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Power foods that help guard your health

Grocery shopping today is like going on a treasure hunt. You can either load your cart with things that fill you up but don’t do much to keep you healthy, or you can reach for everyday superfoods that support your well-being.

woman eating yogurt

Here are some of my favorite power food choices.

green teaTea teems with heart and fat-fighting benefits

I’m all for replacing sugary sodas with iced tea. Green tea is rich in catechins that burn subcutaneous and visceral fat. Tea burns fat at an amazing rate — 1.3 times higher than that of caffeine. Those catechins in green tea also clean up cholesterol. According to one study, blood cholesterol levels dropped from 229 to 218 in participants who drank green tea for two months.

Palm fruit oil is a new healthy fat

Palm fruit oil has cholesterol, neurological and liver benefits. The healthy fat has been scrutinized for the last 40 years, with encouraging results! Malaysian palm fruit oil contains a variety of fats, vitamins and nutrients, but no trans-fats. Since Malaysian palm fruit oil has a unique, balanced composition, it basically behaves more like a healthier monounsaturated fat (the type of fat found in olive oil) than a saturated fat. It is also rich in powerful antioxidants called tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which may help protect the brain in case of a stroke, and may help protect your liver health should you develop fatty liver disease.

Yogurt delivers delicious digestive benefits

Probiotics are good-for-you microorganisms. They are especially helpful for digestive health. Nowadays they can be found in specially marked drinks, yogurts and a variety of other products. By introducing microorganisms into your intestinal tract (as with probiotic bacteria), you can also support your immune system’s defenses. A cup of plain yogurt with the Live and Active Cultures seal provides approximately the same “dose” as a typical probiotic supplement.

Nutritional benefits (and myths) of probiotics >>

Immune boosters in the grocery aisles

Supermarket shelves also contain products — from cookies to beverages — fortified with natural ingredients that safely enhance the immune system. Especially now that we are approaching the cold and flu season, you want to look for ingredients such as Wellmune which enhances your immune system without over-stimulating it. Foods and drinks fortified with the right nutrients can help your immune system function at its peak and reduce a cold’s symptoms. Choose beverages that are high in vitamin C and/or zinc (at least 100 percent of your daily value for C and 25 percent for zinc), made from real fruit and less than 175 calories for each serving.

Watch: Superfoods dinner

Today on the Daily Dish, chef at Province Restaurant at the Westin Phoenix Downtown, Rita French, shows you how to make a hearty Spanish chorizo, potato and kale soup.

More power foods that boost your health

Quiz: Do you know your superfoods?
Top 6 superfoods for summer
10 Superfoods and how to squeeze them into your diet

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