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Super Foods

Monday, January 25, 2016

Imagine improving your heart health just by eating. Or being able to lower your cholesterol by incorporating certain foods into your diet. The good news is that this is all a reality! These foods, often called super foods, can provide a variety of health benefits by simply being eaten by you. While recommended foods tend to vary from list to list, the foods below have been regarded by leading doctors, nutritionists, and scientists to be true super foods.

Berries of all varieties are often recommended as an incredibly beneficial food. Since most are usually loaded with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, they are a top choice. They also often contain a good deal of calcium and other important vitamins. Not only can they help lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory. A good rule of thumb to remember is, in general, the more color a berry has, the more antioxidants it contains.

Tea is full of antioxidants and other “good for you things". Don’t be fooled by marketing gimmicks; the overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea. However, it is important to note that green tea does have ECGC which is a super powerful antioxidant that helps to lower cholesterol and may help to battle cancerous cells. Try and replace sugary drinks or sodas with either black or green tea. If you don’t like unsweetened tea, try using a small amount of a natural sweetener like stevia instead of typical sugars.

Perhaps one of the more tasty super foods, dark chocolate has recently been proven to be packed with antioxidants and can help to lower blood pressure. Don’t just run out and buy all the dark chocolate you can find though. Try and look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content. For antioxidants, the darker the chocolate, the better. That rule applies towards fat and sugar content as well. The darker the chocolate, the better for you that it is overall.

Fiber, while not considered a super food itself, can be found in many foods and can help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fiber can also help you to feel fuller longer! Whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables are all great sources. You can get creative about recipes and how you incorporate high fiber foods into them. Try avoiding canned veggies or beans to seek out fiber. They tend to be high in sodium. Read your labels and consult with your doctor or a nutritionist if you have any questions.

If you suffer from food allergies or any chronic illnesses or diseases, be sure to talk with your doctor or nutritionist before incorporating any new foods into your diet. They will be best qualified to guide you to the most appropriate super foods for your needs.

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