Imagine a food that can help prevent cancer, reduce your cholesterol or help you lose weight — while at the same time making you feel more healthy and energized. Food plays an important role in how long we live, how our body responds to disease and how we feel on a daily basis.
Next time you're at the grocery store, stock your cart with some of our favorite super foods.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and have 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries. They are also high in vitamin A, which is good for your heart, and vitamin C, which helps build a strong immune system. Haylie Pomroy, author of The Fast Metabolism Diet, suggests pairing sweet potatoes with baked salmon for a super-food packed meal.
Although eggs have been linked to high cholesterol, in reality, studies have shown one egg a day doesn't change your current cholesterol levels. Avoid eating only egg whites — you're missing out on the yolk, where the egg's key nutrients are found. Eggs are loaded with calcium, magnesium and several vitamins, and are rich in protein and carotenoids that produce healthy eyes.
Chia seeds pack a punch of calcium for your diet. In fact, they contain 500 percent more calcium than milk. They also have the same amount of omega-3 acids as wild salmon, and have an added bonus for weight loss — they help you feel full faster, according to the Dr. Oz show.
Blueberries are not only delicious, they are packed with antioxidants, phytoflavinoids, potassium and vitamin C, making these tasty little berries a great super food for someone looking for a sweet treat. Not only are blueberries anti-inflammatory, they also lower your risk of getting heart disease and cancer. While blueberries are easy to snack on, Pomroy suggests using them in smoothies. Try the mixed berry-cashew smoothie — an awesome fat-blasting smoothie — for a quick and easy breakfast option.
Spinach may be most associated with Popeye, but research has shown eating spinach can be more than a good source of iron. This super food can help reduce your chances of getting cardiovascular disease, cancer and age-related macular degeneration. Spinach contains carotenoids, several antioxidants and minerals, and plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping spinach in the fridge is an easy way to make sure your family gets a healthy side dish — whether that's in the form of a salad or spinach cooked on the stove top.
Comfort foods often are loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats. But adding cinnamon to your food is a great way to get the comfort of Grandma's kitchen without the unhealthy saturated fats. One of the oldest spices in the world, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, studies show. It's also a natural food preservative, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease — studies have shown it reduces LDL cholesterol levels (the harmful cholesterol). Pomroy also suggests in her book, The Fast Metabolism Diet, to use it in your morning smoothie, especially if you are trying to wean yourself off caffeinated coffee.
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