I get a lot of questions about what I eat and the benefits that those foods have for my health. I’m all about eating healthy, but I do have a few favorites. Below is my Top 10 list of great power foods.
Fresh, wild salmon is hard to beat for taste, but it is also a great source of protein and healthy fat. Salmon is very high in vitamin D, selenium and zinc. The omega 3 fats in salmon can help you reduce your odds of having a heart attack or stroke and improve your brain function. I eat at least two to three servings per week.
Oatmeal is a whole grain I have every day. It is low on the glycemic scale and keeps my blood sugar regulated for hours. Oatmeal is also an excellent source of soluble fiber and this helps keeps my blood pressure and cholesterol lowered while keeping me regular. Can’t go without!
The taste of blueberries really sets them apart from other fruit, not to mention their wonderful color and texture. Blueberries are very high in fiber, vitamin C and folate, along with powerful antioxidant chemicals called proanthocyanidins. These chemicals have the ability to reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar and help protect the arteries. I eat about a half of a cup of these berries daily.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This oil is excellent for salads, food preparation, in a garnish or in stir-fries. I love the taste of fresh olive oil, added to rice and drizzled over grilled vegetables. I use it mixed with garlic powder to grill shrimp or scallops. Delicious! I consume at least one to two tablespoons per day because the fat contained in this oil helps reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease…and I love the flavor, too.
How could you not just love a ripe avocado? They are rich and creamy with a unique texture. I enjoy them sliced in my wraps, sandwiches, sushi, salads and dips (the list goes on). Sometimes I will slice the avocado in half and eat it with balsamic vinegar—they are so good on their own! The fat in avocado is the omega 9 variety (also seen in olive oil). I enjoy eating avocado at least two or three times a week.
6. Mixed Vegetables
I like to buy large bags of freshly frozen vegetables. The key here is getting lots of colored ones like broccoli, peas, carrots, soy beans and Brussels sprouts. I steam and season them to get the most flavor I can. They contain fiber, nutrients and antioxidants like carotenes that my body needs to be healthy. Frozen veggies are almost as nutritious as freshly picked and are so handy.
7. Raw Nuts
I love to eat raw mixed nuts every day. I put them in my oatmeal or yogurt and have them as a snack. They are full of vitamins, minerals and good heart-healthy omega 9 fats. You don’t need to eat too many, but they are a great tasty treat loaded with fiber. I eat a couple of handfuls each day.
8. Greek Yogurt
This high-protein, low-fat yogurt is awesome with nuts and fresh fruit. It’s low in calories and packed with minerals like calcium and magnesium. It also contains the friendly bacteria that I need for my digestive tract. These good bacteria help support my immune system and prevent the overgrowth of unwanted microbes. I eat about a cup a day.
9. Brown Jasmine Rice
If you haven’t tried it you are really missing out. This rice is aromatic and delicate. It is a mainstay of my whole grain intake and its health properties are impressive! It is low on the glycemic scale, an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, B vitamins and fiber. It goes so well with legumes like black beans. I regularly eat at least one to two cups each day.
These may be the most important food on the list. They are a great source of protein and complex carbohydrates which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. They also contain a high amount of soluble fiber, nutrients and antioxidants. I like to buy canned black beans and then add them to my rice with avocado oil and spices. They are also inexpensive, so consider that an added bonus.
Greger, M., “Why We Should Eat More Beans,” Nutrition Facts website, March 2014; retrieved from http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/03/11/why-you-should-eat-more-beans/.