Listen up women, let’s talk about one of the biggest pleasures in life, FOOD! Ensuring you’re fueling your body with the right kinds of foods are crucial for a healthy lifestyle. With an overwhelming amount of information circulating the internet and grocery stores on dieting, or foods that claim to be “healthy”, it’s hard to know what to believe. That’s when it’s time to turn to the experts. Certified dietitians have proven these superfoods themselves add them into their own personal daily diet.
Are you searching for superfoods to add to your grocery list that taste great and have a multitude of health benefits? Keep reading to kickstart your health goals today.
Here’s our list of the top 10 superfoods to keep you healthy, lean, and strong:
1. Dark, Leafy Greens
Kale, collard greens, and broccoli all lead the pack in this category. Low in calories, yet pack a serious punch of nutrients including iron, calcium, folate, and vitamins K, C, E, B. Folate is very important during pregnancy to ensure proper neural tube development of the embryo, and has also been proven to increase heart health. Leafy greens protect our cells, antioxidant rich, improves skin and eyes, and age-related damage to the body. These can all be eaten raw, steamed, or sautéed.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and more one of the healthiest foods you can put into your body. Not only are their colors gorgeous, they’re rich in vitamin C, potassium, and minerals. Amazing antioxidant powers protect our blood vessels, which in turn protect our hearts from vascular damage. Berries also improve eyesight, help fight wrinkles, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and prevent cancer. Frozen berries have the same effects as fresh ones do. 1-2 cups daily is the recommended goal for each day. Don’t miss out on these incredible benefits!
3. Wild Alaskan Salmon
Wild Alaskan Salmon, provides a high quality protein along with essential doses of Omega-3 fatty acids which are super important for your body. The fatty acids are known for their heart health benefits, impoand may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Low in calories and high in protein to keep you fuller longer and ward off hunger pains. 6 oz twice a week is the perfect amount.
The power machine of green! Okay listen ladies, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the good kind of fat! Monosaturated fats found in avocados keep your weight under control (can even flatten your tummy), protect your heart, and lowers cholesterol. An insane amount of nutrients are found in these bad boys like potassium, magnesium, folate, protein, vitamins B6, E, K, and fiber. Aim for eating 1/4-1/2 an avocado a day to reap all the benefits.
5. Whole Grains
Brown rice, millet quinoa, barley, and oats provide complex carbs which keep you full and provide a great source of all day energy. Carbs often get a bad wrap in the dieting world, but they’re actually highly beneficial for your health. They offer B-vitamins, fiber, minerals, and are low in fat. Pairing grains with a protein and vegetable creates a well-rounded meal.
We’re not talking about the “fruit on the bottom” or other sugar packs varieties. Opt for an established brand of low-fat with live cultures like Lactobacillus acidophilus. It’s loaded with bone healthy calcium – something that every woman needs regardless of their age. One cup has 448 mg of calcium compared to only 300 mg for a glass of skim milk. Greek yogurt is also a solid option if you prefer a thicker, creamier texture. Yogurt may decrease the risk of breast cancer, reduce irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory tract disorders. Both of these conditions affect women more than men. High levels of probiotics help boost immunity preventing the flu and colds. *If you are vegan, Kite Hill has amazing almond milk yogurts.*
Black beans, garbanzo beans (chick peas), kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, and more are all high sources of protein and carbs. Beans also contain important nutrients like iron and calcium, crucial for women’s health. High in fiber and low in fat, beans control blood sugar and help burn fat.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Known as one of the healthiest foods in the world, sweet potatoes are a weekly staple. Loaded with energy-boosting carbs, fiber, vitamins, manganese, and potassium. They’re also known for their cancer-fighting antioxidants and protect against signs of aging. They’re extremely versatile in the way you cook them grilled, baked, steamed, sautéed, etc.
9. Dark Chocolate
You’re probably thinking there’s been a typo…Nope! Dark chocolate has incredible health benefits. It’s rich antioxidant properties keeps your blood vessels, cells, and nerves all in tip-top condition. Minerals, copper, zinc, magnesium, and great for your bone strength. Indulging with a piece of dark chocolate daily has been proven to lower body mass index and decrease stress, compared to those who skip the chocolate. This also means your sweet cravings are put to rest, which will greatly reduce the chances of binge eating unhealthy sweets later on. So go ahead and splurge a little, it’s good for you!
Almonds trump any other nut out there since they’re very nutritionally dense. This means they have the highest concentration of overall nutrients per calorie and ounce. Almonds are also a great source of potassium, calcium, Vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. Major health benefits also include those of the heart, weight loss, reducing fat, and lowering blood pressure. Snacking on a few ounces of almonds per day has also been proven to reduce hunger without gaining weight.
Superfoods surely pack a serious nutritional punch. Loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals, eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease, extend your life, and shrink your waistline. Next time you’re out shopping, add these foods to your grocery list and be prepared to enjoy all the fabulous health benefits.