I hate the idea of dieting and think most of the diet programs are utter bullshit. I have a total aversion for trendy buzz words and stupid fads. During the insane Atkins craze, I would laugh my ass off every time I saw a “Zero Carbs” sticker on cheese. Diets of the moment vilianize fats, carbs and whatever just to sell products to help shed pounds quick.
However, I must admit, my sister has gotten me totally into the latest craze in food health, which are the Superfoods. Yes, the term “superfoods” is a total buzz word however, it does not promote a useless new diet fad, but is about educating people about which foods which are actually good for you. The superfoods represent foods which are the highest in vitamins and nutrients, so by eating more of them, you get the most bang for your buck. I’m all for that. The only thing previously standing between me and a more healthy diet has been ignorance of what were the right things to be eating.
Here’s my list of ten superfoods I think are the most important.
Here’s a great vitamin and mineral guide if you have any questions about what exactly any of the vitamins and minerals listed below do for you.
as well as other whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and flax seed
Nutritional benefits: High in fiber, protein, magnesium, Potasium, zinc, and copper among many others.
How It Helps: Whole grains, especially oats are packed full of vitamins and minerals which help promote healthy organ function and digestion, reduce your risk for many diseases as well as helps lower your overall cholesterol.
Eat It: Try a bowl of steel cut oats everyday for breakfast
Nutritional benefits: High in fiber, fatty acids, Vitamins B, C, E, and B6 as well as tons of minerals
How It Helps: Popeye was not jokin’ around. Spinach is so packed full of nutrients, its possibly the best vegetable you can eat. Besides the healthy organ and immune system function from all the vitamins and minerals, spinach seriously inhibits cardiovascular disease as well as various cancers, cataracts and is a good source of omega fatty acids to fight depression.
Eat It: Make a salad with leafy spinach greens for a side salad a couple days a week.
Nutritional benefits: High in calcium, protein, potassium as well as contains active live cultures.
How It Helps: Because of the active live cultures present in yougurt, it is perhaps the best thing you can eat to promote healthy digestion. Healthy digestion is absolutely necessary to make sure your body is able to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the rest of your diet. Yougurt helps reduce symptoms of diarrhea, ulcers, allergies, hypertension as well as irritable bowl syndrome. It also helps the body digest the lactose present in dairy products and is edible to those with lactose intolerance problems.
Eat It: Eat a daily snack of yougurt with fresh fruit and granola.
Nutritional benefits: Excellent source of protein as well as Vitamins A, B, D, and E
How It Helps: Eggs are economical and highly versitle, so they are an excellent addition into your daily diet. They help promote healhy bone and muscle growth and developement, are wonderful low calorie source of animal protien and have been shown to help prevent such diseases as breast cancer and various eye conditions.
Eat It: Hard boil eggs make a quick and easy snack, or try an egg salad sandwich for lunch.
Nutritional benefits: High in protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, and many phytonutrients
How It Helps: Beans are an excellent source of low fat protein and are an excellent substitute for the higher fat meat proteins. They are extremely beneficial when mixed with a whole grain to provide a whole protein. Integrating beans into your diet can help lower cholesterol, and are a very filling low fat food to help with weight loss. Beans also help reduce the risk of diabetis, obesity and cancer.
Eat It: Brown rice and beans made an excellent side dish, or try hummus for a quick snack.
Nutritional benefits: Rich in Vitamins A, C & K, as well as the nutrients Sulforaphane, Indoles, Folate, Fiber, Calcium, and Ascorbic Acid
How It Helps: Broccoli is one of the most nutrient rich vegetables you can eat. Its various vitamins and nutrients help promote healthy bones, organ function as well as promote normal growth and development among children. Broccoli also helps prevent birth defects during pregnancy as well as has been shown to help prevent various cancers.
Eat It: Steamed broccoli is a quick, easy and delicious side dish.
Nutritional benefits: Rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Good sources of polyphenols, salicylic acid, fiber, folate, ascorbic acid, vitamin E.
How It Helps: Berries are super rich in antioxidants which help the body process oxidants which get into our system through various means like ingesting fatty foods and alcohol, among others. Phytonutrients are incredibly helpful with fighting various diseases as well as help maintain normal cell growth and inhibit cell mutation. Berries are a natural sweetener which help control your blood sugar.
Eat It: What? You need me to tell you how to eat berries. You just do it, they’re tasty and awesome!
8 ) Sweet Potatoes
Nutritional benefits: High in fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.
How It Helps: Sweet potatoes are so much better for you then regular potatoes. They are an excellent source of fiber to aid in healthy digestion, they are a natural sweetener and are good for diabetics. They are high in beta-carotene which aid in the prevention and treatment of aging and chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Eat It: Substitute for regular potatoes for fries and chips.
Nutritional benefits: Rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, Omega fatty acids and unsaturated fats
How It Helps: Yes, nuts are high in fat, but its a good fat. Nuts are very filling, so you can snack on a small amount and they can really fill you up. The fatty acids can help curb depression and nuts can help lower cholesterol.
Eat It: Mix with dried fruit for a healthy snack or mix in a salad
10) Turkey Breast
Nutritional benefits: Rich in Protein, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamins B6, B12, and Zinc
How It Helps: Turkey breast is one of the most lean sources of animal protein. Its helps promote a healthy heart, is low in fat and can help lower your risk of cancer.
Eat It: Turkey sandwiches!!!
Is that it? No, the above are just my picks. There are tons more superfoods like apples, oranges, tomatoes, onions, garlic, green tea, and pomegranates. I didn’t pick most of these because I already ate them regularly. I hope this helps you start making your own list. Now, I’ve just done so much healthy writing, I think I’ll reward myself with some ice cream.