This is the second part of My Super Foods Guide. In this article I will list some of my favorite foods to always have in your kitchen. They are definitely healthy foods to include regularly in your diet to help you improve your overall health:
1. Dark Greens:
Green vegetables such as kale, chard, collard greens, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc. are full of Vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and Phyto-nutrients. They also contain large amounts of fiber and few calories which makes them the perfect foods to keep your heart healthy and slim your figure. The recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines recommend both American and Canadian varied at least 7 servings of these vegetables a day.
The legumes provide us with large amounts of fiber in just one serving. Most beans contain 15 grams of fiber per cup. Fiber plays an important role in maintaining our health. If you have not started to eat more fiber, I recommend you to start right now! The benefits are numerous!.
Studies shows that legumes help regulate cholesterol levels because of the high amount of soluble fiber containing and low glycemic index. These two components work together helping sugar levels after a meal to rise more slowly compared to other foods with high glycemic index. This is great news for diabetics and people suffering from insulin resistance. Also for those who want to control your weight as well as the low glycemic index helps keep hunger controlled as fiber fills you up longer. Besides this, the grains also contain antioxidants which are linked to prevent some types of cancer.
Depending on the type of legume the preparation will be faster. For example, lentils are very quick to prepare, they do not require pre-soaking. Instead black beans should be soaked at least one hour in hot water. However, if you don not have a lot of time is always the option of canned beans, just make sure to rinse them well with water to reduce the amount of sodium they contain.
The blueberry is a unique fruit. You can enjoy it in many forms: alone, combined with other fruits, added to smoothies, yogurt or in recipes both sweet and salty. They can be added to any dish, giving a delicious twist to your recipes. In summer you can get a good price because they are in season, but in winter you can buy them frozen.
One cup of blueberries contains:
• Calories: 84 kcal
• Protein: 1.1 g
• Carbohydrates: 21.4 g
• Fiber: 3.5 g
• Fat: 0.5 g
• Glycemic Index: Low (less than 55)
As you can see blueberries contain high amount of fiber. They are powerful antioxidants and are also rich in potassium and calcium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin C. They contain some phytonutrients called anthocyanin which are powerful antioxidants and give the purple color to the fruit. Furthermore, these raises the antioxidant effect of vitamin C.
4. Flax seeds:
Flax seeds are a great vegetarian alternative source of omega-3. Remember that omega-3 fats are essential, we do not produce them in our bodies so we must obtain them with food. These seeds have been studied for their beneficial effects to cardiovascular health. Moreover, flaxseed also contains large amounts of fiber. Many studies have proven that the majority of us do not consume sufficient amounts of fiber a day. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 8 grams of fiber. Remember that fiber keeps your digestive system moving. However, if you don not consume a lot of fiber now you should start slowly, because if the digestive system is not used to it can react adversely and cause discomfort. If you want to start consuming flaxseed must first grind it and consume at once, if you consume the whole grain it passes through the digestive system without providing any benefit. You can add it to your diet in soups, porridge, yoghurt, etc. mixture of bake goods.
5. Low-fat yogurt:
Yogurt is a very versatile food. You can enjoy it alone, use it in dips or mix it in salad dressings. Yogurt can be permanently classified as a health food, if you choose the right kind. There are so many kinds right now: soy based, with heart-healthy ingredients, fiber and omega-3 fats, but you can also find those with high amounts of fat and sugars. To select the healthiest type of yogurt you should read the labels verifying the amount of added sugar and fat. The longer the list of ingredients the less healthy is because it contains more calories and additives.
I hope from now on you will always have on hand these foods that will surely make you feel Healthier!!