Everyone knows that healthy eating involves lots of vegetables. But which ones are better than others? What other foods should you be eating? Super foods are ones that benefit your health in multiple ways. To get the most nutritional bang for your buck, try these top 6 super foods for your health.
Avocados are a super food full of good fats that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research proves they can help lower choloesterol up to 22 percent. One avocado has about half your day’s intake of folate and fiber. It also has more potassium than the famed banana. When combined with other vegetables, its nutrients are absorbed at optimal levels. Add avocado to your day by eating guacamole or adding it to your salad or soup. Its creaminess makes it a perfect substitute for milk or cream in baked goods.
Dark chocolate is not only delicious, but it contains health benefits. In moderate amounts, it reduces blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels. Recent studies with mice even show decreased risk of breast cancer. Make sure to choose dark chocolate over semi-sweet or milk chocolate to maximize the amount of flavonoids and antioxidants. Enjoy a quarter ounce of this guilt-free pleasure!
Pick up some wild salmon to prevent memory loss and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure to choose wild salmon rather than farm raised to decrease your toxic exposure to PCB, polycholorinated biphenyl. If fresh salmon isn’t available in your area, there are quality brands of canned salmon. Don’t be afraid to try cooking salmon. Look for simple ways to roast it or make salmon cakes.
Add some lemon slices to your drink or meal to up your daily intake of vitamin C. Flavonoids found in citrus are anti-inflammatory agents and can slow cancer cell growth. Lemon adds a burst of flavor and is best when added to greens or tea. You will not only get the benefits of the lemon, but it also increases your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients and antioxidants in greens and tea.
If you’re looking for better sleep and improved mood, walnuts are your super food! They have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut. Not only do they decrease depression and regulate sleep, but they may even protect against sunburn. Toss walnuts on your salad, yogurt, or bowl of oatmeal for a filling, nutrient-rich snack. Eating about twelve walnuts a day can bring definite health benefits.
Even in ancient times, garlic was considered a powerful super food. Its anti-bacterial properties make it a medicinal powerhouse, and it also fights off E. coli. By consuming raw or lightly cooked garlic, you receive the most allicin, which is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps lower blood pressure. Make sure to add garlic near the end of cooking to ensure its maximum benefit.
Pick up a few of these super foods on your next trip to the grocery store. Squeeze lemon on salad or add a little extra garlic to your pasta. You can feel good knowing you’re eating food that not only tastes good but is good for you.
Todd Nelson, D.Sc. trained at the International Center for Natural Health and Medicine, graduating with both a Naturopathic Doctor degree and a Doctor of Holistic Health Sciences degree. Aside from heading the Tree of Life Wellness Center in Denver, Colorado as a naturopathic doctor, Todd is also a co-author of 3 books.