Friday, February 15, 2013

Article # 310. The ABCs of Superfoods!

From fruits, to veggies, nuts, and beans, the word super has been attached to a bevy of considerably healthy foods, leaving any health conscious consumer a bit overwhelmed, when trying to incorporate every super food into one super diet. We all want to be as healthy, strong, and fit as possible, so getting to know the basics of super foods, and how to best incorporate them into your diet, can help alleviate that tinge of peer embarrassment 
What exactly is a superfood? Any food item with a phytonutrient content value high enough to produce health benefits. Packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, dietary minerals, antioxidants, anthocyanins, dietary fiber, as well as water and oxygen, the most effective Superfoods help to optimize bodily function, aid in weight-loss, and protect against disease.
To make sure your diet stays chopped full of super nutrients, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of super foods from A-Z ! A perfect reference when grocery shopping and a complimentary cheat sheet to impress the overeager health nut at your gym, this list will ensure your aim towards superb health is super covered. 
To make sure your diet stays chopped full of super nutrients, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of super foods from A-Z ! A perfect reference when grocery shopping and a complimentary cheat sheet to impress the overeager health nut at your gym, this list will ensure your aim towards superb health is super covered.  For more diet advice, be sure to check back in with us on next week as we move into part two of our Super Food discussion, regarding order of best consumption the 1, 2, 3’s of super foods.

A is for Avocado

Creamy and delicious, Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. Providing the recommended amounts of both mono and polyunsaturated fat, avocados keep your heart healthy and can actually lower bad cholesterol.

B is for Blueberries

Regarded as the hardest working berry, blueberries deliver ample vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to the body and is believed to have cancer-fighting properties as well. Add fresh berries to your cereal or oatmeal, or make a blueberry smoothie with low-fat yogurt and ice.

C is for Coconuts

In the past, coconuts have received a bad rap for a rather high saturated fat content. However, the tides have turned thanks to new research that shows that coconut is actually good for you.  With the ability to balance the body’s acidic levels and regulate the digestive system, be sure to incorporate something coconut into your diet. Two coconut tips – use low-fat coconut milk when cooking or have a glass of coconut water.

D is for Dates

Chewy and moist, dates help intestinal disorders, aiding in regularity. When dried, dates provide a rich amount of niacin, copper, iron, and magnesium, and fresh dates are full of vitamin C.

E is for Eggs

Worthy of its reputation for being incredible, eggs keep you more full for longer periods of time thanks to their high protein level. Eggs also play a vital role in brain function and eye health.

F is for Flaxseed

Extremely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed protects against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and bone loss. Available in whole, milled, ground, or oil versions, flaxseed can easily be added to your diet. Try topping soups and salads with it or mix it with oatmeal or yogurt.

G is for Goji Berries

This bright-orange berry helps you stay fuller longer with its high amount of protein. Athletes snack on them between games because they provide ample fuel for their muscles.

H is for Honey

Don’t leave honey to the bees! This all-natural sweetener keeps glucose levels low and provides energy without the unwanted sugar spike.

K is for Kale

Considered to be the most nutritious leafy green in the produce aisle, kale provides a hearty dose of iron, calcium and fiber. It is also believed to fight off cancer thanks to its DNA-protecting properties and high amount of anti-oxidants.

L is for Lychee berries

Not only do lychee berries deliver high amounts of vitamin C and potassium, they also provide your body with essential anti-oxidants and minerals, keeping you in optimal health. Lychees are also known to help burn visceral fat, due to their extremely high ORAC value, which aids in the oxidation of fat.

M is for Mangosteens

An exotic deep purple fruit, hailing from Indonesia, Mangosteens are rich in Xanothenes, which are believed to be the most potent antioxidant found in nature. Antiflamatory, antibiotic, and anti viral, Xanothenes provide a host of benefits from improved cardiovascular health, aiding in digestive regulation, and boosting immunity.

O is for Oranges

An excellent source of vitamin C, oranges boost your immune system and help your body fight off colds. They also play a role in neutralizing free radicals found in the body.

P is for Pumpkins

A fall favorite, pumpkin should be a part of your diet year-round as it helps keep your eyes and immune system healthy with its high amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, and manganese.

Q is for Quinoa

A whole-grain seed known for its nutty flavor and texture, quinoa offers the most effective combination of protein and fiber that will keep hunger levels down. It’s also a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and riboflavin.

R is for Raspberries

Raspberries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, working hard to keep you regular and protect your body against free radical damage.

S is for Salmon

Fused with Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps to build muscle and keep your heart healthy. Stick with wild salmon as it has been raised in more humane conditions and has more developed muscles.

T is for Tomatoes

Found in tomatoes, lycopene is a carotenoid that protects your body’s cells from oxygen damage and helps your heart stay healthy. Most recently, studies have shown that lycopene has major cancer-prevention abilities, particularly when fighting against prostate, breast, pancreatic, and intestinal cancers.

W is for Walnuts

Recent studies have shown that walnuts are the best nuts out there due to their high amount of antioxidants. Containing almost twice as many antioxidants as any other nut, walnuts can protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health problems.

Y is for Yogurt

A great source of calcium, yogurt helps to beat bloat and provides healthy bacteria for the gut. Keep a close eye on those sugar grams through; some yogurts contain more sugar than ice cream!