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(As published on TheTownDish.com, December, 2010)
Don';t you wish there was such thing as a magical food? Something that would give you a large amount of nutrients and help you lose weight?
Well, there is such a thing! These marvelous foods are called super foods! They won';t make you faster than a speeding bullet, but they do have some super qualities.
The incredible, edible egg is a nutritious, versatile, economical and great way to fill up on protein. Studies show that if you eat eggs at breakfast, you tend to eat fewer calories during the day. They also pack in 12 vitamins and minerals, some of which are good for brain development and memory.
Do you go nuts for nuts? Well, these delicious little foods are packed full of monosaturated fatty acids. These healthy fats help lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes and can help control your appetite. Nuts are also known to boost your vitamin E levels, increasing your memory and cognitive performance.
Low-fat yogurt - This creamy and cool dairy product contains super special agents called probiotics. Also known as the "friendly bacteria," probiotics help the intestinal tract and immune system. Mix in some nuts or berries or have it with some cereal, and this treat is a yummy way to get the good stuff in your belly.
Broccoli. Our kids tend to whine when we put it on their plates, but it';s a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C and bone-building calcium, and it';s full of fiber to fill you up and control your weight. Two cups of steamed broccoli only packs 87 calories, but can fill you up for hours.
Avocados are full of fat - but good fat. They';re loaded with healthy fats and fiber and can fill you up and help control your appetite. Other foods high in "healthy fats" are olive oil and nuts. Just watch your portion sizes, because the calories can add up!
Berries are very high in antioxidants. Black currants, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and pomegranates are also high in vitamin C and a natural protective compound called phytochemicals. Some types of phytochemicals are known to inhibit the growth of lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells without affecting the growth of healthy cells. Others are known to affect the body';s metabolic process to decrease the development of cancer and heart disease.
Beans are comparable to meat in terms of the amount of protein they pack. But unlike meat, they are incredibly high in fiber and water content. One cup of beans provides 12 grams of fiber - nearly half the recommended daily dose for adult women. The high fiber content will ensure that you are full, and for a longer period of time.
Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium and potassium) for a baked white potato and you will save a bunch of calories. When you taste the natural sweetness of the sweet potato, you realize that it does not need the added butter and salt that a baked potato does. Other healthy dark orange veggies include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash and orange bell peppers.
Whole grains are high in fiber, which helps control your blood-glucose levels and harness your cravings. Also, they are a great source of vitamin B, which boosts energy.
There is nothing fishy about how healthy salmon is for you. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can help to protect your heart. It is low in calories and saturated fat, and high in iron and protein. Grill it, broil it, poach it, serve it on a salad ... salmon is a healthy main course.
If you work these and the many other super foods into your diet, you may begin to feel stronger, faster, smarter and healthier. And who knows? You may feel like that speeding bullet isn';t so fast after all!
Last Updated: 9/7/2012