Superfoods to the Rescue

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grant Cochrane

We learn about the food pyramid early in life so we already know how to eat a balanced meal. There are some foods however, that are better than others. These are called “superfoods”. These foods can help boost immunity, and decrease the risk of some diseases and cancers. Some can even fight wrinkles, improve memory, and help you lose and keep weight off! It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. Foods really can have these effects on you, maybe not instantly, but they will make a difference when you incorporate them into your daily diet. Like they say, “you are what you eat”; so be super and eat these superfoods, according to Health Magazine:

  • Greek yogurt is all the rage right now! This is awesome because it is chock full of great nutrients. Greek yogurt has two times the protein as regular yogurt, plus just one cup satisfies a quarter of a woman’s Calcium needs. Some studies have even found that it boosts immunity. One should try for three servings a day. This may sound like a lot, but you can find tons of things to mix it with, such as granola, fruit, or nuts. You can also use it as a sour cream replacement in tacos or baked potatoes.
  • Olive oil is so frequently used it is easy to incorporate into your diet. This is convenient because olive oil is important for a healthy heart and improved brain function.  Two tablespoons a day is a good amount to shoot for. Try to use it in place of butter and other cooking oils.
  • Wild blueberries are truly magical berries; they decrease blood pressure, increase motor skills, AND they prevent memory loss. These qualities alone are fantastic, but what’s even more exciting is that they are high in antioxidants which help prevent wrinkles! Sounds like something you would read about in a Harry Potter book, doesn’t it? Choose wild blueberries over industrially grown blueberries because they score high in antioxidant activity tests. Aim for half a cup daily to get all their magic power!
  • Broccoli is high in many nutrients including vitamins C and A, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, and fiber, plus it fights excess estrogen which helps prevents breast cancer. Broccoli also helps you feel more satiated, helping you either lose or maintain weight, depending on what your goal is. Two cups a week should do it.
  • Oats help lower cholesterol and are high in fiber. A high fiber diet helps to keep you regular, which is crucial in preventing colon cancer. Oats, along with broccoli, do an excellent job at keeping you fuller longer. Try to get steel cut oats because they have more fiber. You need 25-30 grams of fiber every day, so add oats to everything!
  • Walnuts are often forgotten when it comes to nuts because almonds tend to hog the spotlight. Walnuts can help you sleep, increase brain power, prevent heart disease, and fight cancer. Put them in banana bread or your brownies, so you don’t feel as guilty when you eat them. Aim for about 12 halves per day.
  • Dark chocolate! Yes chocolate! It surprisingly helps you eat less, if you eat it before a meal, because it slows down your digestion. Sneak a little dessert before dinner and enjoy it. Try not to eat more than the size of a business card.      

The best part about these superfoods is that you can put them together in a meal and create a supermeal, (not to be confused with a “Happy Meal”). Try oatmeal, chocolate, and walnut cookies!