(POSTED: July 18, 2008)
Super Foods - The 10 Healthiest Foods to Eat
A list of the top 10 healthiest foods may seem like a come-on. Magic food? We all know there are no real magic foods. The road to optimum health is not in a pill or one magic food. But there are foods that pack such a nutritional wallop and possess such powerful health benefits, that they are referred to as "super foods".
This healthy food list consists of foods that are nutrient dense. That is, they have more nutrients per calorie than most other foods. They have also been proven to contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that prevent disease: from cancer to heart disease to arthritis, and many more.
These super foods are perfect for heart healthy, low fat cooking and most fit perfectly into a low carb lifestyle as well.
The 10 healthiest foods are foods that are so exceptionally good for us that we should include them in our healthy diet on a regular basis. Our list of super foods is arranged alphabetically, not in order of importance. Each is an amazing food, jam packed with health giving benefits.
The 10 Healthiest Foods to Eat:
Berries are extremely rich in antioxidants which help protect the cells in our bodies from damage and therefore from diseases like cancer. Among other things they are also an excellent source of Vitamin C and soluble fiber. Blueberries might help reverse the short term memory loss that often comes
Broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage) helps fight cancer, especially breast, colon and lung. It boosts the immune system. Broccoli also contains antioxidants and a substance called sulforaphane, which research is showing to be a powerful cancer fighter and preventer.
3. Citrus Fruits
The citrus bioflavanoids in oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties.
Many of these citrus bioflavanoids have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and blood clot inhibiting abilities.
Numerous studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic can lower our blood pressure. It also prevents the blood from being overly sticky and decreases LDL cholesterol (the "bad" one) while increasing the good HDL cholesterol.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, a special type of fat that is essential for our bodies, but that the body cannot produce. Omega-3 essential fatty acids protect us against heart disease.
Almonds are also known for their ability to help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Oats also help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that one bowl of oatmeal per day can reduce cholesterol by up to 23%. Oats are also considered an excellent grain for diabetics as they have less impact on blood sugar levels than some other grains.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other fatty fish may help prevent heart disease and stroke by lowering the body's rate of blood clotting.
Spinach's secret weapon, lutein, makes it one of the best foods in the world to prevent cataracts, as well as age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly.
Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and as such helps to protect the cells in our bodies from damage.
Turkey is one of the leanest protein foods and is low in calories, making it an excellent healthy food choice. Turkey also contains selenium which has been shown to inhibit cancer development, improve the immune system, and aid in the metabolism of our thyroid hormone.
You can see that the top 10 healthiest foods, or "super foods", are also some of our favorites. By including these super foods in a healthy diet on a regular basis you can easily gain many health benefits. Making healthy food choices just got easier.
Author: Karen Ciancio www.cookingnook.com