Super Foods

Part of eating healthy is making sure you have a variety of healthy foods in your daily diet.  Do you ever feel like you are eating the same foods week after week?  Can’t really come up with any new foods to include into your weekly meal plans.  Planning your meals can take a lot of thought and time, especially if you are trying to get it right.

How about including superstar foods into your daily diet?  These foods won’t give you the ability to fly like Superman but they are bursting with complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, “good” fats and vitamins and minerals.  They can give you the boost you need to get through the day.  Remember if you are what you eat….then that makes you a superstar too!

Get excited about your next trip to the grocery store.  Challenge yourself and see how many superstar foods you can get into your grocery cart by the time you check out.

Beans:  Add beans into your daily diet.  Using fresh, frozen or dried are your better choices.  You can use canned beans just watch out for the sodium.  You may need to start out slow to help alleviate any stomach discomfort but your ultimate goal is daily.  Beans are very economical,  so versatile and jam-packed with health promoting nutrients. 1 serving = about ½ cup

Quinoa:  You say what???   (pronounced KEEN-wah).  This grain is actually considered a “complete” protein which is great news for vegetarians.  It is also Gluten-free.  Cook it just like rice, bringing 2 cups water to a boil and adding 1 cup Quinoa.  Use it often in the place of rice, you get more bang for your buck with this grain.  Try it as a cold or hot rice pilaf salad or even as a hot cereal; just add nuts, berries or honey.   1 serving = about 1/3 cup before cooking

 

Blueberries:  Grocery stores are plentiful with blueberries these days.  These little delightful blue fruits are jam-   packed with a variety of nutrients including phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. These life-preserving fruits     are known to help protect us against many diseases including heart disease and cancer.  1 serving = about ½ cup

Almonds:   Who would have thought that tiny almonds could help you stay healthy in a BIG way.  About 23      almonds (a small handful or 1oz) can help decrease your risk of heart disease and can even help lower LDL  cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by 4.4 percent.  These nuts can also help control weight; researchers have found that natural whole almonds have just the right balance of protein, fat and fiber to keep you feeling full.  Keep your eyes open…new research may suggest that almonds have a positive effect on controlling blood sugar.  As a side note, please be careful with flavored almonds.  These products have a whole lot more sodium than just your plain ol’ almond.

 

Broccoli:  Learn to love your green vegetables, or that’s at least what I tell myself.  For the most part I do love my green vegetables but to be honest broccoli is not my favorite.  For those of you in my position remember this….broccoli can be eaten so many ways.  Cooked plain, served raw, found in casseroles, soups, pastas.  It really is a versatile cruciferous vegetable that is packed full of health promoting nutrients.  1 serving = atleast ½ cup daily

Dark Chocolate:  Awww, at last.  Not only does chocolate taste so good, but now it is also good for you!  Researchers tell us that dark chocolate is exploding with antioxidants.  It can help decrease LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and promote healthy blood flow.  Remember, this isn’t a license to eat as much as you want.  Keep your serving size to .5-1oz daily and make sure it is dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa.

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