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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Add to Your Shopping List

We all know that eating healthy food helps to fend off disease, allows your body to work better and is a building block to an overall healthier life.  But what are healthy foods, anyway?

Well, there are fruits and vegetables that give vitamins and minerals needed by our bodies.  Milk has calcium that helps to build strong bones.  There's the cancer-fighting compounds in olive oil and red wine.  Every time we turn on the TV or radio, it seems there's another report about what to eat or not. 

Here's another one--from an article on Forbes.com by Susan Adams--Ten Foods You Should Be Eating.  In it, Adams talks of nutritionist and author, Johnny Bowden, who lists 10 foods that are incredibly healthy, but aren't eaten enough.  Maybe you don't think of them as healthy or maybe they aren't the most common foods.  They should, however, be on your shopping list if you're looking for a healthier lifestyle.

1.  Cherries--one of my favorite fruits.  They're full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

2.  Blueberries--See my post from yesterday and a previous post in Bucks County Taste.  They're also full of antioxidants and some studies show that they may even help to lessen the possibility of diabetes and heart disease.

3.  Kiwifruit.  Provides 115% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.

4.  Grass-fed Beef.  Our bodies need some fat to be healthy--just the right kinds of fat.  The amount of fat in grass-fed beef is outweighed by the huge amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that it provides.

5.  Wild Salmon.  Even more than the grass-fed beef, salmon (wild more so than farm-raised) is teeming with omega-3 fatty acids.  These compounds help to give you better heart and brain health, bring down your blood pressure and triglycerides and may even improve your mood!  (I know some people who need to eat a LOT of salmon.)

6.  Flax Seed.  Another great source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as the cancer-fighter, lignans.  It's also a great source of fiber.

7.  Whey Protein Powder--a byproduct of cheese making.  It's a great source of protein and has been known to stimulate the immune system.

8.  Kale--it's not just for garnish anymore.  This member of the cabbage family is a treasure trove of healthful things: cancer-fighters indoles and sulforaphane, calcium, iron, Vitamins A, C & K and 2 nutrients that are good for the eyes.

9.  Coconut--yes, coconut.  It's high in a fat called MCT (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) that the body doesn't store, it turns it into energy, like a carbohydrate.  It also contains lauric acid, a fatty acid known to kill pathogens.

10.  Dark Chocolate--now we're talking.  It's rich in flavanol, which helps improve cardiovascular health.  Look for chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content (it has less sugar).

So there you have it--some more items to look for next time you're at the market that will help you live a healthier and tastier life!

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