Eat Smart

All About Superfoods

by Lindsay Barton, blogger

(Courtesy of dishinaboutnutrition.wordpress.com)

As we settle into the semester, the cold, dreary winter days at ‘Cuse can cause us to make unhealthy food choices. Instead of grabbing a fresh wrap from food.com, that bag of Cheez-Its in the vending machine looks much more appetizing. Even though we can’t snap our fingers and have the healthiest entrees appear before us, here is a list of super foods that are easy to incorporate into your everyday diet. Click ahead for a list of what you need in your daily diet—these foods will help you feel energized every day!

Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt

This high-calcium treat is an excellent source of protein and potassium. Yogurt is full of probiotics that provide good bacteria needed for a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Look for plain yogurt with vitamin D, and avoid brands with high sugar content. Sprinkle granola or fruit on top, and you have a delicious snack that will be satisfying any time of day!

Eggs

These are one of the best protein sources around, and won’t hurt your wallet! Eggs are packed with vitamins D and B12, and selenium and choline, which are essential to a healthy diet. They contain a high mix of amino acids, which are crucial for tissue growth and repair.

Nuts

Eat these in sensible portions to control fat content. In addition to being high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, they are a great source of protein. Nuts are also versatile; add them to salads, entrees and cereals to break away from the ordinary! For a quick snack, pack about an ounce of nuts to stave off hunger pangs throughout the day.

Kiwis

This fruit is full of nutrients, especially Vitamin C. The amount of fiber in this wonder fruit helps to control blood sugar and heart issues. Kiwis are a great metabolism booster and improve the health of the nervous system. Reach for this fruit to get your daily dose of magnesium and copper!

Quinoa

Many supermarkets now provide this powerful whole grain. It’s easy to prepare, and has been shown to aid in weight control as well as reducing the risk for diabetes. This good source of iron is high in protein and fiber. Mix with vegetables, nuts, or chicken for a protein-packed meal!

Beans

Low in fat and rich in fiber, these can reduce the risk of heart disease! They lower cholesterol and help the body eliminate waste. Magnesium, potassium and carbohydrates can also be found in beans. Add to soups or sides for a heart-healthy meal!

Salmon

This is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health. In addition to being low in calories, salmon is low in saturated fat and a good source of iron. Serve with salsa or on top of a salad. Grilled or baked, this fish is sure to please!

Broccoli

This vegetable has been favored by Americans because of its year-round availability. Broccoli helps with weight control and is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C and K. It can be eaten raw, grilled, or even stir-fried. For a healthy dose of beta-carotene, mix into soups, salads, or grains!

Sweet potatoes

Eat these instead of a regular baked potato, and skip the butter and sour cream. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins A and C, and blend well with a variety of spices. Choose sweet potatoes that are deep orange in color for the most nutrient value. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry place, and not the refrigerator!

Berries

These are jam-packed with antioxidants and are low in calories. They also keep you feeling full longer and help control blood sugar. One cup of strawberries provides almost as much calcium as a glass of orange juice, and blueberries and cranberries contain phytochemicals, which fight off free radicals. Choose ripe, firm berries with no signs of mold. Eat them plain, or combine with nuts for a delicious trail mix!

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