We keep hearing it: America is too fat. According to a recent Reuters article, if the US population continues to indulge in its unhealthy lifestyle, half of all US adults will be considered obese by the year 2030.
Unlike many diets that aim to restrict food intake, ChicagoHealers practitioner Dr. Kristen Bobik suggests introducing super foods into an everyday diet in order to lose weight and improve overall health. Super foods are “super” because they have the highest concentrations of easily digestible nutrients, fat-burning compounds and vitamins and minerals that protect and heal your body.
Professional hypochondriacs, try incorporating a new super food into your diet each week.
1. Eggs – The best protein source on the planet, eggs consistently outrank milk, beef, whey, and soy in the quality of protein they provide. In addition to containing all the essential amino acids, eggs are loaded with nutrients. People avoid the yolks because they fear cholesterol, but egg yolks contain choline, which helps protect heart and brain function and prevents cholesterol and fat from accumulating in the liver.
2. Kale & Spinach – When it comes to leafy green vegetables, the darker green, the better. Greens are low in calories, vitamin-rich and high in fiber. Considered perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food, greens are packed with vitamin K, which regulates blood clotting and helps protect bones from osteoporosis.
3. Avocados – Sure, they’re high in fat, but avocados contain healthful monounsaturated fat, which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They’re loaded with fiber (11 to 17 grams per fruit) and are a good source of lutein, an antioxidant linked to eye and skin health.
4. Salmon – Eating fish helps cut the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes and arthritis. The fatty varieties may also help alleviate depression. The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat at least two fish meals per week, especially wild salmon, herring, and sardines. The omega-3 fatty acids that salmon provides can improve insulin sensitivity—which helps build muscle and decrease belly fat.
5. Apples – With twice the fiber of other common fruits, apples are a great low calorie snack that will fill you up and keep blood sugar in check. Loaded with the powerful antioxidants quercetin and catechin, which protect cells from damage, apples can help reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially if you eat the skin. An apple’s peel contains five times more polyphenols than its flesh.
6. Blueberries – These anti-aging superstars have the highest antioxidant level of all regularly consumed fruit. They’re rich in anthocyanins, which have been shown to improve vision and brain function. Studies show that eating blueberries also slows impairments in motor coordination and memory that accompany aging. They also reduce inflammation, which is inextricably linked with virtually every chronic disease from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to diabetes and heart disease.
7. Olive Oil – Another on the list of cancer inhibitors is olive oil, a “healthy” type of fat that has anti-inflammatory properties. Replacing other fats in your diet with olive oil can significantly lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack. Chronic inflammation in the body is linked to metabolic syndrome but a diet rich in cold-pressed (not heated) olive oil can fight inflammation in your body.
8. Pomegranates – These beauties have up to three times the antioxidants of red wine and green tea – and the juice has been shown to reduce artery-clogging plaque, which in turn prevents heart disease and stroke. Research shows that long-term consumption of pomegranate juice may also help slow aging and protect against cancer.
9. Garlic – Research shows that garlic lowers total cholesterol and triglyceride (blood fat) levels, helping prevent clogged arteries. Two to three cloves a day cut the odds of subsequent heart attacks in half for heart disease patients. Garlic also tops the National Cancer Institute’s list of potential cancer-preventive foods.
10. Almonds – Even though almonds are relatively high in fat and calories, studies show that eating them can help with weight loss and lowering cholesterol (their protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats provide the feeling of fullness, preventing overeating).
Chicago Healers is an integrative health care network, offering a comprehensive understanding of each practitioner’s services, approach and philosophy. Its holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational events, and the website. With close to 200 practitioners and over 300 treatment services, Chicago Healers has provided nearly 400 free educational events for Chicagoans. For information, visit www.ChicagoHealers.com.