Super foods are not drugs, thank you very much. They are real (unprocessed) foods – so powerful, they can help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and even help put you in a better mood. And… there are NO side effects! A healthy diet incorporating a variety of ‘super foods’ will help you maintain your weight and fight disease = living longer. Read on, and learn more about the benefits of some of these super – duper foods.
Tomatoes contain an abundance of lycopene, which is a type of carotenoid. Carotenoids are natural pigments that act as antioxidants for the body. Antioxidants help lessen the effects of free radicals, which can cause damage to internal body cells. Researchers found that men who ate tomato sauce 2 to 4 times a week had a 35 % lower risk of developing prostate cancer than men who ate none.
++Other good foods containing lycopene: pink grapefruit and watermelon
Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food. Only 2 to 3 oysters deliver a day’s supply of zinc, a mineral critical for normal functioning of the male reproductive system. Nutritional deficiencies have shown to be a cause of low testosterone levels in men.
++Other good foods containing zinc: beans, nuts, crab, lobster, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products
Ounce for ounce, broccoli contains more vitamin C than many citrus fruits, has more calcium than an entire glass of milk, and it’s an even richer source of fiber than whole wheat breads. Broccoli may help protect against bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers in the US, and affects 2 to 3 times as many men as women.
++Other good food sources for vitamin C: bell peppers, strawberries, lemons, brussels sprouts, papaya, spinach, snow peas, cantaloupe, tomatoes, asparagus, and oranges
Watermelon contains more potassium in one large slice than the amount found in 1 banana or a cup of OJ. Research suggests that foods rich in potassium can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Before age 55, more men suffer from high blood pressure than do women. Since there are no set RDA guidelines for potassium intake, a good goal is about 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams a day. If you are trying to consume a food for potassium, eat it raw if possible; otherwise make it baked.
++Other good food sources for potassium: beets, turnips, rutabagas, potatoes (skin on), bananas, peaches, avocado and melons
Papayas contain many antioxidant nutrients such as B vitamins (folate and pantothenic acid), carotenes (vitamin C and flavonoids), minerals (potassium and magnesium), and fiber. Together, these nutrients promote cardiovascular health, protect against colon cancer and gallbladder disease. Gallbladder disease afflicts twice as many women than men. The vitamin B improves energy and helps prevent depression. However, deficiencies in certain B vitamins can result in illnesses such as anemia, beriberi, heart disease, and birth defects.
++Other good sources for B vitamins: bananas, potatoes, lentils, green vegetables, eggs, turkey, and tuna
Flaxseed is rich in estrogen-like compounds called lignans, which can help protect against breast cancer, as well as lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels. Flaxseed contains a high content of alpha linolenic acids (ALA) which has become a modern ‘miracle food’. ALA is a type of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid. Recent studies also showed positive benefits of flax seed oil in IBD (Crohn’s Disease and Colitis). Flax seed oil heals the inner lining of the inflamed intestines. Get the most benefit out of these lignans and sprinkle a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed on your cereal or in yogurt for flavor and fiber.
++Other good sources for omega-3 fatty acids: salmon, shrimp, scallops, walnuts, cauliflower, and collard greens
Bison (buffalo) meat is a great source of iron. Women tend to be more anemic than men (thanks to menstruation), and low levels of iron in the blood can cause major fatigue. Bison meat is lean since it has less fat than most other cuts of beef. Eating buffalo can help boost energy and help lower weight (with exercise of course). The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron is 18 milligrams for healthy, active adults over the age of 18. There are two types of iron, heme (found in animal products) and non-heme (plant derived).
++Other good sources for heme–iron: liver, eggs, tuna, salmon, and oysters
++Other good sources for non-heme iron: whole wheat bread, oatmeal, lentils, beans, soy, spinach, broccoli, raisins, tofu, and soymilk
Bison meat can be hard to find, below is a photo taken from my local natural foods grocery store of Ground Bison meat. Below is a good substitute.
Collard greens contain a great amount of vitamin K, and are among the best sources to help fight osteoporosis. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin (found in the intestines of your body) which helps to control blood clotting, assists in the absorption of calcium from certain foods, and helps in forming and maintaining healthy bones.
++Other good sources for vitamin K: spinach, brussels sprouts, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, green peas, and carrots
**More great super foods:
• Tea (green, black)