You are what you eat is an adage that holds more truth than you may realize. Unfortunately, many people today focus their diet around processed foods that are high in Sugar, Sodium and Fat. Diets such as this can increase a person’s risk of developing Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, and more. You can protect your body and health against such illnesses, however, by eating lean meats, fresh vegetables, and by adding the following “SUPERFOODS” to your diet.
This edible stalky plant of the Cabbage family is loaded in Potassium, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C Magnesium, and Calcium. Scientists believes 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.
WILD BLUEBERRIES have the highest ANTIOXIDANT capacity per serving, compared to more than 20 other fruits. One study after another shows how the high ANTIOXIDANT activity of the BLUEBERRIES protects cells from Oxidative Stress. As we know, Antioxidants have been linked with ANTI-AGING, ANTI-CANCER and HEART HEALTH benefits. Scientists continue to find new evidence that a diet enriched with wild blueberries has the potential to prevent and reverse Age-related Cognitive decline.
There is a growing body of RESEARCH supporting the beneficial effects of blueberries on the BRAIN, showing that they help with motor skills and short-term MEMORY. Eating one or more servings of blueberries each week may help slow cognitive degeneration by several years.
BLUEBERRIES, rich in ANTHOCYANINS, also aid in maintaining MEMORY function. One study showed that adults who supplemented their diets with wild blueberries saw improved memory function and MOOD, further supporting the conclusion that blueberries may slow the loss of COGNITIVE FUNCTION. All of this research is promising for patients in need of cognitive support, or for those who wish to slow cognitive decline, in particular, the aging.
In addition to brain health, BLUEBERRIES are good for the HEARTt. The berries’ high Anthocyanin content may have CHOLESTEROL LOWERING effects, help dilate arteries, counter the buildup of plaque, and provide other benefits to the heart.
#3) Olive Oil
Oilive oil, particularly the Extra-Virgin variety, is another incredibly powerful superfood. Just a single Tablespoon (13.5 grams) 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 fat 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. Native to Central and Southwestern Asia, Spinach (Amaranthaceae family) is must-have food for any health-conscious individual. It contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, vitamin B-6, Magnesium, Potassium, Beta-Carotene, Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
We can’t talk about superfood without mentioning Salmon. This distinctively pink-colored fish is known to improve cognitive Brain function while reducing the risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Make sure you buy only WILD Salmon, not farm raised!
Yogurt contains healthy bacteria known as Probiotics which support the Digestive system. With thousands of microscopic workers helping to flush out your digestive system, you’re less likely to develop constipation, diarrhea, and similar stomach problems. In order to reap the full benefits of it, however, you should stick with the low-fat Greek variety.
AVOCADOS, which are actually classified as a fruit, are low in Fructose and rich in healthy Monounsaturated Fat (which is easily burned for energy), and research has confirmed the Avocado’s ability to benefit Vascular function and HEART HEALTH. Personally, I eat a half or whole avocado virtually every day, which I usually put in my salad. This increases my HEALTHY FAT and calorie intake without raising my protein or carbohydrate intake by much.
It is also very high in POTASSIUM (more than twice the amount found in a Banana) and will help balance your vitally important Potassium to Sodium Ratio. Avocados also provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including FIBER, Vitamin E, the B-Vitamins, and Folic Acid. Besides eating them raw, you can use avocado as fat substitute in recipes calling for butter or other oils. Another boon of Avocados ~ they’re one of the safest fruits you can buy conventionally-grown, so you don’t need to spend more for organic ones. Their thick skin protects the inner fruit from pesticides!
Blueberry photo by Jennie Faber under Creative Commons 2.0.