Thursday, January 26, 2012

You are what you eat

Superfoods: Every grocery aisle I turn down, every study I stumble upon, I find a new superfood being touted as "the healthiest food EVER".  Of course each food that has ever been listed within this category is considered healthy: they all offer nutrition benefits beyond your average healthy food.  So what exactly warrants the illustrious title of "superfood"?
"Though there is no legal or medical definition, superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don't. Read about several foods that are considered super, what health benefits they offer, and how to fit them into your diet." (source) 

For my own peace of mind, I drafted a personal list of superfoods.  The list is compiled of foods that I like, foods that intrigue me, and foods that will work well in daily meals.  Here's my list...and stay tuned for recipes that incorporate these foods! 

No. 1: Kale
What: High in fiber
Why: Improves circulation, good for your eyes

No. 2: Brussels Sprouts
What: Low in sodium, high in fiber, cholesterol free
Why: May help to reduce the risk of cancer

No. 3: Garlic
What: Immune-enhancing Allium compounds
Why: Stimulates your immune system and maintains cardiovascular health

No. 4: Mushrooms
What: No fat, no sugar, no fat...and 90% water content
Why: May help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease

No. 5: Cacao
What: Antioxidant flavonoids (more than any other food)
Why: Maintains cardiovascular health, contains essential minerals for your beauty (your skin says 'Thank You!')

No. 6: Honey
What: Antioxidants
Why: It helps to beat hangovers...! Now, who can resist that?

No. 7: Oats
What: High in fiber
Why: Maintains cardiovascular health

No. 8: Blueberries
What: Antioxidants, vitamin C
Why: Helps to speed up your metabolism

Do you have a favorite superfood? If so, what is your favorite way to include them on your weekly menu?

A side note: So many sources will send you on a wild-goose chase to find foods that are not readily available, or foods that you have never even heard of (and to be honest, are probably not interested in trying).  Once committed to staying healthy, I think it is important to be able to bring these superfoods into your daily diet.  Jonny Bowden's "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth" is a great resource to use and will make this an easier task.

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