Top Six Superfoods

top six superfoods

What is the secret to a long and healthy life? Part of the answer lies in the food we eat. Superfoods are one term you might have read.  But what does it mean?

Superfoods are nutrient dense, which means that they have a lot of nutrients, but relatively low calories.  They also pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating superfoods may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don’t.

Here are six of the top super foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!

1. Lentils – Lentils are a great source of meat-free protein.  This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories. A half cup of cooked lentils also gives you nearly half your daily folate, a B vitamin which protects a fetus from neural tube defects.  If fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of lentils or other legumes each day can keep your digestive system healthy. Try Boo’s Dal Recipe for a tasty lentil stew.

2. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is coming into popularity as a food that lowers 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 that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.  Try Berry Yummy Oatmeal for a superfood breakfast.

3. Bananas –Bananas contain significant amounts of vitamins C and B6, are rich in carotenoids, and can increase vitamin A levels in those with deficiencies.  The average banana contains 3 grams of fiber, which helps keep us full and fend off the munchies.  Bananas are also high in potassium, which many of us do not get enough of in our daily diets. Try this Tropical Kale Smoothie for a potassium boost!!

4. 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 but it contains healthy fats. Salmon is rich in protein which helps to build muscle tissue. Try Broiled Salmon for a quick and easy dinner!

5. Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are packed with 10g of fiber and nearly 5g of protein per ounce (just under 3 tablespoons). They are also a good source of calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids and phosphorous.  Try Cranberry Chia Seed Oatmeal for a tasty breakfast.

6. Peppers – Peppers are colorful. They contain antioxidants like 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. This Sun Dried Tomato, Mini Pepper and Spinach Frittata with Cheese would be good for any meal!!

Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat. Try these super foods to get started on the right foot.

What’s your favorite super food?

Tropical Kale Smoothie

tropical kale smoothie

I’m a big fan of kale, especially if it’s cooked and crispy (Green, Eggs and Spam Quinoa Muffins, Tasty Kale Chips, Butternut Squash Frittata with Crispy Kale).

If you haven’t discovered the joys of kale, let me tell you some of the reasons why I love it.

At just 33 calories, one cup of raw kale has:

  • Nearly 3 grams of protein
  • 2.5 grams of fiber
  • Vitamins A, C, and K
  • Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development
  • Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. (While kale has far less omega-3 than fish, it is another way to get some of this healthy fat into your diet)
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

Do you want the health benefits of kale, but can’t get past the taste and texture?  Then let me recommend this Tropical Kale Smoothie. The tropical flavors mask the taste of the kale completely.  I like mine a little chunkier, but if you blend it longer, you won’t have any pieces of kale to contend with.

Tropical Kale Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1 cup kale, ribs removed

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

1 banana

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Directions:

Add all ingredients to blender.  Blend until smooth.

Makes 1-2 servings

tropical kale smoothie

Enjoy!!

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