Friday, November 11, 2011

Food Facts Friday: Super foods to the rescue!

Recently, I bought some "Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Raisins". They caught my attention because I've been reading some articles about "Super Foods".

Basically a super food is a food that can help:

  • lower your cholesterol
  • contribute to increased energy levels or
  • reduce your risk of diseases, like heart attacks (#1 killer of men & women in the USA) or cancer.

They include:
Organic Dark Cocolate Raisins
Mmmm, mmm, mmm!

  • Dark Chocolate: (Yeay!) Loaded with antioxidants, and if consumed with a cocoa content of 60% or higher - it can help lower blood pressure! Still, you haft make a mental note that dark chocolate is usually packaged with fat and calories, so we can't be too SUPER here.
  • Fruits: Blueberries & Apples (both of which are on the dirty dozen list so look for organic) and Oranges are packed with Vitamin A and C, potassium, antioxidants and phytoflavanoids (work like antioxidants to stabilize free radicals). I think of free radicals like tiny, itty-bitty hydrogen bomb explosions that can go off in our body and cause damage (like inflammation or changes to our DNA) in our arteries and cells. The idea here is that these fruits help reduce the potential for these little explosions and in turn reduce the potential for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • Fiber: FruitsVeggies and Whole Grains. Fiber can help reduce cholesterol (it helps your body rid fat and bile from your intestines), provide a lasting energy supply and help with satiety. The recommended daily amount of fiber is 14grams per 1000calories consumed. Make a commitment to yourself - Don't eat any grain that is not a whole grain! And make sure you have your Five-A-Day!
  • Soy: I have touted the powers of soy before - as well as the need to buy organic soy. I mix ORGANIC soy nuts with organic dates and dried chic peas, it's a tasty treat full of antioxidants and the phytonutrient genistein (which helps control blood pressure and vasodilatation). Soy can help lower cholesterol, increase your ability to focus and help increase energy levels, too!
Organic Valley Eggs!
  • Omega-3: This is an essential fatty acid, which means our bodies cannot make this type of fat. Figures, right? We are so good at making fat - except this kind which reduces inflammation and lowers our risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis! Yupper, the only way to get this fat into our bodies is if we eat foods with Omega-3 fats (or supplements - but remember, your body only absorbs about  70% of supplements vs up to 90% when packaged in whole foods). Foods high in Omega-3 include the fatty fishes - salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. Don't like fish? You can find Omega-3 in eggs. I recently bought Organic Valley Large Brown Eggs with 25mg of Omega-3 in each egg! Omega-3 can also be found in flax seeds and walnuts. Hmm, maybe I should make some organic dark chocolate covered walnuts and put  them out with desert on Thanksgiving...
  • Calcium: Besides being important for bones and teeth, calcium can aid in weight loss. You should consume about 1300mg of calcium per day. This is about 2-4servings of dairy, like milkcheese or yogurt. If you are not a big fan of dairy, 12 almonds will give you 62mg of calcium (who can eat just 12?) - maybe mix them with some apricots (4 gives you 117mg of calcium), 100g of sardines will rock your calcium needs by providing 500mg and 100g of tofu will provide you with 510mg of calcium!
It's great to know these super foods so you can incorporate them into your diet. I hope they help you to....
Train Smart Today!
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