Archive for April, 2009

Eat Healthy America: 52 Superfoods

April 13, 2009

Join WD’s initiative to help make healthy eating a lasting part of your
everyday
By Karen Ansel, RD Posted December 04, 2008 from Woman’s Day; January 1,
2009

Step into any supermarket and you’ll see thousands of labels shouting
good-health claims: Whole grains! No trans fats! Essential vitamins and
minerals
! But figuring out what really is part of a healthy diet is getting
harder and harder in these days of information overload. And it shows in
the sobering statistics: 66% of Americans are overweight or obese—which
is a big reason more of us are developing diseases such as diabetes, and at
younger ages.

That’s why Woman’s Day is launching a yearlong series, Eat Healthy
America. Our goal is to make healthy eating a no-brainer. In every issue,
you’ll find easy ideas and advice that’ll help you make smart choices,
plan balanced (and great-tasting) meals, get a grip on portions, and more.
We’ll also prompt you to take small, doable steps that will help you eat
better for good.

Start here: Clean out your kitchen, tossing as many unhealthy items as you
can. Single-ingredient foods— apples, chicken, cooking oil, etc.—are
keepers. Packaged foods with long lists of hard-to-pronounce ingredients go
out, especially if they contain more than 7% of calories from saturated fat
or more than 10% of calories from sugar. Now, turn the page and find out
what you’ve made room for!

52 Superfoods

Fill up on these nutrient packed foods, which can help you fight disease.
Feel more energetic and even lose weight.

1 Eggs Each egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. No wonder
researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, found that eating eggs for breakfast (as part of a low-cal diet)
helps you slim down.

2 Tomato sauce It’s loaded with lycopene, which makes your skin look
younger and keeps your heart healthy. In fact, a Harvard study found that
women with the most lycopene in their blood reduced their risk of a heart
attack by 34%.

3 Dried plums(prunes) They’re packed with polyphenols, plant chemicals
that have been shown to boost bone density by stimulating your
bone-building cells.

4 Walnuts Just 14 walnut halves provide more than twice your daily dose of
alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s been shown to improve memory
and coordination.

5 Brussels sprouts They have more glucosinolates (compounds that combat
cancer and detoxify our bodies) than any other vegetable. For a side dish
that will make you wonder why you’ve been avoiding them, slice each one
into quarters, then sauté in olive oil with chopped sweet Vidalia onions.

6 Acai juice A glass or two of this anthocyanin-rich berry juice can
dramatically boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood, say Texas A&M
University researchers.

7 Apples They contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk
of lung cancer.

8 Bok choy This calcium-rich veggie can protect your bones and may even
ward off PMS symptoms.

9 Steel-cut oats Because they’re less processed than traditional oats,
they’re digested more slowly—keeping you full all morning long.

10 Salmon You’ll get all the heart-smart omega-3s you need in a day from
just 3 oz.

11 Avocados Their healthy fat keeps you satisfied and helps you absorb
other nutrients. For a new u twist, brush a halved avocado (pit removed)
with olive oil and grill 1 minute. Serve with red onion, sliced grapefruit
and balsamic vinegar.

12 Spinach A half-cup provides more than five times your daily dose of
vitamin K, which helps blood clot and builds strong bones.

13 Canned pumpkin It’s filled with natural cancer fighters alpha- and
beta-carotene.

14 Cauliflower White foods can be good for you! This one is packed with
cancer-fighting glucosinolates.

15 Scallops A 3-oz serving has 14 grams of protein but just 75 calories.

16 Collard greens They’re exploding with nutrients like vitamin A,
zeaxanthin and lutein, which keep your eyes healthy.

17 Olives They deliver the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat you get
in olive oil, but for just 7 calories per jumbo olive!

18 Brown rice It’s a top source of magnesium, a mineral your body uses
for more than 300 chemical reactions (such as building bones and converting
food to energy).

19 Oysters These keep your immune system strong. A 3-oz serving (about 6
oysters) dishes up a quarter of your daily iron, plus nearly twice the zinc
and all the selenium you need in a day.

20 Edamame One cup has a whopping 22 grams of plant protein, as well as
lots of fiber, folate and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.

21 Strawberries They’re loaded with ellagitannins, phytochemicals that
may halt the growth of cervical and colon cancers.

22 Lentils A great source of meat-free protein, a half-cup of cooked
lentils also gives you nearly half your daily folate, a B vitamin that
protects a woman’s unborn baby from neural tube defects.

23 Bran flakes Their whole grains keep your heart in tip-top shape by
reducing inflammation and melting away belly fat.

24 Kiwi Italian researchers found that it reduces asthma-related wheezing,
thanks to its high vitamin C content (one kiwi has 110% of your daily
requirement).

25 Black beans They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and
flavonoids—antioxidants that help your arteries stay relaxed and pliable.

26 Sunflower seeds A quarter-cup delivers half your day’s vitamin E,
which keeps your heart healthy and fights infection.

27 Sardines 3 oz provide more than 100% of your daily vitamin D. Sardines
are also a top source of omega-3 fats. Try adding mashed canned sardines to
marinara sauce and serving over whole-wheat pasta.

28 Asparagus A half-cup supplies 50% of your daily bone-building vitamin K
and a third of your day’s folate, it’s a natural diuretic so it
banishes bloating, too.

29 Bananas They’re loaded with several kinds of good-for-you fiber,
including resistant starch (which helps you slim down).

30 Broccoli sprouts They have 10 times more of the cancer-preventing
compound glucoraphanin than regular broccoli.

31 Fat-free milk With a third of the calcium and half the vitamin D you
need in a day, plus 8 grams u of muscle-building protein, it’s the
ultimate energy drink.

32 Baked potatoes Each one packs a megadose of blood-pressure–lowering
potassium—even more than a banana.

33 Sweet potatoes Half of a large baked sweet potato delivers more than
450% of your daily dose of vitamin A, which protects your vision and your
immune system.

34 Flaxseed Not only is flaxseed loaded with plant omega-3s, it also has
more lignans (compounds that may prevent endometrial and ovarian cancer)
than any other food. Store ground flaxseed in your refrigerator and
sprinkle on yogurt, cold cereal or oatmeal.

35 Greek yogurt It has twice the protein of regular yogurt.

36 Dried tart cherries Researchers at Michigan State University found their
potent anthocyanins help control blood sugar, reduce insulin and lower
cholesterol
.

37 Wheat germ A quarter-cup gives you more than 40% of your daily vitamin E
and immune-boosting selenium.

38 Whole-wheat english muffins You get 4 ½ grams of fiber for only 134
calories.

39 Tea Both green and black tea prevent hardening of the arteries,
according to researchers at the University of Scranton.

40 Peanut butter This smart spread has arginine, an amino acid that helps
keep blood vessels healthy.

41 Blackberries The king of the berry family boasts more antioxidants than
strawberries, cranberries or blueberries.

42 Mustard greens These “greens” (actually a cruciferous veggie) are a
top source of vitamin K. For a tasty pesto, chop them in a food processor
with garlic, walnuts, Parmesan and olive oil.

43 Grapes They’re a leading source of resveratrol, the plant chemical
responsible for the heart-healthy benefits of red wine.

44 Soy milk A good source of vegetable protein, calcium-enriched soy milk
has as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk.

45 Brazil nuts They have more selenium than any other food. One nut
delivers your entire day’s worth!

46 Canola oil A Tbsp of this heart-healthy oil has all the alpha-linolenic
acid you need in a day, plus two different forms of vitamin E.

47 Blueberries They improve memory by protecting your brain from
inflammation and boosting communication between brain cells.

48 Oranges One orange supplies more than 100% of the vitamin C you need in
a day. It’s also a good source of calcium and folate.

49 Watercress With just 4 calories per cup, this cruciferous veggie
delivers a hefty dose of vitamin K, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene and
cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

50 Turkey breast It has 20 grams of satisfying protein but just 90 calories
per 3-oz serving.

51 Barley A top source of beta-glucan, a fiber that lowers cholesterol and
helps control blood sugar.

52 Shiitake mushrooms One serving (about ¼ lb) provides as much vitamin D
as you’d get from a glass of milk.