A big part of being “Fabulously Fit” means maintaining a diet rich in anti-oxidants. Although there are lots of foods that are good for you, the best and, by far, the healthiest are those low in calories, high in nutrients and rich with anti-oxidants. These food are proven to help reduce cardiovascular disease and the effects of aging while helping to prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer.
Although some fruits and grains rank high on many healthy foods lists, the healthiest foods are those from the vegetable category. But what about all the other foods? With so many lists claiming to highlight the “top superfoods” how do you choose which “superfoods” to add to your list? A great way to identify the best foods is to use the “Similarities Method”. Multiple lists share similar items because those items are more proven and universally accepted. The next time you see the same foods on multiple “healthy foods” you can confidently add them to your personal healthy food list.
Here are a few from my list of “Healthiest” foods:
#5 Acai Berry
This is a slightly chocolaty tasting berry from a palm tree in the Amazon. This berry contains twice as many anti-oxidants than other berries and is ranked high among healthy foods. It’s also full of amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Other fruits and berries rich in anti-oxidants are: Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries.
#4 Sweet Potatoes
Listed in the top 5 of all anti-oxidants Sweet Potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and boast 150% more antioxidants than blueberries. This easy-to-make treat can be easily incorporated into any breakfast, lunch or dinner. The purple Okinawan sweet potatoes called beni-imo are the best, but the more common orange sweet potatoes pack a similarly healthful wallop.
Broccoli has long been touted as one of the healthiest vegetables available. This superfood is loaded with fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C to aid in iron absorption. While not equal to milk broccoli is a great alternate source of calcium for controlling blood pressure and building strong bones. To get the most from these “good-for-you” benefits add broccoli as well as other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, several times per week.
Considered a daily super food, Garlic is great at promoting cardiovascular health. Garlic works to dilate blood vessels, lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels and prevent the oxidation that contributes to cellular damage. Even those with arterial or heart problems can benefit from garlic’s almost miraculous healing properties which are considered, by many, to be as beneficial as penicillin and tetracycline.
The humble Tomato found in your salad is actually a super food that is a rich source of many nutrients. Tomatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and even helps maintain healthy skin and tissue lining. Tomatoes are also packed with potassium, antioxidant flavonoids and Vitamin E which are essential for heart health. One medium-size tomato can provide 50% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. Tomatoes contain no saturated fat, are low in salt, starch and sugars, high in dietary fiber and have a low glycemic index.
Whether you add one of these wonderfully healthy foods to your diet or you do a little homework and add foods from one of the many “healthy foods” lists available…adding HEALTHY foods to your diet is the key to a long, healthy and “Fabulously Fit” life.