SUPERFOOD as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is a nutrient rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health. In my battle against the bulge and in an effort to get my blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels back to healthy levels, I had to change how I was nourishing myself. I had to learn the effect of certain foods on my body. The only thing I didn’t want to happen was to be HUNGRY all of the time! As I re-learned how to eat, I realized something very important. YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT LESS, YOU JUST HAVE TO EAT RIGHT! Being healthy does not mean being hungry, no more than it means being a size 2! Often time, we can also enjoy what we are eating and derive pleasure from it… although that is not foods real purpose. Food is here to heal us, to satiate our hunger and to give us energy. There are many foods that can help us shed unwanted pounds and heal our bodies at the same time. The superfoods I have listed here are my top 10 superfoods for overall health and weight loss.
1. AVOCADO – Avocado contains healthy monounsaturated fats. It quiets hunger and contains fiber and protein. I not only slice a half of avocado up and add to my salads, veggie tacos, shrimp tacos, etc – I also use them when blending my own non-dairy ice creams and puddings! The avocado gives my recipes such a creamy texture AND it’s individual taste is masked when you mix with chocolate powder or fruit!!!
2. BEANS – Beans are not only delicious, they contain large amounts of protein – without the saturated fats found in red meat. Additionally, beans contain leptin – a hormone which controls appetite. What I really love about beans is that they also contain a powerful combination of vitamin B, calcium, potassium and folate. This combination of vitamins and minerals help to maintain healthy brain and skin cells, and also helps to reduce blood pressure and risk of stroke.
3. LEAFY GREENS – Nothing new here right? Leafy greens are just awesome for us. They provide us with vitamin A, C & K, as well as folate, potassium and calcium. Studies have also shown that they fight heart disease and certain cancers. My favorites are kale, spinach, swiss chard, dandelion & mustard greens. They are very easy to prepare. Most times, I simply add these to my blender along with fruit to make a delicious green drink, smoothie, ice cream or sauce!
4. BLUEBERRIES – Blueberries are anti-aging!!! That’s right…they can actually make you look younger. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which saves cells from aging prematurely. Researchers at Tufts University, found that when comparing blueberries to other fruits and veggies, blueberries contained the highest levels of antioxidants. For those you trying to lose weight, blueberries are full of fiber and low in calorie – 4 grams per serving and only 80 calories for a 1 cup serving!
5. CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES – Cruciferous veggies include things like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and bok choy. These vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and mineral. They are also know to inhibit growth of some types of cancer cells.
6. GREEN TEA – Green tea hydrates like water. It is also a metabolism booster. Studies have shown that those who drink at least 5 cups of green tea per day could lose twice the amount of weight in week than those who do not drink this delicious drink. I prepare both hot and iced tea with green tea leaves and sweeten it with stevia. Stevia is a natural herb, native to South America that is sweeter than can sugar and contains ZERO CALORIES!
7. SALMON – Salmon is a lean protein which helps you feel full without adding fat! Salmon is good for protection against cancer and cardiovascular problems. it is filled with vitamin D and B vitamins. I tend to stick with the wild caught varieties of fish as they are less in contaminants than are the farm raised.
8. OATS – Oats are very high in fiber. They contain a resistant starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat.
9. GRAPEFRUIT – Grapefruit contains a compound that lowers insulin ( a fat storage hormone). The lowering of this hormone can lead to increased weight loss!
10. RED WINE – This makes my heart do a happy dance! Red wine contains resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in the grape skin. It stops fat storage and also can increase the metabolism rate for 90 minutes following the consumption of a glass! Now, don’t go crazy with this one. We are talking about a glass of wine with dinner not a bottle. CHEERS!
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. There are many other foods that I would certainly put into the “superfood” category. Should you have any questions about this list, other superfoods or need ideas on how to prepare these delicious foods for you and your family, leave a comment below or drop a note to me via email or my website.
Until the next time, BE WELL !!!!