Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 10 Foods That You MUST Have

Top 10 Foods That You MUST Have

There are foods that are foods that are healthy and then there are foods that are powerhouses. I’ve got 10 here that are supersonic super foods that you absolutely should include in your diet if you want to lose weight, get as healthy as you can and look your best!

Here they are:

1—Tomatoes. The all-powerful tomato can do all kinds of things, besides make your favorite spaghetti sauce. It’s rich in lycopene, an important nutrient that may lower the risk of all kinds of cancer, prostate included. Plus the vitamin C factor is an added bonus!

2—Greens. I love braised greens (steam them till bright green, then sauté in olive oil and garlic, put a lid on them and let them finish cooking after I turn off the heat). Any kind of green will do, from Swiss chard, to kale, to collard greens. They’re all delicious. I can eat 1/2 a pound in one sitting!

3—Almonds. I’m a huge fan of nuts, especially raw almonds (and walnuts, too). I place 10 of them in a ramekin and munch them at my desk, lingeringly (it’s too easy to eat too many, so I measure them out). I take my time and they seem to last. I also make up little ziplock bags of almonds to have on hand. One bag of these nuts is always in purse for an emergency snack!

4—Salmon. I absolutely adore grilled salmon. It’s gotta be WILD though, if you want the benefit of the omega 3 fatty acids (farm-raised salmon doesn’t cut it). My absolute fave is wild Alaskan Sockeye. I just had it for dinner tonight (with some braised greens) and I’m in love. I heat up the barby (I have a gas one), throw the frozen salmon on, skin side down, sprinkle some salmon seasoning from Paul Prudhomme (generously, I might add) and that’s it! EASY BUTTON and absolutely delicious; no planning necessary!

5—Frozen berries. I make my smoothies from frozen berries every morning. I buy the wild blueberries and blackberry/raspberry mix. Blueberries are especially healthy and have more antioxidants in 2/3 of a cup than FIVE servings of broccoli!

6—Kefir and Yogurt. Kefir is like liquid yogurt. Chocked full of probiotics, kefir helps your body balance in the gut. Remember those stories of people living to be 120 years old in Russia? Yogurt and kefir were what they credit their longevity to -- and that’s nothing to sneeze at! I use kefir in my smoothies and eat yogurt with a splash of vanilla and a squeeze of honey, yum!

7—Onions. The lowly onion seems to find its way into most everything you make, especially come dinnertime! Eating onions is a cheap way to get your flavonoids in. Flavonoids are important nutrients that help protect your lungs from cancer and your gut from ulcers. Not only that, but they help prevent heart disease and raise the “good” cholesterol in your blood.

8—Oats. Fiber rich, oats help your body to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. A perfect breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal with about 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries stirred in, yum! Fiber is critical for important bodily functions, if you know what I mean -- and oatmeal is a great way to get it.

9—Dark Chocolate. HALLELUJAH!!! At last, my dream came true! When some girls were singing, “someday my prince will come,” I was humming, “someday they’ll discover chocolate is healthy”. Well, I may not have gotten my Prince Charming (yet), but I can have my chocolate and eat it too! Dark chocolate is rich in catechins and favonoids, giving you a big dose of antioxidants and helping to boost the good cholesterol, too. An ounce a day is more than adequate and it needs to be dark, the darker the better.

10—Oranges. While we may no longer suffer from scurvy, a lot of us have marginal levels of vitamin C in our blood and some of us have a deficit. When you consider the fact that oranges in their flavonoid richness have the ability to fend off cancer and cardiovascular disease and protect one’s DNA, it’s amazing that most of us aren’t chugging a glass each morning of OJ! Get the pulp-rich variety and you’ve got extra C to boot.

Leanne Ely is New York Times Bestselling author and the Dinner Diva at SavingDinner.com. For more information, check out the website, www.savingdinner.com





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