Erin’s Top 8 Super Foods

There are so many super foods that you can find today. Some of them you may have never heard of before while others are easy to find at your local grocery store. I tend to gravitate towards my top 8 super foods on a regular basis. Let me tell you about my favorites and why each are so important for one’s diet.

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1. Kale: Kale is a great leafy green filled with tons of important nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Not only does this vegetable have tons of nutrients it is packed full of antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids that help protect against various cancers. Kale is definitely a powerful super food that I eat regularly.

Prepare: You can cook kale just like spinach. Add it to a stir-fry, soup, or sauté it with garlic and lemon juice for a nice side dish. Another cool refreshing way to enjoy kale is to add it to your fruit smoothies. You won’t know its there and you will boost your nutrients and antioxidants.

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2. Berries: Berries are a great food to improve your memory. The compounds found in berries called anthocyanidins, which is a type of flavonoid, help enhance your memory and prevent mental decline. Berries are good for cardiovascular health. The array of colors berries provides also fights against many types of cancers.

Prepare: I love a bowl of plain strawberries or raspberries on a hot summer evening. Another way to prepare berries is to add some to a smoothie. They will boost your immunity as well.

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3. Nuts: Nuts in general are a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. The amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in various nuts are great at strengthening your heart. The main reason for this is most likely the l-arginine in nuts, which is a substance that help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow. Nuts contain a good source of fiber, which can lower your cholesterol levels.

Prepare: You can prepare nuts any way you choose. You can top them on a salad or pasta dish. Adding them to a smoothie is another great way of eating nuts. You can eat them raw as a snack and you can toast them in the oven. Almonds are great toasted for those cool winter days.

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4. Green Tea: It’s no wonder that the Asian culture drinks green tea on a daily basis as an added health benefit. Green tea is great at speeding up your metabolism, especially when you drink right before or with your meal. This amazing tea can regulate keep your blood sugar levels good. This super food has the added benefit of aiding in healthy blood pressure and enhances heart health. Green tea can also kill cancer cells helping you fight this disease.

Prepare: You can drink green tea hot or cold. I enjoy making iced green tea on those hot summer days with a wedge of lemon. I also enjoy hot green tea with lemon as well.

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5. Avocado: Avocado is a staple in our household. The vitamin E and monounsaturated fats make this super food heart healthy. The high content of in beta-sitosterol in avocados helps lower your cholesterol. Research has shown that the compounds in avocados help fight the cancerous cells in your body. This fruit has vitamin E, which help increase your immunity and maintain your overall health.

Prepare: You can eat avocado in a variety of ways. The most popular is in the form of guacamole. This is a favorite in my household and a definite pregnancy craving of mine. You can also scoop it out of the “shell” with a little salt and pepper. I like to add avocado to sandwiches, burgers, and on top of eggs. There are so many creative ways to eat avocado. What’s your favorite?

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6. Dark Chocolate: Who doesn’t like chocolate? This super food is great for both your brain and heart health by improving blood flow to these areas. Dark chocolate is high in good vitamins and minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidant that helps slow down aging and fight cancer.

Prepare: The best way to get your dark chocolate is to eat it raw with no added sugar and additives. You can find chocolate bars at your health food store. I like to make shakes and use raw cocoa powder, which carries tons of benefits to your overall health.

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7. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a good source of protein. Due to the minimal processing this yogurt has good sources of probiotics called acidophilus and lactobacillus that improve intestinal health. Probiotics are important for a healthy gut. Greek yogurt is the best because there is no added sugar.

 

Prepare: My favorite way of eating Greek yogurt is in a bowl with raspberries and walnuts. This is a great source of protein for breakfast. You can add Greek yogurt to any meal replacing sour cream or to a salad dressing which enhances flavor and creates variety. You can add this yogurt to your favorite smoothie too.

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8. Spinach: Spinach has been raved about as the most nutrients green for some time.  This super green is a good source of vitamin K and A, manganese and folate. There are a plethora of nutrients in this super food such as fiber, calcium, and protein. Due to the high contents of antioxidants spinach is considered a cancer-fighting food. The amazing nutrients packed in this food provide amazing heart health benefits, which can aid in reducing blood pressure as well as reducing stroke-inducing chemicals in your body. This powerhouse food is good for your overall immunity as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Prepare: You can prepare spinach in many different ways. You can sauté it with garlic and lemon juice, add it to a soup or pasta, or use it as a topping for your pizza. You can eat it raw in a salad or blend it up in your favorite smoothie. I favorite ways to eat spinach is sauté or on pizza.

These are just a few of my favorite super foods. There are so many super foods. What are your favorite super foods? :O)

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