Hey y’all! I hope you are all having a great week so far! Lately, there has been a lot of talk about “super foods.” They are supposed to have amazing benefits like making your stomach flatter, your cholesterol lower, your skin clearer, your hair shinier and even your eyesight better (I’m looking at you, carrots). While I don’t know how super these super foods are, over my 30 Days of Clean Eating, I have developed my own list of personal super foods and, after some research, I have found out that most of them have some pretty awesome health benefits. Some of them are on the super foods lists I have seen, but they are the foods that I have loved throughout my clean eating journey.
My first super food is almonds, and as you know from my snack attack post, I love them so. I really like them because they keep me full in between meals, but they have some pretty great health benefits as well. Studies have shown that almonds can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and can even reduce your risk of heart disease. They are also full of potassium, magnesium and can also help decrease after-meal blood sugar surges. All of that from a handful of almonds every day? I’ll take it!
Another one of my super foods has been avocados. I usually eat half of an avocado every day on my salad with dinner. While I really like the taste, avocados also pack a pretty big punch when it comes to your health. They contain a higher level of fat than other fruits (which avocados are considered due to their seed), but the fat is anti-inflammatory and commonly considered to be the good kind of fat. Research also shows that people who eat avocados have a lower weight and BMI than those who don’t eat them. Avocados have a whole range of other health benefits that include promoting heart health, regulating blood sugar, being full of healthy antioxidants and even possible anti-cancer benefits. I suggest dicing up half an avocado and putting it over some spinach with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. It makes a super healthy and delicious side salad to have with dinner.
With that said, olive oil is my next super food. Like avocados, olive oil is high in fat, but the good kind! It is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is considered a healthy dietary fat. Olive oil has been shown to be heart healthy and to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels and possibly help to normalize blood clots. I use olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil when cooking and use a small amount on my salads.
My next super food takes a sweeter turn . . . blueberries! I did a little research, and blueberries are the second most popular berries in America, behind only the strawberry. It is that popular for good reason. Blueberries contain a bunch of antioxidants that can help combat free radicals in your body that could damage cell structure and DNA. New studies show that blueberries can even help improve memory, which never hurts when you are as forgetful as I am! These yummy berries have also been shown to improve eyesight, be heart healthy, help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels and to possibly have anti-cancer benefits. Grab a handful of these little wonders with your almonds and you have a perfect and healthy snack!
The last super food I will mention is something I have multiple times a day: green tea. I have been a coffee drinker my entire life; just ask my mom, and she will tell you that drinking a little cup of coffee when I was little was one of my favorite things to do. I can tolerate plain, black coffee, but I really love it when it is sweet and creamy, so for the purpose of eating clean, I gave it up. Green tea has been a fantastic substitute for me. With about half of the amount of caffeine, I can drink a glass without feeling jittery like coffee makes me feel. Not to mention the super health benefits that drinking green tea can give you. It has been shown to slow the rate of tumor growth, lower your risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, reduce stress and even improve arthritis. I drink green tea with pomegranate at least twice a day, sometimes more.
Do you have any of your own super food favorites? I would love to hear about them at firstname.lastname@example.org! Have a great Tuesday and check back in later this week for my post on how to eat out while eating clean!
- Lizzy Stroud
And if you want to catch up with 30 Days of Clean Eating, here is what you’ve missed!