Hey everyone, I hope this reaches all of you maintaining your cool on this VERY hot first day of Summer. As promised, here is the 2nd installment of the blog I published last week regarding Superfood choices for 2012. There's a lot of good choices here, and I'm hopeful this information affords you the opportunity now to introduce some of these into your diets. As is always the case, please feel free to share with any and all whom you feel would benefit from reading this. Enjoy!
14. Dark Chocolate
This delicious treat is loaded with flavonoids, antioxidants that have been shown to improve memory and blood flow. Dark chocolate has also been linked to lower blood pressure and improved heart health. Choose a chocolate with more than 60 percent cocoa and limit portions to two or three squares.
A single cup of cherries has just 90 calories and is packed with fiber and vitamin C. Cherries have been show to help alleviate inflammation, joint pain, and gout, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and enhance post-exercise muscle recovery. Top off yogurt, cereal, and desserts with fresh or frozen cherries or mix them in your recovery shake.
This dark yellow spice is used in Indian and Chinese medicine to treat jaundice, colic, toothaches, bruises, chest pain and more. It's powerful antioxidant properties have been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers, lower cholesterol, protect against Alzheimer's disease, and alleviate arthritis. Add it to rice and stews for a punch of flavor.
This colorful, sweet fruit is rich in fiber, vitamin C and K, and is naturally low in calories. Pomegranates are also packed with antioxidants linked to a healthier heart and decreased inflammation. Eat the seeds for a healthy snack or sip on 100% pomegranate juice in the morning
18. Brussel Sprouts
These little cabbage-like veggies are packed with fiber, vitamin C, K, A, and B, and omega-3 fatty acids. They also supply a variety of antioxidants that are associated with cancer prevention, increased cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol. Grill them for a healthy side dish or shred them into soups, salads and sauces.
19. Sunflower Seeds
These kernels are packed with more than 30 percent of the daily recommended value for vitamin E, phosphorous, manganese, and selenium and more than 20 percent of panthothenic acid and copper. Sunflower seeds have also been linked to a healthy heart and lower cholesterol. Add a crunch to your salad or use them to crust your favorite fish.
20. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, kumquats, lemons, and limes are not only loaded with vitamin C but also with folate, fiber and phytochemicals. These acidic fruits have been shown to protect against heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Squeeze citrus juice into your water for some flavor or eat the fruit whole.
Synonymous with Halloween and fall, pumpkin is more than just a celebratory symbol. This delicious veggie is packed with carotenoids, which have been linked to improved night vision, eye health, and joint protection. Plus, pumpkin is waistline-friendly at only 50 calories per cup. Roast, grill, or mash pumpkin as an alternative to potatoes.
Once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon is one of the world's oldest spices. Research has shown that eating cinnamon can help control blood sugar, boost brain power, reduce inflammation, and fight bacteria. So add a bit to your favorite yogurt or mix it into a fresh fruit smoothie.
These soybeans have a sweet, nutty flavor and are used in Asian cooking. Edamame is one of the few plant-based foods that contains all essential amino acids and is high in fiber, protein, potassium, and vitamin B and K. Research has linked edamame to a reduced risk of cancer and a healthier heart. Eat them as a snack or toss them in a salad.
24. Green Tea
Packed with antioxidants known as catechins, green tea has been linked to increased heart health, enhanced weight loss, and stronger bones. It's also been shown to help ward off some forms of cancer and lower cholesterol. Drink a cup in the morning or sip it throughout the day.
A single ounce of this nut provides 3 g of fiber, 6 g of protein, and less fat and more antioxidants than any other nut. Pistachios are also a good source of antioxidants and may protect against heart disease and assist in weight management. Sprinkle a handful over cereal or yogurt or enjoy alone as a snack.
- Core Performance - Nutrition, Edwina Clark February 2012