Saturday, June 29, 2013

Power Foods

Gluten-free? Dairy-free? Sugar-free? Meatless? I've been a little confused lately in making the right choices of what to eat. We, as a society, have become so accustomed to so many foods, that it's hard to break these habits. Thankfully, little by little, the world is getting more health conscious... and its amazing to be a part of it! I feel like I've a head start with all the cooking I've done, but have some catching up to do in recognizing and fully understanding some of the latest health food trends: From juice fasting/cleansing to raw foods or paleo, or even just going gluten-free (see 11 hidden sources of gluten), it's a definite commitment to break old habits and make these work. A special diet is easiest to adhere to if you make all your own food. Ultimately, I also believe that, unless you have health-related, religious or ethical dietary restrictions, as long as you vary your foods from day to day, and eat lots of vegetables and whole foods (not processed), it's clean, healthy eating. Here's a list of "power"or "super" foods from a book of the same name, as well as from some other sources. So whether you are a meat-eater, milk-drinker, carbo-loader, or have a sweet (or salty) tooth, integrating any of these foods into your meals can only be good for you. 

Kale – ultimate source of vitamin K
Brussel Sprouts – vitamins A & C, detoxifying and immune system strengthening
Spinach – vitamins A, C and K, and folate
Beets – low in calories, full of fiber, iron, beta-carotene and folic acid
Carrots – beta-carotene, vitamins A & C, soluble fiber
Broccoli – great source of calcium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium and iron

Artichokes – folic acid, vitamins C & K, antioxidants and minerals
Avocados – healthy monounsaturated fats and high in fiber and potassium
Bell Peppers – vitamins C & B, folate and fiber
Sweet potatoes – vitamin A, C & E, high in fiber
Tomatoes – iron, vitamin B, potassium, fiber

Bananas – vitamin B6, potassium and fiber
Kiwi – Vitamins C & E, magnesium, potassium, calcium, fiber
Berries – Vitamin C, folate, manganese, potassium, fiber
Pear – high in fiber, folate, vitamins A & C, copper and calcium
Oranges – Vitamins A, B6 & C, folate, potassium, fiber

Oats – soluble fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
Quinoa – protein-rich, high in fiber, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, manganese
Brown Rice – vitamins B1, B6, fiber, niacin, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc
Nuts – unsaturated fats, omega-3, fiber, vitamin E
Dried beans – fiber, Protein, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc

And mot importantly... WATER – Stay hydrated, and drink 8 glasses a day!

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