|Choose the top six superfoods|
|Written by Caroline Suhadolnik, Fitness Columnist|
|Tuesday, 01 March 2011 22:37|
Fitness Fact: One kiwi provides 120 percent of the recommended value of vitamin C, which is almost two times that of an orange.
Commonly referred to as “brain food,” walnuts are packed with healthy fats that can boost your mood. They also enhance bone health and contain melatonin, which promotes a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that those who ate nuts twice weekly are less likely to gain weight than those who never ate them.
The FDA suggests that just one handful of walnuts a day will give you all the benefits that this nut has to offer. Enjoy some as a snack or sprinkle some on a salad or a bowl of fruit.
These small berries pack in tons of vitamins that help in protecting your vision and memory. Blueberries also neutralize free radicals in your body, which affects aging and diseases in the body and they also contain more antioxidants than most fruits or vegetables.
To get in your daily serving of these vitamin powerhouses, use frozen blueberries (no sugar added) in a smoothie, throw some onto a salad or eat them plain as an energy-bursting snack.
Yes, this fruit is high in fat, but avocados contain the healthy monounsaturated fat that can help lower cholesterol and lower your risk for heart disease. The high-fat content can help with weight management, since it will make you feel fuller longer and keep you from overeating.
Use an avocado as a spread instead of butter or mayo. Also, mix in some tomato, onion and garlic with a chopped avocado for healthy homemade guacamole.
Eggs usually have a bad rap since the yolk contains high levels of cholesterol, but it also contains choline, which protects your heart and brain function. One egg has five grams of fat but only 1.5 grams of the bad saturated fat. Eggs may also reduce the risk for breast cancer and aid in healthy hair and nails. So get cracking and add in some healthy fat and the best source of protein into your diet.
5. Dark Chocolate
When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can provide your body with many benefits. The disease-fighting chemicals found in red wine, apples and strawberries are also present in dark chocolate. Not only is it lower in calories and sugar than milk chocolate, but it also helps lower blood pressure.
Just because dark chocolate has health benefits does not mean it’s an excuse to binge on it; keep your intake to one small square a day. Look for the chocolate that has at least 60 percent cacao and use it as a treat or a cure for your sweet tooth.
Not only are they cheap and always in season, they are an excellent source of fiber (Americans only get an average of 11 grams – the FDA recommends 25-30 a day). They are good for partiers, too because natural ingredients in bananas replenish the body’s vitamins and can reduce the symptoms of hangovers.
Next time you’re craving something sweet, freeze a banana and blend it in a food processor. It will come out tasting and looking just like ice cream.
This small energy bar is one of my favorite snacks and is packed with flavor and all natural ingredients. Made from unsweetened fruits and nuts, this bar is gluten-, dairy- and soy-free.
Some of these bars have one full serving of fruit and pack in healthy fats. They are unprocessed and are a very healthy snack that is great when you’re on the go. Try replacing your typical granola bar with one of these natural, energy-boosting snack bars.
Questions or comments to Suhadolnik’s column can be sent to: