It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…SUPERFOOD!

by Rachel on January 13, 2010

In the latest issue of “Health” magazine, there is an article called “America’s Healthiest Superfoods for Women.” These are the foods that do double-duty: they are healthy foods that fill you up, but they also make you smarter, leaner, and stronger. They are disease-fighters, bone-builders, and fat-burners. Here are some of the top ones on the list.

Wild salmon. You know I am a big supporter of wild salmon, and this food topped the list. It’s got the protein we need, but unlike chicken or beef, it’s got the OMG-3s that make us healthy! Fatty fish also helps fight depression, so it’s particularly good this time of year when we’re all feeling S-A-D! Go for two servings of wild salmon per week. (At the store, remember my WILD = WIN, Farmed = FAIL trick to buy the right kind!)

Wild blueberries. Wooo! These blueberries are WILD! They’ll flash you! Just kidding. But they are amazing antiagers — not just on the outside, but on the inside too! They fight wrinkles AND keep your memory sharp! Can Botox do that?

Oats. This is why I have a love affair with oatmeal! It’s the perfect breakfast food…or ANYTIME FOOD! This is how I get around the “cereal for dinner” trap. They have fiber to keep you full and lower blood pressure. And their neutral taste means you can pimp them in SO many ways!

Broccoli. This cruciferous cutie is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, folate, calcium, iron, and potassium. Oh, and it may help prevent breast cancer. Broccoli is one of those things that I try to always ADD to a meal, even if it looks complete. Sure, I could stop at soup and bread, but why NOT add some broccoli to that meal? I also ALWAYS make broccoli if I have to have a frozen dinner. It makes it feel more homemade that way! Broccoli is one thing I usually keep on hand frozen so I have something green and healthy even if I’m broke and haven’t been to the store.

Walnuts. As far as nuts go, walnuts are boss. (Although almonds run a close second.) I don’t love the taste of raw almonds, so I usually add them to oatmeal. (OH MY GOSH, TWO SUPERFOODS….it’s like getting tag-teamed by Batman and Spiderman, which I would not have a problem with at all!!)

Avocados. When it comes to getting healthy fats, choose the creamy, dreamy avocado. The monounsaturated fatty acids  (MUFAs…love that acronym, cause it looks sort of inapprop) can actually help you lose belly fat. Well…don’t mind if I do!! Don’t forget about avocado…it’s really good in salads (you can get away with less dressing and cheese this way) and diced on top of soup or chili!

Red beans. As Sir-Mix-A-Lot says, “Red beans and rice didn’t miss her!” Well don’t miss red beans, and not just for your booty! Fiber, protein, folate, minerals, and antioxidants. They have “resistant starch” which is the hot new thing in healthy food science…it may help you burn fat and control blood sugar. Sprinkle them on salad or add them to homemade soup or chili.

Greek yogurt. When I discovered Greek yogurt a few years ago, it wasn’t widely available. Now it’s in every supermarket from here to Nebraska. And praise baby Jesus! It’s a dieters dream because it packs so much protein, and it’s so fluffy and creamy — way better than any “lite” shit. It also has calcium and probiotics. You can choose the fat-free variety, but most people prefer 2 percent, because that little bit of fat is more satisfying. It’s plain taste means you can dress it up however you like. It’s awesome with granola or fruit, but don’t hesitate to go the savory route and blend it with garlic, onions, dill, and cucumbers for an awesome dip.

Olive oil. I swear to God, adding more olive oil to my diet in September has made me healthier. Maybe it’s because a little fat makes me feel happier, or maybe it’s because I loooove how it feels when it gets on my hands as I toss it with veggies to roast. Or maybe it’s because it’s good for your skin and hair. Who knows? Who cares? Don’t fear the EVOO! A couple tablespoons a day isn’t going to kill you. In my case, it turned me from a dry-and-brittle spray butter girl into a glowing, pasta-eating goddess!

Dark chocolate. YAY! According to the article, not only is it high in antioxidants and able to lower stroke and heart disease risk, but it also just feels good. Hmm…good for you…makes you feel good…tell me again why you’re eating sugar-free fake chocolate pudding for dessert? Look for dark chocolate made with 70 percent cocoa to get the most out of it! After switching to dark, I am really not a big fan of milk chocolate anymore. The other night I was craving dark chocolate and didn’t have any, but then I remembered I had dark chocolate chips in the pantry. Perfect! Add a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips to frozen yogurt or melt them to drizzle over strawbs.

Other runner’s up from the list that I love: almonds, eggs, lean beef, green tea, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, tart cherries.

The thing is, these foods are SUPER but they aren’t CRAZY. There’s nothing on this list you can’t add to your shopping cart this week. Take out regular yogurt and do Greek, or switch from cold cereal to oatmeal. And seriously, fill your freezer with broccoli so you never have an excuse to not fill up on good stuff! These are all whole foods and they aren’t obscure, funny tasting, or expensive. If you have to eat, you might as well eat WELL!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amanda January 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I eat the majority of those super foods on a regular bases. Woo hoo!!!
.-= amanda´s last blog ..Interesting observations =-.

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2 Triz January 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm

This is a very easy and delicious salmon recipe … I used sundried tomatoes (rehydrated) and I think it made it maybe better.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salmon-Bruschetta-241788

Relax about the getting back. Your body just got you through something difficult and amazing. You are listening to your body about stretching; just keep listening, and you will know when you want to do something else.

But just say no to chronic injuries!!!! (including shinsplints, and watch your achilles tendons. You do NOT want to piss those off!)

Recover, feed your body, stretch and listen. You bossed your body around for months of training; now it may return the (cranky) favour.

And seriously, no matter how your body feels, I’d recommend no real runs for at least three weeks.

And, once again, yay you!!!

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3 Triz January 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

PS Also, this may be one of the Big Lies that track coaches tell you, but supposedly shin splits DO react to icing. It was explained to me that it is something to do with swelling … yeah, it doesn’t even seem sensible to me, but if you want to try it: wrap a bunch of ice in something like a washcloth, that is going to cushion the cold. Put it on the places that hurts, but not for long, move it around or you will damage the muscle.

Supposedly it decreases the swelling or whatever inside your leg. Like swimmers get in their shoulders.

It actually seems to have worked for me in the past, but I am suggestible.

I am kind of appalled at how much advice I’ve listened to that has no apparent reason, so feel free to ignore!

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4 Carla Aldaco January 14, 2010 at 3:20 am

OMG! So sometimes i feel that we are the same person!!! That might seem mildly creepy but I am willing to take that risk! I haven’t bought a mag in like over a year but on my recent travels, while bored at the airport I picked up this months issue of health and read it cover to cover AND made notes! hahah

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5 Cassidy M January 15, 2010 at 7:30 am

LOVE Greek Yogurt. Not only healthy, but I feel like I’m progressively getting more cultured while I eat it. I just discovered it like 2 months ago and dangit its not widely available here in the greatest snow on earth (Utah).
My biggest challenge is adding more oatmeal and less cold cereal! I’m always a fan when I do, but I’m just not in the habit. That cookie recipe looks so good so I’ll have to try that out to get me more oats!
I love your blog. I read it everyday.

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6 Rachel January 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Cassidy, I felt the SAME way when I came to MI and they didn’t have Greek yogurt yet!! I am SURE it will make its way to Utah eventually. I cracked up at feeling cultured…I’m the SAME WAY hahaha.

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