We all know that one of the secrets to living a long and healthy life has a lot to do with the foods we eat. With not all foods being created equal, making choices to eat healthier can not only change your quality of life, but the longevity as well.
Here are ten of the top power packed foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health! Many of them are those types of foods you can eat on the run too, so you’re saving time as well as saving your health.
1. Beans – If they give you gas, it’s easy to find precautions you can use before you eat them. Also, soaking them first can help a great deal. Beans of all kinds (kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, Northern) are high in protein. This plant protein contains very little fat, carbs and calories. If fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of beans each day can keep your digestive system healthy. And they are easy to make ahead, freeze or heat-and-go!
2. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is coming back into popularity, now that it’s stated as a food lowering blood cholesterol. You can make it yourself with rolled oats or eat the instant kind if you are in a hurry. Oatmeal is a filling grain which also provides more of that much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.
3. Fruits – Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A. Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of cancer. Berries, such as blueberries and grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants. Choose an array of fruits in a wide variety of colors for maximum health. The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body.
4. Allium foods – This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots. Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol. Allium vegetables help guard the body against the risk of cancer as well as many other ailments. They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots. Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state, especially garlic and wild garlic, increases their health benefits.
5. Salmon – Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis. Wild salmon is a fatty fish, however containing good fats proven to improve health in both children and adults. Salmon is rich in protein which is of great use after an exercise session to build muscle tissue.
6. Flax seed – Like salmon, it contains omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. You get a lot of power to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed. Ground flax, which is the most beneficial way to consume this seed, can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.
7. Peppers – Peppers are colorful. They contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Peppers range from mild and sweet, to so hot you’ll be calling the fire department. All peppers contain a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has the properties of an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever, lowers cancer risk and heart disease. They are good in salads, salsa and all sorts of dishes. Grab some with a great low-fat dip for a quick snack.
8. Nuts and seeds – Nuts may be high in fat, but those fats are the good kind. Peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios are all providers of good fats and protein. Crush them into a fine powder to use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs. Nuts help to lower cholesterol. Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.
9. Açai – This berry has been in the news lately. It is rich in antioxidants and increases energy. You can get more done and look better while doing it. You can get Acai juice and supplements in your health food store.
10. Yogurt – The fat free variety is incredibly good for you. Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein. There are even newer types with added health benefits which you might want to look into. If you don’t drink milk, yogurt is an alternative to get your calcium in to build strong bones and teeth. Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system.
Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat. Try these super foods to get started on the right foot.