Top Ten Power Packed Foods
As a person in midlife, I am trying to make healthier food choices. There are several key power-packed foods you should make sure are part of our diet. These foods can help you feel better and even increase your life expectancy. Here are ten power packed foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!
- Beans – If they give you gas, take precautions before you eat them. Soaking them first can help. Beans of all kinds (kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, Northern) are high in protein. This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories. If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, eat a healthy portion of beans each day to keep your digestive system healthy.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is coming into popularity as a food that lowers blood cholesterol. Oatmeal is a filling grain that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant. Cook it from scratch or use instant. Try to avoid that flavored oatmeal because it contains a high amount of sugar
- Fruits – Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A. Berries such as blueberries and grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants. Choose an varied color of fruits for maximum health. The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body as well as reducing the risks of cancer.
- Allium foods – This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots. Allium vegetables help guard the body against the risk of cancer and many other ailments. They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots. Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol. Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state especially garlic increases their health benefits.
- Salmon – Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis. Wild salmon is a fatty fish but it contains good fats that has been proven to improve health in children and adults.
- Flax seed – Like salmon it contains omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. Flax seed is a powerful food and helps to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed. The nutty flavor of ground flax seed can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.
- Peppers – Peppers contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Peppers range from mild and sweet to so hot you’ll be calling the fire department. All peppers contain a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has the properties of an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever, lowers cancer risk and heart disease. They are good in salads, salsa and all sorts of dishes.
- Nuts and seeds – Peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios are all providers of good fats and protein. Crush them into a fine powder and use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs. Nuts help to lower cholesterol. Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.
- Açai – This berry has been in the news lately. It is rich in antioxidants and increases energy. You can get Acai juice and supplements in your health food store.
- Yogurt – The fat free variety is good for you. Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein. If you don’t drink milk, yogurt is an alternative to get your calcium in to build strong bones and teeth. Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system.
Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat. Whole foods are the best way to get there. It’s never too late to start eating healthy. There is no better time to make a change than in middle age. You will be surprised how quickly your body will react to these powerful foods.
I really enjoy black bean burgers and I found this video on how to make your own. You can make ahead and freeze them individually so you can have a healthy meal even when you are in a hurry.