“Super foods” is a term used to describe foods with a high nutrient content that can help boost your energy. Here are five such “super foods.”
Berries: Berries contain anthocyanins, which are a group of powerful antioxidants that are responsible for giving berries their bright colors. They also contain folate, vitamin C, fiber and potassium, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, insulin resistance and infections. Daily intake should include five to nine servings (approximately eight medium-sized strawberries make one serving). Try eating different types of berries like: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Fish: Fish contain high-quality proteins, minerals (such as iron, zinc and calcium) and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of heart disease, improve visual function and contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Two servings of fish (about eight ounces) weekly are recommended. People with cardiovascular risk should add one or two more servings of fish per week. Try consuming fattier fish like salmon (wild, canned pink, sockeye), rainbow trout, sardines, mackerel, herring, striped bass, tuna (albacore, skipjack) and anchovies. Women who are or might become pregnant, or who are nursing , should avoid consuming shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, and limit white tuna (albacore) to six ounces per week due to their high mercury content.
Whole grains: Eating three or more portions daily can help reduce the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Whole grains reduce bad cholesterol, triglyceride and insulin levels. Look for products that have the Whole Grain Stamp from the Whole Grains Council. Try out brown rice, whole rye, oats, groats, corn and amaranth.
Nuts: Eating 1.5 ounces of nuts every day can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Nuts contain unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, copper, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid eating salted, honey-glazed or otherwise coated nuts to avoid excess sodium and calories. Instead, incorporate nuts into your diet by mixing them into salads, cereal, yogurt, pancake or waffle batter, or grind them to coat fish and chicken. Great nuts to try are almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.
Note: Check if you are allergic to nuts before consuming. Also, be cautious if you are serving nuts to someone else as many people have allergies.
Avocado: They are one of the most nutrient rich fruits (that’s right, the avocado is botanically classified as a fruit, not a vegetable). They are packed with fiber, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium (actually 60% more potassium than a banana!), zinc, iron, magnesium and folate. Avocado also contains lutein and zeaxanthin that can help prevent macular degeneration of the eyes. It also has beta-sitosterol, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.