20 Power Foods
We make our way to the supermarkets weekly to pick up our supplies for the week, and each time we are faced with thousands of options and aisles of products. With our day already packed with other errands to run, we simply cannot calculate the calories of each food item to make decision, but we can cut through the noise and speed up our shopping time by knowing what we can drop in first into our cart.
Let us look at the 20 best foods you can find in your grocery store.
Use them for salad or eating them by the handful, almonds are great source of monounsaturated fat. They are also an excellent source of protein, vitamins (e.g. thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin E) and minerals (e.g. copper, iron, zinc). According to the British Journal of Nutrition, almond consumption also helps lower cholesterol.
They are said to contain anti-inflammatory nutrients and high levels of folic acid, which can assist in regulation of moods, by the release of a neurotransmitter known as “serotonin”. In addition, the research published in the international journal Cancel Letters suggests that the consumption of asparagus may halt the formation of cancerous tumours.
Avocados are packed with fat-soluble vitamins A,D, E and K, and are rich in monounsaturated fat. Research has linked avocado consumption to improved cardiovascular health and blood sugar regulation. A study published in 2009 in the journal by Nutrition and Cancer suggests that avocados have anti-cancer benefits too.
Recent research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that berries (specifically strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) have properties that can help lower your risk of breast and cervical cancer. They are also loaded with anti-oxidants that improve brain function or vision-protecting vitamin C.
5. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are filled with anti-oxidants (vitamin A, C and E) and according to research from University of Illinois, consuming bell peppers can support the body in neutralizing free radicals and reduce risk of disease.
6. Black Beans
These legumes are cheap and nutrient-rich. Based on the research by the University of Guelph in Ontario, black beans have similar anti-cancer and heart healthy properties as those found in berries, tea and red wine. Besides, black beans also offer protein and fiber in each serving.
Broccoli is stacked with phytochemical indoles and sulforaphane, which many consider to be anti-cancer nutrients. This vegetable also contains high level of vitamin C and K. Research in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that broccoli has potential for protecting the cardiovascular system.
8. Brussels Sprouts
This cruciferous vegetable is packed with essential nutrients (such as vitamin A, B6, C, E and K) and the mineral selenium that helps the body to battle free radicals. Numerous studies also pointed to the potential for prevention of bladder, breast, colon and lung cancer.
Often touted as the “super grain”, quinoa is a protein rich food that contains all 9 essential amino acids. It also contains twice as much fiber as most other grains, and rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, riboflavin and manganese. It is also rich in lysine, an amino acid that is essential for tissue growth and repair.
10. Chicken Breast
The skinless and boneless chicken breast is a timeless classic. It is an excellent source of protein and coenzyme Q10 that is essential for skin cell turnover. Its protein is composed of 18 amino acids and thus a perfect muscle food.
This popular Japanese soybean is not only rich in vitamins C and B, but it is one of the few natural sources of vitamin E. Edamame is also a great source of protein, says Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., director of the antioxidants lab at Tufts University. These beans are considered a natural source of antioxidants and isoflavones.
Versatile in its use, be it blended in a smoothie or sprinkle it on your morning cereal, this powerful plant can provide an abundant source of fiber, magnesium and calcium. Flaxseeds also contain extremely high levels of lignans (which is an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids) and have been linked to the prevention of numerous health problems. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, flaxseed, due to its high fiber content, can help prevent heart disease.
For us, this is near the top of the list for ultimate super foods. After all, what else can brag about being low in price, high in protein and available year round? Studies have linked the consumption of eggs with increased brain health, decreased inflammation, as well as improved cardiovascular heath. Take the egg whites for fat free protein!
This herb is a must-have on your shopping list, though it will not be a snack for you like you would on almonds. This heart-healthy herb not only reduces your body’s cholesterol and triglycerides, it protects blood cells and blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress. As an added bonus, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that compounds in garlic may prevent cellular changes that may lead to cancerous tumor development and inhibit tumor growth.
Onions, just like garlic, are both rich in sulfur-containing compounds – so they may not be good for your breath, but they’re good for your body! Multiple studies have shown that eating onion can have cardiovascular benefits (mainly protection against heart attacks) when being consumed in a diet packed with other vegetables. Just pop in a mint after the meal!
Leafy greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods on earth, whether it’s spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce, So toss it in your salad or serve it as a steamed side, as an excellent (low-calorie) way to get your daily dose of vitamin K. According to research published in the International Journal of Cancer, consuming spinach protects against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.
This fish is top of the class in terms of health benefits. Salmon is a great go-to source for lean protein and packs a hearty dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, research published The Journal of the American Medical Association found that consumption lowers the risk of death from heart disease. Whenever possible, opt for wild-caught salmon rather than farm-raised salmon. The latter often has food coloring added to make it pink and can be loaded with antibiotics.
18. Sweet Potatoes
Eating sweet potatoes can be an easy fix for packing in the nutrients for your diet. They’re not only loaded with complex carbohydrates and phytochemicals, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, beta-carotene, as well as multiple vitamins. Considering vitamin A is the most important vitamin for protecting your vision and keeping your eyesight strong, numerous studies have drawn a parallel between the consumption of this sweet vegetable and healthy eyes.
It is low in calories, and packed with antioxidants and anti-cancer benefits – tomatoes can be considered a triple threat when it comes to fruits. They’re also high in lycopene, which may promote cardiovascular health and helps prevent skin from sun damage. Research published in the journal of Cancer Epidermal Biomarkers Prevention shows that regular consumption of this power fruit can help lower the risk of prostate cancer in men.
The best way to eat dairy and lose weight? Research points to yogurt as more potentially more powerful than milk. Numerous studies have linked the consumption of yogurt to better digestive health as well as an overall lower percent of body fat. Make sure to check the labels as certain yogurts contain a lot of sugar. So your best bet may be to buy plain Greek yogurt.