Tag: healthy foods

5 Powerful Foods for Superhero Health

 

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Some excellent reasons for including many fresh fruits, vegetables and juices in our diets is for their vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory, and potential cancer-preventing properties.

Many foods, commonly known as superfoods, have been found by researchers to help prevent cancer, and have even been shown to stop the progression of cancer cells in studies.

Below are some powerful health-boosting edibles you should definitely include in your diet:

  1. Broccoli—

Broccoli and cauliflower, both members of the cruciferous vegetable family, contain powerful health agents. Not only do these vegetables lower your risk of getting certain cancers, researchers are discovering they can even fight off existing cancers by preventing them from growing.

Scientists have found that a chemical found in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables called isothiocyanate can stop cancer growth by killing cancer cells.

Broccoli is also full of antioxidants, vitamin K and vitamin C, making it a wonderful addition to any detoxification program or cleanse.

  1. Kale—

Kale is in the same plant family as broccoli, and contains the same cancer cell-killing phytonutrients, plus it packs a punch loaded full of antioxidants (carotenoids and flavonoids) and anti-inflammatory nutrients that help your immune system fight off disease and illness.

Studies have shown that a diet including kale can not only help prevent cancer, but may also help with its treatment. Kale is extremely alkaline, and if you are fighting disease, one of the best things you can do is to lower your body’s acid levels and increase the alkalinity, giving it more power to fight off the bad guys.

Kale also contains enzymes involved with detoxification, and can help cleanse toxins quickly, allowing us to perform at maximum capacity.

  1. Purple Sweet Potatoes—

A new type of sweet potato has been grown specifically for its cancer fighting benefits. With purple pigment inside rather than the usual sunny hue, this strange new vegetable contains the chemical anthocyanin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, prevent cancer and even slow the progress of existing cancer cells.

The purple sweet potato is loaded with the same antioxidants found in similarly-colored grapes and berries, but don’t count out those good old-fashioned orange-toned sweet potatoes, because they have plenty of vitamin A and antioxidants to offer as well.

  1. Flaxseed Meal—

Flaxseeds are loaded with much-needed Omega-3s (which are helpful for reducing inflammation and preventing skin cancer), vitamin E and dietary fiber, which is great for colon health (and the prevention of colon cancer).

It’s important to grind whole flaxseeds up or buy them in the already-ground meal form to reap the full benefits, as they can be hard to digest.

In scientific studies, daily ingestion of flaxseed meal has been shown to reduce cancer cell growth in patients, making flaxseeds an important addition to your daily smoothie, juice or breakfast cereal.

  1. Spinach—

Well known for its high iron content, spinach is one of the best superfoods you can feed your body, as it also contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, folate and magnesium.

This nutritional powerhouse vegetable has been shown to lower the risk of macular degeneration, making it an excellent daily juice or smoothie choice for those genetically prone to eye disease.

Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences discovered that eating carrots and spinach more than twice weekly reduced breast cancer risk by 44%, so mixing in some carrot juice with your daily spinach juice would be a great idea. (Source: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, November 1997)

Other studies have proven spinach to lower the risk of ovarian, stomach, skin, prostate and bladder cancer, so do your body a favor and eat your daily spinach.

 

Fruits and vegetables have long been considered powerful weapons in the fight against cancer, and research only continues to show this over and over again. Nearly every study conducted proves the anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting protection these plant-based superfoods can provide, so be sure to include them in your diet today.

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Take It Off! 5 Top Foods for Faster Weight Loss

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No matter how badly we’d love for weight loss to be simple, there’s no magic pill or special trick to make shedding the pounds an easy process. But there is plenty of research to show that the foods we choose to eat can make a difference by raising metabolism and making us feel fuller to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

Certain foods allow the body to process calories in different ways, making nutritional choices a very important part of the diet and exercise puzzle for those hoping to lose weight.

 

Below are 5 top foods recommended by nutrition and fitness experts for faster weight loss:

 

1. Dairy—

Often touted for its value as a post-workout recovery drink because of the high amino acid and protein content, whey protein shakes are a common favorite of those in need of a quick pick-me-up.

Because they’re easy to make, whey protein shakes can be a good way to curb the appetite before it reaches the dangerously hungry “eating whatever’s available” levels that can sabotage anyone’s best intentions.

Calcium has also been shown to have a metabolism-boosting thermic effect on the body, with studies proving that dieters who ingest it every day lose almost twice as much weight as those who don’t: so if you’re not a fan of milk, consider adding some yogurt to your day.

 

2. Apples—

Apples are full of fiber, which is dietary aid well known for curbing hunger by creating a feeling of fullness in the stomach without a lot of calories, as well as promoting good digestion.

Apples are also full of pectin, a substance that swells into a gel that binds with water to enhance satiation, with the added bonus of preventing the amount of fat the body can absorb.

Apples have recently been connected to the prevention of metabolic syndrome, which presents with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, waist thickening and pre-diabetes, making the timeless advice “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” more important to follow than ever.

 

3. Broccoli—

You’ve seen broccoli on every super-food list for its dense nutritional content, but broccoli is also a strong contender in the weight loss assistance arena because of the high levels of fiber it contains.

This high fiber content is also found in many other cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, which are great sources of vitamin C and phytochemicals.

Broccoli is high in riboflavin, which has been shown in studies to play a role in raising metabolism to increase weight loss, as well as providing an excellent non-dairy source of calcium for those who are lactose-intolerant.

 

4. Berries—

A bright and delicious addition to any smoothie or bowl of whole grain cereal, berries are loaded with antioxidants, which are famous for their anti-aging cellular protection and metabolism-boosting effects.

Berries are also a surprisingly good source of fiber, with raspberries at the top of the fiber-full list, with blackberries at a close second place.

Low in calories, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries have ketones that can help the body burn more fat and stabilize blood sugar levels.

A recent study also showed that berries helped raise metabolism and suppress appetite in mice by decreasing glucose levels while burning fat. (Source: University of Pennsylvania Health System.)

 

5. Beans—

An April 2013 study revealed that a diet rich in beans was as effective as a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss, enhancing feelings of satiety with the added bonus of better cholesterol levels. (Source: Loma Linda University.)

While not offering quite the protein punch of lean meats and dairy, beans still have enough to help boost muscle mass and metabolism.

Beans also have a high fiber content that helps assist digestion by moving food through the gastrointestinal system faster than animal-based proteins.

 

Genetics and hormones definitely play a role in the physique we’re given, but there are ways to work with what we’ve got, and smart food choices that can make it easier to get into shape. Consider adding some of the foods above to your daily regimen, and see if they can help you lose weight faster and reach the fitness goals you’re hoping to achieve.