Foods We Should Eat More Of

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1. Blueberries: Studies from Tufts University have shown that blueberries may help us slow or reverse some aspects of age-related decline. Rodent studies showed that blueberry supplemented rodents had better physical strength, balance and coordination at the end of the study as compared to rodents fed other supplements (spinach or strawberries). But even more remarkable was that the brain chemistry on the blueberry-fed rodents was more youthful than it had been when the study was begun. This suggests that eating blueberries actually reversed the aging of their brains. Another study, this time on humans, showed that those given wild blueberry juice daily scored 30% higher on tests of memory and cognition than those given another juice. Because blueberries freeze well, I would recommend keeping organic frozen blueberries and using them daily in smoothies, on oatmeal, or any other way you’d like. The highest quality frozen berries are “flash-frozen” or individually quick frozen, or IQF. They also should be “flash-thawed” to retain the most nutrients. Believe it or not, the best way to do this is on the defrost cycle of your microwave. Berries thawed in the microwave retain twice as many antioxidants as berries thawed at room temperature.

2. Prunes, Cranberries and Currants: These are foods that many people don’t make a point to eat, but prunes (or dried plums) are among the most nutritious foods in the grocery store. Again, I would try to buy organic ones since you are eating their skins. Dried currants are much more nutritious than all raisins. So begin substituting currants for raisins and put them in cereals, pancakes or trail mix. Cranberries are also one of our most nutritious fruits. We should try to find recipes and more ways to use fresh cranberries. But even dried cranberries can provide great health benefits. Several studies now have confirmed cranberries’ ability to decrease the risk of bladder infections. I know I’m going to add all of these to my grocery list.

2.  Prunes, Cranberries and Currants:  These are foods that many people don’t make a point to eat, but prunes (or dried plums) are among the most nutritious foods in the grocery store.  Again, I would try to buy organic ones since you are eating their skins.  Dried currants are much more nutritious than all raisins.  So begin substituting currants for raisins and put them in cereals, pancakes or trail mix.  Cranberries are also one of our most nutritious fruits.  We should try to find recipes and more ways to use fresh cranberries.  But even dried cranberries can provide great health benefits.  Several studies now have confirmed cranberries’ ability to decrease the risk of bladder infections.  I know I’m going to add all of these to my grocery list.

3.  Cruciferous Vegetables:  These include vegetables such as kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.  Crucifers offer more health benefits than all but a few other fruits and vegetables.  It’s important to know how to buy, store and cook them though.

Broccoli and brussel sprouts lose their nutrients rapidly after harvest.  Canning and freezing also depletes their nutrients.  Try to buy these from farmers markets when freshly harvested or buy when in season from the grocery store.  Eat them as soon as possible.  Raw broccoli gives you 20 times the anticancer compounds than cooked broccoli.  But if you are going to cook these vegetables, steaming or sautéing them is the best way to preserve as many nutrients as possible.

Because red cabbage can be stored much longer than many vegetables and not lose a lot of its nutrients, this is a good choice to keep around.  I slice red cabbage into most of my salads.  It adds a great crunch and a splash of color.

Last but not least, kale is probably the most nutritious vegetable of all.  All varieties are good sources of cancer-fighting, heart-protective glucosinolates.  Kale also is high in antioxidants.  One serving of kale has more calcium than six ounces of milk and more fiber than 3 slices of whole wheat bread.  Add it to salads with other greens or add it to a fruit smoothie.  That way, if you don’t like the taste of kale, you will hardly notice it.

If we really want to live a full and healthy life, we need to make a point to start adding these nutritious plant foods to our diet.  Instead of thinking about what we should not eat, let’s change this and think more about what we should eat.

This information came from Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.



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