It's berry berry simple. Super foods are the secret to better sleep and better health. Nutritionist Gayle Reichler shares her Top 10.
Interested in fewer colds this winter and feeling better overall? Then try eating “super foods.” Super foods are foods that are packed with a variety of protective vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that keep you feeling good. These foods can also help you ward off diseases such as heart disease and cancer if you incorporate them into your diet on a steady basis.
Every super food is a whole food meaning that it is not a processed food. The benefits are inherent in the plant or food source, never added in a factory. Below is a list of super foods and how they might help you:
Berries: In general, the rule is the darker the berry the more antioxidants it possesses. Berries are also lower in sugar than most fruits and are low in calories. I once lost weight just using blueberries as a snack. Blueberries happen to be the best berries as they are high in Potassium and Vitamin C. They are also anti-inflammatory. Any food that reduces inflammation helps to reduce disease,
Beans: Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, the kind that helps your body lower cholesterol and which helps you stay regular. They are also a low calorie, high volume source of protein. Plus they come in many fun shapes and tastes. “Edamame” or young soybeans are packed with Omega-3’s, protective and essential fats our bodies need.
Broccoli: This dark green vegetable is available all year long. Broccoli is also rich in Beta Carotenes and Vitamin C, both protective nutrients that help ward off disease. It is also packed with fiber. Other dark green vegetables are very nutritious too. The darker green the vegetable the more vitamins, minerals and nutrients it has.
Pumpkin/Sweet Potato: Packed with beta carotenes, these are a healthy dark orange vegetable. You know a vegetable/fruit is packed with beta carotenes because it is dark orange. Also look for carrots and butternut squash, or mangos and cantaloupe.
Low fat or fat free yogurt: A great source of Calcium necessary for strong bones, Calcium has also been shown to help with weight loss. The bacteria in yogurt help maintain gut health too. You can get your Calcium from Skim milk too.
Eggs: A quality protein source packed with 12 vitamins and minerals.
Nuts: Even though they are high in fat, nuts have the “good” fat that is heart healthy, they are high in fiber and will help you fill up with healthy nutrients with just a small serving. Just be aware of the calories in nuts, so a handful a day is a good rule of thumb, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Omega -3, the protective fats, can be found in walnuts.
Whole Grains: Quinoa, Barley, Oats, Buckwheat, Wheat Berries, and Millet are some of the grains you might not be used to, but which are worth trying. Whole grains contribute fiber and protein to your diet, without a lot of calories. Whenever you are trying to lose weight, I recommend you eat high fiber foods – whole grains, fruit and vegetables, because then you will get satiated with fewer calories.
Omega 3 Rich Fish – Omega 3’s are protective fats that are found in fatty, cold water fish, essential to our diet. Look for wild salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Try to eat smaller fish like sardines if you are interested in helping the environment, and save the large fish from being over fished.