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Story Posted: 2011-11-24

“Superfoods” Cheat Sheet

Source: CanolaInfo, Category: Health & Nutrition, General Canola Info

The expression “you are what you eat” doesn’t mean if you eat a carrot, you ARE a carrot but the popular slogan certainly rings true in that eating healthy, nutritious foods correlates to a healthy, functioning body that performs its best.

The following “superfoods” in Keri Glassman’s Hearty & Healthy Winter Recipe Collection should be on your grocery list. All of these ingredients are low in saturated fat and cholesterol – with the exception of lean sirloin, but in moderation, it has other health benefits – and most are chock full of nutrients that will help keep your body in peak condition, fight off infections and prevent chronic diseases. In a country where obesity and type 2 diabetes rates are skyrocketing and cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death, eating foods like these are more important than ever. Here’s why:

Brown Rice

Brown rice doesn’t just differ from white rice in color – its health benefits are far greater. As a whole grain, it is unrefined and a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is also an excellent source of fiber, which helps you feel full with less calories, and reduces blood cholesterol levels, thereby, lowering the risk of heart disease. This “good carb” is also very low in fat and has high levels of iron and magnesium.

Brussels Sprouts
This true “superfood” is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, potassium and calcium. At only 56 calories per cup, Brussels sprouts also contain many phytochemicals, which studies show may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.



Canola Oil
With the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils, canola oil delivers on heart health. It is free of trans fat and cholesterol and a good source of vitamins E and K and plant sterols. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat.

Carrots
These colorful root vegetables are fat-free with few calories. Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as carotenoids, which studies have linked to reduced risk of heart disease.

Chicken Breast
The leanest part of a chicken, a skinless chicken breast has roughly 24 grams of complete protein, less than 1 gram of saturated fat and less cholesterol than most other meats. Chicken is also a good source of iron, the cancer-protective B vitamin niacin and trace mineral selenium.

Chickpeas
Also known as garbanzo beans and the main ingredient in hummus, chickpeas have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t raise blood sugar levels significantly. They’re also a great source of protein, folate, manganese and fiber, which aids in digestive and colon health.

Halibut

This white, thick fish is the largest of all saltwater fishes. It is an excellent source of protein and of omega-3 fat, which may help protect the heart. Halibut is also a good source of B vitamins, potassium and magnesium.  

Kale
Another cruciferous vegetable and the new rock star in the produce aisle, kale has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a good source of vitamins E, A, C and K; beta-carotene, thiamin and riboflavin; folate, iron and magnesium; fiber and even protein. 



Portobello Mushrooms
One serving of these delicious, large brown mushrooms contains only 42 calories and 1 gram of fat. Portobellos are high in dietary fiber, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus and potassium as well as a good source of protein and other B vitamins and minerals. They also contain disease-fighting phytochemicals – particularly in the stems!

Quinoa
A rediscovered ancient “grain” (it’s technically a vegetable relative) native to South America, quinoa is rich in protein, with all nine amino acids, and a good source of fiber. It is also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin and manganese. A satisfying complex carbohydrate, dieters love quinoa – vegans also love it as a non-dairy source of calcium. 



Red Peppers

Raw and cooked red bell peppers are not only nice to look at from the outside, they are great for you inside. They are a great source of vitamins E, K, B6, A and C. Red peppers are among few foods that contain lycopene, which has cancer- and heart disease-preventing properties.

Sirloin, Lean


In addition to being mouth-watering, a slice of 95 percent lean sirloin has only about 24 grams of protein with only about 2.5 grams of saturated fat. It also has about 15 percent of the daily recommendation of iron, includes various amino acids, and is high in zinc, B vitamins, magnesium and phosphorus. Trim off any visible fat and skin before preparing for maximum health benefits.

Spinach

Popeye had it right: spinach rocks. Low in calories and high in vitamins, this leafy green is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can put in your mouth. It is high in vitamins A and K, iron, folate, calcium, and iron as well as a good source of magnesium.  

Sweet Potatoes
These colorful taters are sweet on health, being rich in beta-carotene; vitamins A, K and B6; and minerals, including calcium, potassium, copper and manganese.  

Tofu
Long a staple in vegetarian diets, tofu has finally made it mainstream. This food is low in calories and fat and a great source of soy protein, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and omega-3 fat.

Tomatoes
In addition to containing almost no fat and a ton of vitamin C, tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, E, K and B6; thiamin, niacin and folate; fiber; and iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium and manganese. They also contain high amounts of lycopene, which has antioxidant properties. 



  Did You Know

Did You Know? Brussels sprouts, canola and kale are related; they all belong to the Brassica family of plants.



 

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