1 cup of black beans has 15 grams of protein. Wow! And since they are plants, they are naturally cholesterol free and saturated fat-free. Get a boost of energy from iron, reduce your cholesterol with fiber and fight disease with antioxidants. Add black beans to your pasta sauce, your brownie mix or my personal fav, TACO NIGHT!
The phytonutrients in broccoli can actually suppress tumor growing cells and reduce your risk for cancer. It’s a great source of vitamin C which helps boost your immunity and wards off sickness. Fiber, Folic Acid, and selenium are more great nutrients found in broccoli. Steam and serve as a side, add to your favorite pasta sauce or put them in a casserole – either way, the florets are a must.
Hello, probiotics! I’m sure by now you have heard of this friendly bacteria found in yogurt. Probiotics help aid in digestive health and regularity when the live strain is in yogurt. Since yogurt comes from milk, you will reap the protein benefits (about 9 grams per 6 oz) plus the other goodness from dairy products (calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B2, B12). So grab a container with your breakfast or add to a smoothie today!
Did you know that our bodies do not produce Omega 3 Fatty Acids? Therefore you need to get them from foods. Salmon is a great source for Omega 3s (which reduce inflammation and improve your heart health my improving circulation and cholesterol levels) as well as selenium and B vitamins. Throw it on your grill for the main dish (3 oz portion), add some grilled salmon to any salad bed or pasta and get ready to eat heart healthy.
Bottom line, superfoods are super great. Try adding them to your every day eating. Already get one or more of these foods every day? Try making it every meal. Food is medicine – make your food work for you today 🙂