If we are eating well, we shouldn’t.
And if we are trying, really hard, to get in all our RDA of nutrition and aren’t doing it with simple, close to nature versions, of those nutrients, we can easily run the calorie count up to where exercise alone can’t remedy the weight gain. What’s a girl to do, but go to Google…
We had *just* been talking about this when I ran across this article. I was amazed at how well we are doing with getting the most bang for our buck, as far as nutrition per bite, goes.
We all know which foods we do best to avoid (right?). Despite the alluring appeal of Oreos, Mountain Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide little nutrition and a lot of risks. But when it comes to the good stuff—what are the best foods to put into our bodies? While experts all agree we need a variety of foods for a healthy diet, do you know which are the healthiest of the bunch? The answers may surprise and delight you.
1. Spirulina: While the thought of eating lake algae might gross you out, spirulina is actually pretty tasty, especially blended into a smoothie or hidden in a chocolate bar. It has more antioxidants than any other food on earth and is loaded with protein and minerals making it the most nutrient dense food. The only way I’ve ever tried spirulina is in a green powder form that you add to your smoothies and I was not pleased with the way it ruined my perfectly tasty smoothie. I must find another way to try it again. I wonder if osmosis, through lake swimming, will give me the benefits while bypassing the taste buds??
2. Kale: According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, kale is the most nutritious food, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids, as well as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and can prevent cancer. It’s also delicious and an easy to prepare, versatile food. I could eat this daily and do eat it often in a variety of ways. Chips, raw in salads, cooked up with garlic and a touch of apple cider vinegar. So good.
3. Hemp Seeds: What do you get when you combine protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals? Hemp, of course. This easily digestible seed is versatile, easy to use and extremely tasty, too. Shelled hemp seeds are called hemp hearts and added to my smoothies, they keep me going, and going and going.
4. Chocolate: Yes, you read right. Cacao beans are so nutrient-dense that scientists haven’t even begun to identify all the benefits in the little bean yet. Don’t grab a Snickers though—the good stuff is found only in raw cacao beans or nibs (or really, really dark chocolate). Minerals, vitamins and tons of antioxidants are great for your heart, skin, and release chemicals in the brain that make you feel like you’re in love. Lower your bad cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and cancer risk *and* raise your mood along with relieving cure PMS? Oh yes, the good stuff, please. Mimi does it right!
5. Broccoli: Mom was right, you should eat your broccoli if you want a healthy digestive system and to decrease your risk of cancer. Broccoli has a wide range of yumminess too, from soups and stews to stir fry. Love broccoli any way you prepare it. Cooked up similarly to our favorite kale recipe sounds great, too.
6. Spinach: Popeye was on to something with that spinach fixation. But skip the canned stuff and stick with fresh or frozen for an antioxidant, protein and fiber-rich burst of healthy goodness. Fresh or cooked, spinach’s sweet and hardy flavor brightens any meal. Easy to get in several servings of greens and 30% of your RDA of iron when you make Aloo Palak.
7. Chia: The Aztec warriors may have died out, but their legacy is alive and strong in the chia seed. This yummy, unassuming ancient favorite is loaded with omega fats, protein and fiber. Dr. Weil says it’s a better choice than flax because “chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.” I just bought a bag of these this week to add to my smoothies. Flax is too seedy tasting for my stomach, chia sits much better. Pudding, please!
8. Berries: Unlike other fruit, berries tend to be less sugary and full of vital vitamins, minerals and those free-radical avenging antioxidants. Wild berries are always a great choice, especially black raspberries. Blueberries are always in our freezer. Picking wild blueberries, Up North, is always fun. The season, nor the containers, of raspberries and blackberries never last long enough! Muffins anyone???
So how did you do? Eating at least a few of these foods regularly? If not, instead of thinking about what you need to remove from your way life, why not think of it as what I get to add. Consider adding in more healthy foods and your body will begin to crave the basic, closer to nature, versions of the foods we need for our health and our taste buds. Seriously.
It does a body good!