Super Foods for Superior Health
Here are the true Super Foods, packed with the protective substances that may guard your heart, keep cancer at bay, boost your bone strength, save your sight, improve your mood and maybe even help you loose weight. Include them in your diet often and reap the benefits.
1. Amazing Avocados – Ounce for ounce, they contain more blood pressure-lowering potassium than bananas. Avocados are rich in good-for-you monounsaturated fats, and cholesterol-lowering beta-sitosterol and cancer-protective glutathione, along with vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6 and fiber.
2. Brain boosting Blueberries – These little blue marvels are the antioxidant leader, plumb with nearly 4 grams of fiber per cup and a good dose of vitamin C. They also have cancer-protective ellagic acid, and may boost your brain health and vision.
3. Anti-Cancer Brazil Nuts – This hearty tree nut is a “trigger food” that may cause cancer cells a promising self-destruct. It’s a super source of selenium, a promising anti-cancer trace mineral that also promotes DNA repair and boosts immunity. Just 2 medium nuts contain enough selenium to perhaps reduce the incidence of prostate, colon and lung cancers.
4. Broccoli Bonanza – Here’s an easy way to get two potent cancer-blockers that modify natural estrogens into less damaging forms and increase the activity of enzymes that fight carcinogens. Aim for three servings a week of broccoli or its cruciferous cousins.
5. “A” is for Butternut Squash – This tasty fruit (yes, fruit!) is an exceptional source of beta-carotene, the antioxidant your body converts to vitamin A. But it’s also an overlooked source of bone-building calcium.
6. Eat More Edamame – This tasty green soybean is one of the oldest snack foods, and one of the most beneficial, helping to lower “bad” cholesterol, protect against colon cancer, and strengthen bones. You’ll fine edamame in natural foods markets. Just steam and pop the beans out of their pods.
7. Fabulous Flaxseed – This tiny, nutty-flavoured seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which may block hormone-related cancers. They pack plenty of protein and fiber, too. Sprinkle one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed into yogurt, cereals, salads, soups and batters.
8. All Eyes on Kale – This leafy green tops the vegetable list in antioxidant power, with lutein and zeaxanthin protecting against age-related eye diseases. You can get the benefit by eating kale often, as well as collards, spinach, and turnip greens.
9. High Flying Kiwifruit – Named for New Zealand’s flightless kiwi bird, these fuzzy fruits (berries, actually) fly to the top of the list as the most nutrient-dense fruits of all. Two have more potassium than a banana, twice the vitamin C and fiber of a small orange, plus folate, magnesium, vitamin E, copper and lutein.
10. Lentils Love your Heart – Lentils are loaded with heart-protective nutrients including folate and fiber. Their protein (9grams per half cup) and iron make them a good meat substitute, too. Unlike their bean cousins, lentils are easy to prepare and cook up in 15-20 minutes.
11. Long Live Onions! – The Egyptian symbol of eternity may actually prolong your life. Sulfur compounds, also found in garlic, thin your blood and lower blood pressure. The quercetin in them helps prevent oxidation of “bad” cholesterol and defends against cancer and cataracts. For maximum quercetin, choose red onions, then yellow, then white.
12. Hurrah for Quinoa – The Incas knew what was good for them! Quinoa (keen-wah) is actually a seed, not a grain, and serves up high-quality protein (11 grams per half cup) and plenty of fiber (5 grams). The rice-like granules contain ample magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, riboflavin, copper and more iron than true grains.
13. Sardine Standouts – Sardines are our #1 fish pick for their exceptional omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease blood clotting, prevent heart arrhythmias and combat inflammation – all bonuses for your heart. They are low in mercury, so you can safely eat them 3-4 times a week.
14. I Say Tomato – Cooked or processed tomatoes are your very best source of cancer-fighting lycopene. New research shows it may offer bone protection too. So enjoy your spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, or pizza. Adding a touch of fat, like olive oil, increases absorption.
15. Go for Yogurt – Yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium, and famed for its friendly bacteria (the “probiotics” which promote good digestion and boost immunity). Yogurt mat be good for your waistline, too. New research links certain dairy foods to reduced body fat.