Superfoods You Should Be Eating Everyday
Do you take a daily supplement everyday? If you do, that’s great! But you’re still not getting all the nutrients and health benefits from that supplement as you would by simply eating the nutrient rich foods. Sure some of the nutrients and chemicals found in Superfoods have been put into supplement form, but scientists are finding that not all components of specific foods can be manufactured into a supplement. What is a superfood you ask? Well it is a popular word in the health industry and basically refers to foods high in nutrients, but low in calories.
So why not incorporate some of these antioxidant rich foods into your diet everyday for optimum health? By eating these superfoods, you can ward off heart disease, prevent cancer, slow down the aging process and achieve weight loss. Foods really do have healing powers and here’s a list of foods you should eat everyday for better health. These suggestions come from the publishers of the book, Eat This, Not That!
Blueberries – Packed with more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes. Blueberries are very high in fiber and vitamins A and C, plus they boost cardiovascular health. Aim for 1 cup fresh or ½ cup frozen or dried. Substitutes include other fruits in the purple-red family like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and purple or red grapes.
Oats – This health food has been garnered with the FDA’s first seal of approval. Oats are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Oats also provide good source of the good carbs needed for energy. A ½ cup serving is all you need to reap benefits. Substitutes include flaxseed, quinoa and wild rice.
Black Beans – Loaded with anthocyanins, an antioxidant that has been shown to improve brain function, black beans are also a good source of fiber. A daily ½ cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. Substitutes include lentils, pinto, kidney and lima beans.
Yogurt – Not only is yogurt a great source of calcium, but also delivers probiotic properties which boost your immune system and protects against cancer as well as aid in digestive health. Just be sure the label says “live and active cultures” so you know you are getting your probiotic organisms. Try to eat a cup a day. A substitute for yogurt is kefir.
Walnuts – Rich in heart-healthy omega-3’s and loaded with anti-inflammatory components, walnuts pack a hefty health punch. They are also a great source of protein which makes it a go to snack for a post workout recovery. About 1 ounce, or 7 nuts should do the trick. Coldwater fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are also great sources of omega-3. Good alternatives to walnuts are almonds, peanuts, pistachios and hazelnuts.
Tomatoes – Lycopene is an antioxidant that can decrease your risk of certain cancers like bladder, lung, prostate, skin and stomach. It can also reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Red tomatoes are loaded with lycopene and processed tomatoes are just as good as fresh. In fact, it is easier for the body to absorb the lycopene from processed tomatoes. So load up on that tomato sauce. Aim for 22mg of lycopene a day, about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. Substitutes are red watermelon, papaya and guava.
Spinach – Rich source of plant-based omega-3’s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. Folate also increases blood flow to the lower regions of the body, which helps protect against age-related sexual issues. Spinach is a great source of iron and is packed with lutein, which aids in the health of your eyes. Aim for 1 cup fresh or ½ cup cooked a day. Some alternatives include kale, bok choy and romaine lettuce.
Carrots – Beta carotene rich and loaded with carotenoids, which reduces risk and severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Aim for about ½ cup a day. Good alternatives are sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper and mango.
Other surprisingly antioxidant rich foods are dark chocolate and red wine. They contain flavanols which protect the heart and reduces blood pressure. Green tea also has a high content of flavanols.
Cheers to your health!