Stay Strong In 2013: 10 Superfoods You Should Be Eating!
We are a month into 2013…how is everyone doing with those new year’s resolutions? Well, if it is your goal to get/stay healthy this year then it is your lucky day. Our diet is one of the easiest things we can control when it comes to improving our overall health and wellness. Certain foods contain benefits to the human body that go far beyond what is common knowledge. Today, we are focusing on a special group of foods…superfoods! Superfoods are considered to be those that have high nutritional density with little to know negative effects (high saturated fats, contaminants, etc…). Below is a list of our five favorite superfoods, their health benefits, and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.
1) Greek Yogurt: From weak to to GREEK! Our first superfood is our protein packed friend Greek Yogurt. This yogurt comes packed with almost twice the protein as “American-style” yogurt and has almost half of the amount of salt and carbohydrates. The extra protein in Greek Yogurt will help keep your muscles strong and keep you full for longer, which can help with weight control. Try to opt for the fat free or low fat versions to avoid the saturated fats found in higher fat versions. Greek yogurt also comes loaded with digestive friendly probiotics to keep that GI in check. Greek yogurt can simply be eaten plain as part of a nutritious breakfast. Try to avoid the versions where “fruit” is already added, as these types often contain excessive added sugars. Try adding fresh berries for an additional antioxidant power and that little touch of sweetness you crave in the morning. You want to get more creative with your yogurt? Try mixing non-fat greek yogurt with dill, lemon juice, minced garlic (powder will work as well), and salt and pepper to create a flavorful Mediterranean dip that you can pair with lean meats for delicious full course meals.
2) Quinoa Say what? Pronounced, /ˈkiːnwɑː/, this super grain has been around longer than our modern world, but has resurfaced in the past few years into superfood stardom. Quinoa is a hybrid grain/seed that has a laundry list of amazing health benefits. Quinoa is packed with protein to help keep you full longer and provide you with 9 essential amino acids. This supergrain is also extremely rich in fiber, which helps keep your body regular as well as helps lower bad cholesterol levels. Try replacing rice in stir-fry dishes with this superfood. If you want to be even more adventurous try THIS simple and tasty salad dish.
3) Olive Oil: What do you think when you think of oil? Fat, “bad for you”, greasy? Well, it is time to change that perception! Olive is ranks extremely when it comes to foods beneficial to your health…while also remaining extremely tasty. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol and help control blood sugar levels. Saute your vegetables in this super-oil when making side dishes for your evening meals. Tip for eating out: Dip the free bread given to you at many restaurants in a little bit of olive oil…this will lower the glycemic index (how fast the carbohydrates are broken down by the body) of the bread and will have less of an effect on spiking your blood sugar.
4) Asparagus: A personal TAD favorited vegetable, this green powerhouse is extremely versatile, making its great health benefits easily consumed at any time of day. Asparagus is loaded with our friend lycopene, which has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Along with lycopene, asparagus is chocked full of vitamin A, which can help keep your eyes strong and support your overall immune system. Try grilling asparagus is some tin foil with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a quick and easy side dish. Enjoy this amazing vegetable in the morning by sauteing some chopped asparagus and add it to your morning scramble or omelet.
5) Coffee: Yes, I said coffee! Throw away all of those old misconceptions and drink up. Drinking a cup of coffee a day has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, alzheimer’s disease, and help prevent heart and respiratory diseases. Try adding some skim or low fat milk to your coffee in the morning for an additional boost of calcium.