Thursday, February 10, 2011

Superfoods






God has created nature and the elements therefrom to be of a benefit to us living beings. Furthermore, us living beings have been created to give benefit to each other. Take the simple example of the flowers and the bees. As we all know, the bees pollinate the flowers inducing integration of the genetic material of two separate flowers to create a totally different offspring without even knowing it, all while trying to enjoy the flower's nectar to bring home to produce honey which becomes the source of food for many beings. As we must all be aware, everything in the biosphere is interconnected and interdependent.



Nature is an amazing thing! I personally believe that there is no disease on the face of this earth that doesn't have a cure that can be found in nature. Ours is to discover how to wield the power of nature to our benefit and usefulness. Instead of going to drugs and supplements to stay healthy, we as human beings should take advantage of the many foodstuffs in nature that will definitely marry much better with our bodies to lower blood cholesterol and the risks of heart disease and cancer without adding all the unwanted toxins that can undoubtedly be found in prescription medication. All it takes is a little motivation, a little research and a little caution to live healthy.

Below is an article adapted from http://www.webmd.com that talks about a few superfoods that hold the key to a long, healthy life. This has definitely broadened my food staples list and I hope you find it helpful as well!



Top Superfoods Offering Super Health Protection

  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Soy
  • Spinach
  • Tea (green or black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt
Blueberries -- Antioxidant Superfood
Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.
"Inflammation is a key driver of all chronic diseases, so blueberries have a host of benefits," says Ann Kulze, MD, of Charleston, S.C., author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet, A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality. When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more anti-oxidants they have. "I tell everyone to have a serving (about 1/2 cup) every day," Dr. Kulze says. "Frozen are just as good as fresh." Be sure to include lots of other fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants.
Omega 3-Rich Fish -- Superfoods for the Heart, Joints, and Memory
"We know that the omega 3s you get in fish lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may possibly help with memory loss and Alzheimer's," Somer says. "There is some evidence to show that it reduces depression as well."
Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish: Look for wild (not farmed) salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Aim for two-to-three servings a week. Other forms of omega 3s are available in fortified eggs, flax seed, and walnuts. These superfoods have the added benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol.
Soy -- Superfood to Lower Cholesterol
A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association (2003) showed that a diet of soy fiber, protein from oats and barley, almonds, and margarine from plant sterols lowered cholesterol as much as statins, the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine. "Look for tofu, soy milk, or edamame -- not soy powder," says Somer. In other words, soy sauce won't do the trick. One caveat: If you have a family history of breast cancer it is not recommended that you eat extra soy.
Fiber -- Superfood Aids Weight Loss and Checks Cholesterol
A diet high in fiber will help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. As a bonus, because fiber helps you feel full longer, it's a great tool in weight management. Whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables are all good sources. Try throwing some beans in your salad, recommends Kulze. "Fresh, frozen, or dried are the best. You can use canned, but they tend to be higher in sodium," Kulze warns.
Tea -- Superfood for Lowering Cholesterol and Inhibiting Cancer
"The overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea," says Kulze, "but green tea does have ECGC, a powerful antioxidant that we really do think is quite special." A recent Japanese study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn't. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. For a double health whammy, replace sugary sodas with tea.
Calcium
OK, OK, you know the drill: Calcium helps build strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. Look for it in dairy products or supplements. Added bonus: Some studies show that calcium helps with weight loss. Here are the calcium levels recommended for adults by the USDA:
  • Age 9 to 18 -- 1,300 mg
  • Age 19 to 50 -- 1,000 mg
  • Age 51 and over -- 1,200 mg
And Finally, the Yummiest Superfood Yet ... Dark Chocolate
New research has shown that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Kulze recommends that you look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content; the darker, the better. In addition, the darker it is, the lower the fat and sugar content. Now that's our kind of health food!

Happy Eating!

 

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