Super Foods And The Benefits

 Super Foods

Superfoods are different types of fruits, vegetables, and many other types of foods that have a high content of important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. These foods have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease, and raise your body’s resistance to viral infections and the common cold. Discover the delicious difference when you enjoy powerful superfoods that are packed with nutrients to fight off disease, boost your energy and keep you healthy!

Visit our Super Foods recipe link on the home page for some delicious recipes!

Here’s a list of some superfoods and what they can do for you:

Acai Fruit

This little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world. It can often be found in juice form in health food and gourmet stores. It has been found that Acai has the highest amount of anti-oxidants of any other food.

Click here for more information on Acai fruit.

Anything In The “Allium Family”

Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots can all help the liver eliminate toxins and carcinogens.

Apples

Each crisp, juicy apple provides five grams of fiber and an abundance of antioxidants, which may support cardiovascular health.

Barley

This can be used as a breakfast cereal, in soups and stews, and as a rice substitute. Barley’s also high in fiber, helping metabolize fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates.

Berries

Whether you choose blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries, your body benefits from these nutrition-packed gems. Deliciously tangy and sweet, berries contain antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins that reduce free-radicals in the body, which may help to slow the aging process.

Cinnamon

A USDA study shows that consuming a half teaspoon of cinnamon per day may significantly lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as reduce triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels.

Citrus

Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and tangerines, contain flavonoids that are unique to the citrus family. Naringin produced in grapefruits and hesperidin found in oranges are both powerful antioxidants. Sweet, juicy and versatile, citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, folic acid and potassium.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica oleracea italica family. Named for their resemblance to a Greek cross, cruciferous vegetables not only taste great steamed and sautéed, they are also a good source of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Some studies show that low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

Eggs

Folded into an omelet or whipped into a scramble, eggs (especially egg whites) provide an inexpensive source of high-quality protein. Eggs are not only low in carbohydrates and sodium, but they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that support eye health. Whether you prefer brown or white eggs, you should always choose cage-free, organic eggs.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce each contain beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin that work together to support overall health. As good sources of vitamin B and minerals, adding a wide variety of leafy greens to your plate, every day, ensures that you will reap their healthy benefits.

Herbs And Spices

Studies show that common herbs and spices, such as sage and rosemary, are rich in antioxidants and may support healthy digestive function and the nervous system. About a teaspoon per day added to your favorite recipes is all it takes!

Honey

Full of B-complex vitamins, amino acids and enzymes, raw honey is tasty and a great substitute for refined sugars. Enjoy swirled into tea or drizzled over oatmeal.

Kiwi Fruit

One petite kiwifruit packs as much vitamin C as an orange. Since we are unable to create vitamin C in our bodies, it is important to replenish this essential vitamin each day. Enjoy kiwifruit in smoothies and fruit salads.

Legumes

Beans and lentils, members of the legume family, are an excellent source of hearty, low-fat plant protein. Simmered in soups or blended into tangy spreads, legumes are a versatile and delicious introduction to superfoods. Soluble fiber from beans and lentils, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of legumes provides at least four grams of soluble fiber.

Nuts & Seeds

Roasted, toasted or raw, nuts and seeds are a delicious source of protein and fiber. A tasty snack, nuts and seeds pack a nutritious punch with heart-healthy monosaturated oils, vitamins and minerals. The lignans in seeds have been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol levels, and scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating one and a half ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Oats

Simmered into a warm cereal, oatmeal provides a good source of complex carbohydrates. Soluble fiber from foods, such as oats, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A half-cup serving of oats supplies about nine grams of fiber.

Olives & Olive Oil

Rich and fruity, olive oil stands out as a culinary staple in Mediterranean cultures. A good source of monounsaturated fat, adding two tablespoons of olive oil per day to your diet may support cardiovascular health.

Omega-3 Fish

Cold-water fish like wild salmon, tuna and trout contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Supportive, but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. While amounts may vary by species, origin and season, one serving of omega fish provides at least 0.5 grams of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.

Orange Veggies

Vibrant orange vegetables, such as pumpkins, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene. A beneficial nutrient found in fruits and vegetables, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, giving the body an antioxidant boost. Cooking vegetables also makes the nutrients easier to absorb. Enjoy roasted acorn squash or lightly steamed carrots.

Pomegranates

Rich in powerful, free-radical fighting antioxidants called polyphenols, an eight-ounce serving of pomegranate juice enjoyed daily may support normal levels of cholesterol and healthy coronary artery function.

Tea

True teas, whether they are green, white, black or oolong, originate from the Camellia sinensis plant. Processing techniques differentiate each type of tea. With beneficial levels of flavonoids and only two calories per cup, drinking tea is a great way to support overall health.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain an abundance of lycopene, a health-promoting plant pigment. Lycopene not only gives tomatoes their ruby red color, it also helps support immune function and prostate health. Cooked tomatoes found in pasta sauce, salsa and tomato paste enhance the absorption of lycopene into your system.

Turkey

Versatile and low-fat, turkey breast is an excellent protein choice. Juicy, delicious and rich in zinc, turkey is best enjoyed in soups, salads and sandwiches. Try a tube of organic turkey sausage or ground turkey…they even have turkey bacon which is very tasty.

Whole Grains

Rich in complex carbohydrates, whole grains add beneficial phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Packed with nutrition, the germ or “heart” of the kernel adds essential B-vitamins, iron and zinc to your plate. Diets rich in whole-grain, plant-based foods may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Yogurt And Kefir

Cultured dairy products, such as yogurt, kefir and buttermilk, contain probiotics. Also known as “friendly bacteria,” probiotics support the intestinal tract and the immune system. Maintain the overall health of your immune system, so enjoy a cup of fruit yogurt, savor a tangy raspberry kefir or stir buttermilk into roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

2 thoughts on “Super Foods And The Benefits

  1. Yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium. When made with non- or low-fat milk, it’s low in fat. If it contains live starter cultures, it can aid digestion.

    To get the most health benefit from yogurt, look for a “Live and Active Cultures” seal on the label. This indicates a live starter culture was used. For the added benefit of probiotics, look for any of these bacteria on the ingredients list.

    Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. reuteri, and Bifidobacterium bifidum

    Lactobacillus acidophilus is by far the most commonly added probiotic, featured in such favorites as Dannon, Columbo, Yoplait and Breyers.

    These “probiotic” bacteria pass through the stomach to the gastrointestinal tract, where, they help maintain a healthy balance between the 200-plus kinds of bacteria that live there.

    What you may not know is…people who are lactose intolerant have a hard time digesting milk products because they lack the enzyme that breaks down the main carbohydrate in milk. Yogurt is a unique dairy food because the starter cultures actually produce that enzyme during fermentation. Thus, the milk sugar in yogurt is more easily digested, even for lactose-intolerant individuals. Many people who commonly experience gas, bloating or discomfort from dairy foods can digest yogurt more easily, thanks to the starter cultures.

    The easiest way to get into nutritional trouble with yogurt is to choose one overly laden with sugar. Nutritionally speaking, you can’t beat plain nonfat yogurt with live active cultures and added probiotics. One cup provides 136 calories, zero grams fat, 14 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrate and 488 milligrams calcium.

  2. I recently learned about probiotics after recovering from an illness, I had the choice to take probiotics pills for a month or eat foods containing probiotics. I did a little research on this and read about Lactobacillus in yogurt and its benefits. I read your article on Super Foods and I am just starting to learn more about this class of foods, I have a question for you regarding yogurt as a probiotic food. There are so many types of yogurt out there what is the best type of yogurt to eat to obtain the benefits of probiotics? Do the more expensive health food brands have the most or can any off the shelf yogurt give you the same benefits? Thanks for the great article.

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