You are what you eat is an adage that holds more truth than you may realize. Unfortunately, I see many people today who focus their diet around processed foods that are high in sugar, sodium and fat. Diets like this can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more. I protect my own body and health against such illnesses by eating lots of fresh vegetables and some lean meats, and by adding the following “superfoods” to my diet.
Don’t let its small size fool you into thinking its a food with little nutritional value. The blueberry’s deep purple-blue hue signifies the presence of powerful antioxidants known as flavanoids. Once consumed, these flavanoids work to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that roam our bodies, attacking otherwise healthy cells. I pop a handful of blueberries whenever I am in the mood for dessert.
I eat plenty of this edible, stalky plant of the cabbage family that is loaded with potassium, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, magnesium and calcium. Scientists believe broccoli’s phytochemicals – organic chemical compounds which occur naturally – are able to aid in skin health, regulate blood sugar levels, strengthen the immune system and ward off joint inflammation.
I use extra virgin olive oil, another incredibly powerful superfood. Just a single tablespoon holds 10 grams of monosaturated fat and 1.4 grams of polysaturated fat. I know what you’re probably thinking: isn’t fat bad for your health? Trans fat and saturated fat are both considered bad, but monosaturated and polysaturated fats are beneficial, as they work to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and raise good cholesterol levels (HDL).
There’s a reason why it’s Popeye’s food of choice. Spinach is a must-have food for any health-conscious individual. It contains vitamind C, A, B-6, plus magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. I eat lots of spinach salads. And I add fresh spinach to my stir-fry veggies right when they are done so the spinach is barely heated. That helps retain more of its nutrients and health benefits.
This fish, rich in protein, amino acids and omega 3, is known to improve cognitive brain function while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, much of our salmon reserves today contain mercury and other contaminates. “Farm-raised” salmon can be loaded with antibiotics as well. So I stay away from these. The safest salmon, and the one that I eat, is wild caught Alaskan salmon. I would highly recommend this type of salmon for you, too.
This fruit contains twice the potassium of bananas and a host of other nutrients. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and can actually help you lose weight. They can also lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. To combat high cholesterol naturally, my mother eliminated dairy products from her diet and included avocados with almost every meal. Within six months the doctor was shocked at her high good cholesterol levels and low bad cholesterol levels without the use of medication.
Walnuts are known as a true brain food, not only because they look like little brains, but because they contain an abundance of brain-enhancing nutrients. They are packed with protein and are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids that offer cardiovascular protection, better cognitive functioning and anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to get them raw and unsalted. Walnuts are a quick, nutritious snack as is. I like to toss them into salads, stir-fry veggies or rice pasta.