Simple Super Foods
By Deb Lowther @kidsgummymum
We see news of the latest new super food and articles in every magazine about what foods keep you healthy and recipes to help you include them in your family meals.
It can all be very overwhelming when the truth is, many of the greatest super foods come down to having one common element and can all be eaten in their original form – no fancy recipes needed.
The key to a superfood is its phytochemical content. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective properties and preventive disease in people. There is evidence that phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and beans may reduce the risk of cancer, possibly due to dietary fibers, polyphenol antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Focusing on eating foods rich in phytochemicals will naturally lead you to eating whole foods and better overall health as foods without phytochemicals are those that are processed and nutrient poor.
Top 10 Simple Super Foods
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries are high in fibre and low in fat. The pigments which give berries their deep colors contain numerous phytochemicals that have powerful antioxidant effects, protecting us against disease.
Dark Leafy Greens
Broccoli, spinach, kale and collard greens are super veggies high in nutrients that help fight disease, including vitamins C, E, and A, and calcium. They’re also loaded with magnesium and potassium and brimming with antioxidant phytochemicals.
Sweet potatoes provide important nutrients such as calcium, vitamins A, C and B6, potassium, fiber and are packed with phytochemicals.
Avocado is another fruit loaded with nutrients including potassium, iron, vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, fiber, potent antioxidant phystochemicals as well as heart healthy fats calledmonounsaturated fats.
Start early with whole grain breads and pasta with your children and they will know no different. Include fibre rich oats, brown rice, and quinoa to get the benefits of more fibre and added protein. Whole grains represent a unique package of energy, micronutrients, and phytochemicals that work together to promote health and prevent
One egg is considered the gold standard in protein and includes more than a dozen other vitamins and minerals. Eggs are also a source of choline – an important nutrient for brain development and lutein, an important antioxidant and phytochemical.
Think beyond peanut butter. Snack on almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds or try nut butters or all natural peanut butter for a dose of ‘healthy fats.’ Nuts provide vitamins, minerals and protein with phytochemicals that help reduce cholesterol.
Nutrient-rich, beans and lentils contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemical called flavonoids and important vitamins and minerals, such as iron. So versatile, beans can be added a wrap, soup, pasta sauce or chili, pureed into a dip or try roasted chick peas for a late night snack.
Greek style yogurt is a great source of protein and bone building calcium that aids in digestions. Go with unflavoured and add in they phytochemical rich berries for a healthy snack.
Complement your dark leafy greens and whole grains with heart healthy Omega 3 rich fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout. Omega 3s are important for brain development, heart health and inflammation and are a great source of Vitamin D.
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