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Best Health Bet: Eat Real Food, Make It a Superfood

By Sandy Schroeder

No single food can guarantee health, but eating many superfoods in their natural state may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. It will also make you feel better and energize you.

Eat Real Food

Nutrition’s focus today is all about eating food that’s close to nature. Harvard Health’s Healthy Eating tells us to visit local farmers markets, or pick it fresh from the garden, to maximize healthy nutrients.

Make It a Superfood

Choose dark leafy greens - Get Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium and phytochemicals and fiber from spinach, kale, mustard greens, chard and collard greens. Mix them into salads, soups, stews or casseroles or saute them with poultry, fish or beef. Add spinach or kale to canned soups or prepared dips to boost nutrients.

Eat all kinds of berries - Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries deliver antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients. Serve fresh or frozen and add them to cereal, yogurt and smoothies. Try a raspberry shake or strawberry pie.

Mix nuts into meals - Almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts are excellent sources of plant protein and monounsaturated fats to protect the heart. Top your morning oats, mix in with a lunch salad, or add to cookie veggies for dinner. Serve peanut butter with bananas or bake peanut butter cookies.

Choose whole grains - Add fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to your diet with whole grains that lower cholesterol and fight heart disease and diabetes. Enjoy old-fashioned oats for breakfast topped with fruit, and eat quinoa, wheat berries and bulgur or brown rice in place of baked potatoes. Check all labels for 100 percent whole wheat flour.

Eat fish three times a week - Add omega-3 fatty acids and protein to protect the heart with frequent servings of fish. Choose tuna steaks, grilled salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines or anchovies. Find a great fresh fish counter and serve the catch of the day with a salad and fresh veggies for a superb dinner. Keep frozen or canned fish as backup.

Eat Greek yogurt - Get a healthy serving of protein, calcium and live cultures known as probiotics that fight harmful bacteria. Choose low fat, low sugar yogurts and use them instead of sour cream or mayonnaise for dips and spreads. Top tacos or enchiladas with yogurt or add to cheese sauces.

Go for cruciferous veggies - Load your cart with cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, radishes, turnips and mustard greens. Steam or saute veggies in healthy oils and serve them with fish or poultry or add them to soups, salads and casseroles to get fiber, vitamins, fight some types of cancer, and keep the whole body healthy.

Take a test run with superfoods served in their natural state to see how it works for you. Expect more energy, better weight control, and an overall boost in health. Enjoy!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in ColoradoSprings, Colo.

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