10 Power Foods (you should be eating almost everyday!)

August 4, 2008

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E and manganese and a good source of magnesium, copper, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and phosphorus. One single serving (1/4 cup) provides 11 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (which may help to lower blood cholesterol levels) and 7-8 grams of protein (more than an egg).

Black Beans- Black beans are one of the more unsuspecting top nutritional foods. They are excellent sources of fiber and folate (needed before and during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects) and good sources of manganese, protein, magnesium, thiamin, and iron. Like many of the other top foods, they may help to reduce risk of cancer, heart attack, but also, they can help to stabilize blood sugar. Try warming yourself up with some black bean soup or serve with rice next to your favorite entrée!

Blueberries are rich in nutrients (and flavor), while also low in calories (60 per ¾ cup). They contain one of the highest amounts of antioxidants compared to any other food. Which means they have the potential for reducing free-radical damage which can lead to conditions such as heart disease and cancer. They may also improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging.

Broccoli is one of the richest vegetable sources of calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber . Broccoli also contains phytonutrients- a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Citrus Fruits (such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes) are loaded with vitamin C, fiber, and phytonutrients that can help lower risk of cancer and heart disease. Try having a grapefruit with breakfast or add some orange slices to your salad at lunch.

Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids- a type of fat that may protect against heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, and stroke. Omega-3’s may also help to decrease triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure. In addition, salmon is a good source of protein and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Spinach provides the most nutrients with the least amount of calories compared to any other foods. It is highest in vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. The contents in spinach may help to boost your immune system and may help keep your hair and skin healthy.

Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, which may help to slow the aging process and decrease risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and iron. They are low in calories and taste great with a little cinnamon and splenda on top!

Tomatoes- Tomatoes are rich in many vitamins and minerals, but are especially high in vitamin C, A, and K. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, an antioxidant known to protect against heart disease and many types of cancer. Add tomatoes to soups, salads, and sandwiches or use whole tomatoes on top of your favorite pasta!

Whole Grains- Whole grains such as barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread, pasta, and cereal are rich sources of complex carbohydrates, B-vitamins, minerals (iron, magnesium, selenium), and fiber. Whole grains may help to reduce blood cholesterol levels, reduce risk for heart disease, give you energy, and can help you to feel full (due to the fiber) which can help you to eat less and manage weight. Try starting you day off with a bowl of whole grain cereal such as Fiber One or Kashi GoLean (provides over 1/3 of daily dietary fiber needs).

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