Archives
PUBLISHED: 4:08 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2007
10 super foods to boost your health
Summer is the time to be active.

The weather is ideal for activity, with warmer temperatures and more hours of sunlight. It's also swimsuit season, so some of us begin exercising and dieting more often.

Many diet plans and weight-loss schemes pay more attention to our physique and less attention to our health. Tracey Shaffer is a registered dietitian, and the following is a list of "super foods" she recommends for maintaining a nutritional lifestyle.


Courtesy photo
1. Colorful fruits and vegetables - These are important because of the antioxidants in the pigments. "The more colorful the fruit, the more anti-oxidants they have," Shaffer said. Those foods help prevent cancer, heart disease and slow signs of aging. Examples are watermelon, berries, broccoli, and carrots. Try romaine lettuce and spinach instead of iceberg lettuce. Have five to nine servings a day.

2. Low-fat dairy - Dairy provides calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin D. It helps with weight loss, lowering blood pressure and preventing osteoporosis. It also helps in the prevention of colorectal cancer. Examples are milk or cheese. Three servings a day

3. Salmon - Fatty fish like salmon have omega-3 fats, which help lower triglycerides and the risk of heart attacks. "It can help with arthritis pain and some types of cancer," says Shaffer. She says to eat one to two servings of fatty fish every week.


Courtesy photo
  Food items such as nuts have monounsaturated fat, which is good for heart health. It also has an antioxidant called a flavonoid and is high in fiber.Tea has flavonoids, which helps to lower cholesterol and cancer risk while boosting the immune system.
4. Oatmeal - Oatmeal has soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and keep blood pressure low. "It's good for diabetics but helps normal people from having high blood sugar during the day," Shaffer said. Other examples of soluble fibers include oats, barley, beans, and most fruits and vegetables.

5. Flaxseed - An insoluble fiber. "It acts like a broom to clean out the body," Shaffer said. "It has lignans that help protect from certain cancers." It also acts like a natural laxative. She recommends a tablespoon of ground flaxseed per day to get the benefits. Try sprinkling it on oatmeal, cereal, salads or yogurt. It can also be included in baked items like muffins or bread.

6. Whole grains - Whole grains are good because of the fiber, vitamins and minerals available from them. When grocery shopping, try to find whole grains containing three to five grams of fiber per serving. Three servings per day.

7. Beans - Beans and other legumes have soluble fiber, B vitamins and folates. "They help lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke." They also have potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure.

8. Nuts - Food items such as peanut butter and almonds have monounsaturated fat, which is good for heart health. It also has an antioxidant called a flavonoid and is high in fiber.

9. Tea - Also has flavonoids, which helps to lower cholesterol and cancer risk while boosting the immune system. According to Shaffer, the best are black, white, green or oolong teas.

10. Soy foods - A good source of high quality protein, soy helps lower cholesterol, protect against cancer and heart disease, and prevents osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms in women. "It contains a vital chemical unique to soy protein called genistein," Shaffer said.

"Twenty-five grams of soy protein may lower cholesterol from 10 to 15 percent and 40-70 mg of soy isoflavonoids eases menopausal symptoms."


Loading...