Thoughts from Jenny

Health Boosting Foods

October 15th, 2010 11:04 AM by Jennifer McGuire

As we all try to eat healthy, and live a healthier lifestyle, it seems to be harder and harder to enjoy the foods we grew up with.  Below is an article I was e-mailed from South Beach Diet giving their top 6 choices of foods to incorporate in our diets.

Hope you find this helpful, and interesting. 

6 Powerful Health-Boosting Foods

As you may know, the South Beach Diet encourages you to reap nutrients from whole foods rather than supplements. Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet Supercharged, recommends a wide variety of delicious fresh foods in a rainbow of colors that contain antioxidants and other disease-fighting nutrients. A few foods are true standouts, packing in exceptional amounts of nutrients and phytochemicals that help to prolong your life and lower your risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Here, some top antioxidant-packed foods to incorporate into your Meal Plans.

  1. Tomatoes (Phase 1): Studies show that eating tomato products may reduce prostate cancer risk, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now allows tomatoes and tomato-based products, like tomato sauce, to carry that health claim. The key ingredient: a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, also found in pink and red grapefruit (Phase 2) and guava (Phase 3).

     

  2. Kale and other dark leafy greens (Phase 1): Research shows that eating dark leafy greens, like kale, may help maintain good health by reducing one’s risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, and several other illnesses. Dark leafy greens are rich in beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K, which help protect against free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage cells). Regularly eating dark leafy greens may also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and promote normal eyesight. Spinach and Swiss chard also contain these disease-fighting nutrients.

     

  3. Walnuts (Phase 1): Like all nuts, walnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Unlike other nuts, walnuts are high in heart-healthy omega-3 oils, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Enjoy up to 15 walnuts a day as part of your nut/seed allotment. Other South Beach Diet–recommended sources of omega-3s include flaxseed and, of course, oily fish, like salmon.

     

  4. Blueberries (Phase 2): A study from the University of Illinois found that a number of compounds in blueberries, including pigment-producing anthocyanins, are powerful in helping to prevent cancer. Other berries have antioxidants in smaller quantities.

     

  5. Pomegranates (Phase 2): These fruits are high in flavonoids, antioxidants also found in red wine (Phase 2) and cocoa (Phase 1, unsweetened). Recent studies show that pomegranate juice (Phase 3) may also help prevent heart disease.

     

  6. Sweet potatoes (Phase 2): They're rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that work to prevent and possibly reverse the cell damage caused by free radicals. Other good sources of beta-carotene are carrots and apricots (both Phase 2).

     

See all South Beach Diet Tips

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Posted by Jennifer McGuire on October 15th, 2010 11:04 AM

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