There is no one food that can supply all the protein, health benefits, and energy we need to feed ourselves. Not even superfood.
US Dietary Guidelines recommends healthy eating patterns, “combining healthy choices across all food groups — while paying attention to calorie limits.” Over the years, research has shown that healthy dietary patterns can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Dietary patterns such as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and Mediterranean diet, mostly plant-based, showed significant health benefits and reduced chronic disease.
However, some foods can be identified for special recognition. These “superfoods” provide some very important nutrients that can power-pack your meals and snacks, and enhance a healthy eating pattern.
The vitamin C and lycopene are high, suggesting that prostate cancer is at low risk. Add tomatoes with the pasta in a salad or with a tomato sauce. This is also possible to place them in stews, soups or chili. Once tomatoes are cooked and boiled in healthier fats, for example olive oil, lycopene is more available for use by the body.
High in fiber, berries are naturally sweet, meaning they are high in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients. When berries aren’t in season, buying them frozen is as healthy. Add yogurt, cereals, smoothies, or eat plain snacks.
Leafy greens are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, as well as several phytochemicals (plant-based chemicals that have positive health effects). They’re also adding dietary fiber. Try spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or mustard greens. Throw them into salads or sauté them in olive oil. Add greens to soups and stews, too.
Nuts. Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans — nuts are good plant protein sources. They also contain monounsaturated fats, which can reduce heart disease risk. Add a handful to oatmeal or yogurt, or snack. But remember, they’re calorically dense, so limit to a handful. Try the different types of nut butters like peanut, almond, or cashew. Also a great accompaniment to cooked veggies or salads.
Fish can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, helping prevent heart disease. Buy fresh, frozen, or canned seafood. Salmon, tuna steaks, mackerel, herring, trout, anchovies and sardines are the highest omega-3 content fish.
Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fatty acids that help reduce heart disease risk. Use in place of butter or margarine in pasta or rice dishes. Drizzle over vegetables, dressing, or sautéing.
A great source of calcium and protein, yogurt also contains crops called probiotics. They protect the body from other, more harmful bacteria. Try eating more yogurt, but watch out for fruity or flavored yogurt with lots of added sugar. Buy plain yogurt and add fruit. Look for “live active cultures” like Lactobacillus, L. L. Acidophilus. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophile. Instead of mayonnaise or sour cream, use yogurt in dips or sauces.
Including broccoli, sprouts from Brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, and turnips. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals including indoles, thiocyanates, and nitrils that can prevent certain cancers. Steam or stir-fry, adding healthy oils, herbs and flavor seasonings. Try adding a frozen cruciferous medley to soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes.
Soybeans, soybeans, kidney, black and red and garbanzo beans. Vegetables provide an excellent source of protein in food, folate and vegetables. Studies suggest that the chance of heart failure can be reduced. Add salads, soups and casserols to their location. Let chili or a bean, like hummus, served.
Whole grains, a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, also contain several B vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They were shown to reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease and diabetes. Try breakfast bowl of oatmeal. Substitute your usual baked potato bulgur, quinoa, wheat berries, or brown rice. Look at the supermarket to see that the first ingredient is “100 percent whole wheat flour.”