Super Foods

I love Easter.  We are having a Honey Baked ham (drool), asparagus, potato skins, pasta salad, crescent rolls, and stawberry shortcake with homemade vanilla ice-cream for dessert.  But after I have eaten, drunk, and been merry (but not drunk!), it is time to think about eating healthy again.  I found this cool article about SuperFoods.  My comments and notes are in italics.  (Please note, I am not a doctor or nutritionist, nor do I play one on tv or the internet.  This is information I gleaned from many years of reading articles and in talking with my nutritionist.  Ask your doctor, natropath or nutritionist what is right for you!)  I share it for me and for you:

The fourteen SuperFoods and their possible benefits:

  • Beans – lower cholesterol, combat heat disease, stabilize blood sugar, reduce obesity, relieve hypertension and lessen the risk of cancer. (Not crazy about beans?  Try sneaking them in to soups and chili, or sprinkling them on a salad.)
  • Blueberries – lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and help maintain healthy skin to reduce the sags and bags brought on by age. (All berries are excellent and provide different phytonutrients, fiber, and have a very low glycemic index for a fruit.)
  • Broccoli – boosts the immune system, lowers the incidence of cataracts, supports cardiovascular health, builds bones and fights birth defects.  (Also try other members of the broccoli family: cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts.)
  • Oats – lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease & Type II diabetes, high in fiber and protein.  (Forget about carbs, we NEED whole grains to prevent heart disease and stroke and to prevent cancer.  If you want to cut carbs, cut out sugar, not whole grains or fruits!)
  • Oranges – support heart health and prevent cancer, stroke, diabetes and a host of chronic ailments.  (Calcium fortified o.j. is awesome too, provides many of the same benefits.  You pregnant ladies and wanna be pregnant ladies absolutely need this one–it has folic acid to prevent birth defects.  Also try grapefruit, mandarins, clementines, other citrus.)
  • Pumpkin – helps lower the risk of various cancers (lung, colon, bladder, cervical, skin, and breast) and supplies nutrients necessary for healthy, youthful skin.  (Try using your banana bread recipe and substituting pumpkin.  It is delicious.  I also like to make a box up of sugar free vanilla pudding, add 1 cup canned pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice and more splenda if needed–it tastes like creamy pumpkin pie, but way healthier.  Also a good source of beta carotene for you are carrots and sweet potatoes.)
  • Wild Salmon – lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer. (Also take an Omega 3-6-9 supplement.  This nutrient is thought to help depression, brain development and memory, help heart disease and prevent cancer.  If you can only take one supplement, this is it.  Adding in a good multi-vitamin is even better!)
  • Soy – helps prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, and helps relieve menopausal and menstrual symptoms.  (Like corn nuts?  Try soy nuts, I swear they taste the same.  You don’t have to eat tofu to get soy–sprinkle edemame on your salad, eat a garden burger, or drink a soy smoothie–they taste like ice cream.)
  • Spinach – decreases the chance of cardiovascular diseases, a host of cancers, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. (Stop making salads with ice berg lettuce.  Seriously, just stop.  It has almost no nutrition, and isn’t that why you’re eating salad?!  Make a spinach salad, (best) or at least use romaine or spring greens.)
  • Tea – boosts the immune system, helps prevent cancer and osteoporosis, lowers the risk of stroke, promotes cardiovascular health. (In spite of all the hype, it doesn’t have to be green tea.  Green tea is great, but so is regular black tea.  I love this one!  Love it!  Try iced tea on hot days–so refreshing!  Also coffee lovers take heart–there are also studies that show that coffee helps prevent diabetes, and has anti-oxidants.  Freshly ground is best.)
  • Tomatoes– lower the likelihood of cancer, raise the skin’s sun protection factor and seem to play a role in preventing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.  (Lycopene is also in watermelon and strawberries–yum!)
  • Turkey – a perfect example of a Twenty-First Century “healthy” protein source, extremely low in fat, and provides multiple nutrients which help build a strong immune system.  (Skinless chicken white meat is good too, if you are a meat eater, and fish is so good you should have it 2-3 times a week.)
  • Walnuts – reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  (Also on the good list are peanuts, almonds, and most other nuts.  Be careful with portions though, 1-2 oz are all you need.  That’s about a regular handfull–not much.)
  • Yogurt – promotes strong bones and a healthy heart, another health promoting protein source, and a great source of calcium.  (1% or fat-free dairy has also been shown to make you lose more weight for the same amount of calories)
  • I am also adding some I think they left out: 
  • Olive oil: lowers cholesterol, increases HDL or good cholesterol, prevents cancer.  The only oil I use now, even for baking, and no, you cannot taste it.
  • Garlic: called Russian pencillian, it is one of the only known anti-virals as well as antibacterial.  I eat lots if I feel a cold coming on.  Also famous for lowering cholesterol.  Eat actual garlic, rather than taking a supplement.  Why?  They are not sure exactly what does all the good in garlic, and it may be several factors in it working together.  Also?  Garlic tastes great!  Roast it and smear it on whole grain bread with olive oil and eat it with your next salad–yum!  Also: garlic=cheap, supplement=expensive and not as good.)
  • In general, eat brightly colored fruits and veggies, lots of variety, whole grains, lean proteins, good fats like olive oil and nuts, and avoid sugar and trans fat like the plague.

5 responses to “Super Foods

  1. This is great ! Thank you Mallory! Right now I eat yogurt, nuts, beans, broccoli and oranges! I will give the others a chance!:)

  2. Hmm…I eat almost all of those but walnuts. I’m doing good!

  3. So, um… do Garlic fries count? There’s got to be at least 72 cloves of garlic on an order… heh

  4. Great list of food, who knew I was eating food that is good for me! Nice to meet you too!

  5. YEAH!!! Another “food geek” with a real list. Thanks for getting this out there & we could all stand to support each others’ (good) eating habits more. Go healthy girl!

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