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Superfoods that will keep you Super Healthy

Cokeitha Gaddist Healthy Lifestyles Columnist

Cokeitha Gaddist
Healthy Lifestyles Columnist

superfoodsNature has provided us with all the nutrients we need to stay healthy and fight off illness and diseases. Fortunately we don’t have to travel around the world to find them, they can all be found in your local grocery stores. They are called Nature’s Superfoods. Superfoods are packed with high nutritional values and health benefits. Superfoods are a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and lean meats that are loaded with nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Eating superfoods may lower your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. They also boost your immune system, prevent certain types of infections and assist in controlling your weight. Therefore the next time you go shopping add the following superfoods to your grocery list.

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like squash, pineapple and banana contain vitamins A, C and E, as well as fiber and potassium that are all good for your heart, skin, eyes and immune system. Carrots, oranges, mangos, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, papaya and cantaloupe are filled with beta carotene that keeps your skin and body tissue healthy.

Berries are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. Eating blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, acai berries and gogi berries helps to protect the cells from damage. Berries also contain phytochemicals believed to destroy cancer cells in the liver. Blueberries are a major powerhouse and help prevent short term memory loss.

Dark Leafy Greens like spinach, kale and collard greens are low in calories and high in B-vitamin that helps prevent heart disease, birth defects, dementia and colon cancer. Eating dark leafy greens can also stop vision loss and slow the development of wrinkles and prevent damage to the skin.

Eggs are rich in protein, and low in calories. They are an excellent source of iron, biotin and B12, which can combat anemia and reduce hair loss. Pregnant women should be aware that eggs are also high in choline, which is important for fetal brain development. Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight quicker.

Nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts and walnuts are rich in fiber, protein and B-vitamins. Nuts are often thought of as unhealthy due to their high fat content, but the fat found in nuts is monounsaturated fat, which is considered a heart-friendly fat. Eating nuts in small portions may lower your risk of developing hypertension and Type-2 diabetes.

Salmon is a good source of iron and is high in omega-3 fatty acids that help lower your risk of developing heart diseases. It also helps those who suffer from arthritis, depression, and in some cases, may reduce memory loss and lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Broccoli is one of the healthiest greens you should eat. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. It helps prevent cancer and is great for boosting your immune system which can help you fight off the common cold.

Garlic often gets overlooked but eating it regularly can lower your blood pressure. It also prevents the blood from being overly sticky and decreases the LDL cholesterol. While LDL is the bad cholesterol, it helps increase the good cholesterol, HDL cholesterol. Cook with it as often as you can.

Tomatoes pack a nutritional punch; they are low in calories, sodium, and cholesterol. They provide your body with Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, copper, calcium, niacin, folate, and potassium. It promotes healthy eyes, great looking skin, and stronger bones. It also offers a large dose of lycopene known for fighting several types of cancer.

Dark chocolate is filled with disease-fighting antioxidants. It has fewer calories than milk chocolate, and may lower bad cholesterol levels and prevent plaque from building up in your arteries. New research has shown that dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure. I recommend that you look for dark chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content; the darker, the better.

Remember processed foods fuel weight gain. Superfoods support weight loss and super healthy eating!

 

Special to The Colletonian (3424 Posts)