Want that healthy glow? It’s no secret that a balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables and lean protein provides your body with the nutrients it needs. However, adding superfoods to your diet gives more nutritional bang for your buck.
Superfoods you don’t want to ignore:
Try incorporating the following superfoods into your diet:
- Legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, soybeans) are low-fat-and-sodium picks packed with fiber, protein, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc.
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, currants) and stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums and cherries) are tasty little bundles of folate, vitamin A and C, fiber, and potassium that can protect you from heart disease, stroke, cancers, diabetes and infections.
- Leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, dark green lettuce) boast tons of nutrients such as iron, calcium, fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins A, K and C.
- Fish (salmon, tuna, trout) are a great source of lean protein full of minerals. They also are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart and can ward off dementia, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
- Tea is loaded with antioxidants, trace vitamins and minerals. It stimulates the central nervous system and kidneys as well as relaxes smooth muscle in airways.
- Yogurt is a creamy treat that provides essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and D. Live cultures improve digestion by adding healthy bacteria to your intestines and fight against diarrhea, tooth decay and vaginal infections. It boosts your immune system too.
- Sweet potatoes are fat-free, low-calorie treats packed with vitamin A, fiber, potassium and beta-carotene, which can slow the aging process.
- Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios) are high in omega-3s, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, copper and potassium. Their protein contributes to healthy muscle and can protect against heart disease. All you need is a handful.
- Avocado is one of the most nutrient-dense fruits. It is loaded with fiber, zinc, iron, magnesium, foliate, vitamin B-6, C, E and K, and 60 percent more potassium than bananas. Enjoy all this with no fear of sodium or cholesterol. Hello guacamole!
- Kiwis are a small, easy to eat snack with big health benefits. Two kiwis are less than 100 calories and boast twice the vitamin C of an orange, as much potassium as a banana and tons of fiber, folate and vitamin E.
- Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to improve kidney function and brain health, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system and cardiovascular system, as well as encourage good blood sugar levels while promoting healthy skin.
A healthy diet can lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, increase your energy level, shrink your waistline and provide your body with vitamins and minerals to achieve that healthy sparkle. Talk with your Little Company of Mary primary care provider about adding superfoods to your diet.
Sources: Diabetes.org, HealthFinder.org, MyPlate.gov, NIH.gov