Contrary to popular conceptions, superfoods are not always obscure fruits and vegetables that can only be found in natural food stores. Often, these superfoods are ingredients that can be readily found in any supermarket. Some examples of superfoods include beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, and yogurt. Remember to eat these foods in an unprocessed form whenever possible (i.e., not orange soda).
I recently came across a renowned nutritional resource “The Abs Diet” (also “The Abs Diet for Women”), written by the Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health David Zinczenko. The evidence-based materials presented are far from a typical restrictive diet approach and paint a healthy perspective to nutrition without having you eating sandpaper sandwiches. Here is a glimpse into Zinczenko’s 12 powerfoods, their benefits, and imposters. (I am only including the extended info on the first three due to space constraints. I would recommend the book as your next step in inquiry)
1. Almonds and other nuts: builds muscle and fights cravings. Contain protein, monounsaturated fats (good-for-you fat, helps clear arteries), vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, folate (peanuts), and phosphorus.Fight against obesity, heart disease, muscle loss, wrinkles, cancer, and high blood pressure. Receive similar benefits from pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and avocados.Imposters include salted and smoked nuts; their high sodium content may contribute to high blood pressure.
2. Beans and Legumes: builds muscle, helps burn fat, regulates digestion. Contain fiber, protein, iron, and folate. Fight against obesity, colon cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Top choices include soybeans, pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), navy beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, and lima beans. Receive similar benefits from lentils, peas, bean dips, hummus, and edamame. Imposters include refried beans (high in saturated fat) and baked beans (high in sugar)
3. Spinach and other green vegetables: neutralizes the free radicals which are molecules that accelerate the aging process. Contain vitamins A, C, and K, folate, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and beta-carotene. Fight against cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and osteoporosis. Receive similar benefits from broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, and yellow beans. Imposters: “none, as long as you don’t fry them or smother them in fatty cheeses”
4. Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese)
5. Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)
7. Turkey and other lean meats (lean steak, chicken, fish)
8. Peanut butter (all-natural, sugar-free)
9. Olive oil
10. Whole-grain breads and cereals
11. Extra-protein (whey) powder
12. Raspberries and other berries
Hemp is incredibly good for the body and is one of the most versatile food sources in the world. It is by all means a superfood as it provides incredible amounts of vitamins and minerals to your body.
1. Blueberries. Blueberries appear to be the best super food because they are packed with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber for minimal calories. Fresh or frozen both work to help fight against heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
2. Quinoa. Quinoa appears like a long distant relative of rice and cous cous, but the seed from a leafy plant is related to spinach and has big health benefits.
3. Lentils. Lentils come in a broad variety of colors. They’re full of folic acid, that help prevent anemia, and is beneficial to fetal development.
4. Organic eggs. Eggs have been shown to have large amounts of protein and other nutrients that aid in brain function including memory, intelligence, and mood.
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