I had an article about super foods and I thought that it would be a good idea to list some great super foods here for all of you! Now there are many natural products that are powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, put you in a better mood and have no side effects! These Super Foods can be found easily at any grocery store or farmers market!
These pack a high amount of nutritional goodness into a small package. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, are low in calories, and high in water and fiber to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. And their flavors satisfy sweets cravings for a fraction of the calories in baked goods. Blueberries are the berries that are best because they are one of the best sources of antioxidants and are widely available. Cranberries are also widely available fresh, frozen, or dried. All kinds of berries add flavor and nutrition to numerous dishes, from salads and cereals to baked goods and yogurt.
Sweet Potatoes are a member of the dark orange vegetable family, which are very high in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato for a baked white potato, and before you add butter or sugar, taste the sweetness that develops when a sweet potato is cooked — and think of all the calories you can save over that loaded baked potato.
This green vegetable is one of America’s favorite vegetables because it tastes good and is available all year long. It’s a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. You can eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. Eat it as a side dish, or toss into grains, egg dishes, soups, and salads.
This is a super food because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help protect heart health. Which is why the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon twice a week. Salmon is low in calories, has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat. You can simply grill or bake it, top it with salsas or other low-fat sauces, or serve it on top of salad greens.
Beans are very good for your heart, they are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They’re also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. Beans can easily substitute for meat or poultry as the centerpiece of a meal but they also work as a side dish, or tossed into soups, stews, or egg dishes.
Quinoa is a whole grains that is now readily available in many supermarkets. It also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley. Try to make at least half your daily grain servings whole grains. In addition to quinoa, try different whole grains like, barley, oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, wild rice, and millet.
Kiwis are among the most nutritionally dense fruits and full of antioxidants. One large kiwi supplies your daily requirement for vitamin C, it’s also a good source of potassium, fiber, and a decent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which is one of the missing nutrients, and kiwi is one of the only fruits that provides it.
Now nuts do have a higher fat content but they are also full of protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidants. You just need to control your portion of them! All nuts are healthful in small doses, and studies show they can help lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss. Some brands have 100 calorie packs that are the perfect amount!
These are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. If you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight without significantly affecting cholesterol levels. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory.
Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt
Yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. It can also be enhanced with other good-for-you substances. Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories. Versatile yogurt can also be used in entree and bakery recipes, in dips for veggies, etc.
Dark chocolate seems to contribute to lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, and ultimately contributing to a healthy heart. Make sure that if you are eating chocolate for its health benefits that it’s dark chocolate and not milk or white (which actually has very little if any cocoa in it at all!) This is another superfood that should be eaten in moderation since it is high in calories.
These are great foods that you should incorporate into your daily diet to improve your health! My favorites are berries, yogurt, nuts and dark chocolate. What are yours?