Now a days we hear a lot of talk about super foods and how we should incorporate them into our daily diet, but what exactly are super foods and how can they be beneficial to us? Stress is a fantastic way to use up or burn up the precious vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function, yet most people don’t even realized that they are stress, let alone as to what the stress is doing to the internal resources and fuel sources of their body. As the seasons change from fall to winter, winter to spring and spring to summer, we have an abundant supply of veggies available to us that fall into the “super food” category. Springtime is a great time of year to be adventurous and begin to incorporate these super foods into your diet. This is the time of the year when greens are especially fresh and nutritious, so why not take the plunge and reacquaint yourself with nature’s vast variety of super foods. This will do your mind and your body good.
You may be asking so what is the big deal about these super foods, why should I be concerned about them and what’s in it for me if I eat them? So here are the answers to all of your questions concerning super foods:
- If you want to rock your workout, here is a super food that, you will want to incorporate into your daily diet, it is Arugula. Arugula provides more nitrates than other top vegetable source, such as rhubarb, celery and spinach. Why is that beneficial for you? Nitrates relax the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure, accelerating blood flow so energizing oxygen is delivered to cells throughout your body more efficiently. As a result, your workout might feel a little easer: Nitrates reduce your muscles’ need for oxygen during exercise, so you don’t tire as quickly.
- To improve your digestion, eat more asparagus. These tender thin green stalks are rich in inulin, a unique fiber that doesn’t break down in our digestive system until it arrives at the large intestines. When it gets to the large intestines it feeds the beneficial bacteria that keep your intestine healthy and may help your body absorb more nutrients. Asparagus is also rich in vitamin A, Zeaxanthin and lutein, all great for eye health.
- If you are looking to maintain strong bones or improve your bone health then you will want to incorporate Bok Choy into your diet. This cabbage variant is packed with bone friendly nutrients, such as calcium, which is well absorbed for a vegetable sour of the mineral. The reason is that Bok Choy is low in oxalates, compounds present in many green leafy veggies that can bind to calcium making it harder for your body to absorb. Just two cups of this yummy, low calorie vegetable delivers as much calcium as a half a glass of milk. Two cups of raw Bok Choy provides 80 percent of your daily dose of vitamin K needed to bind calcium to bone.
- If you have been told that you are Pre-Diabetic or you want to just fend off Diabetes, then you definitely want to incorporate more Chard into your diet. One cup of cooked Chard delivers nearly four grams of fiber. Chard slows the rate at which carbohydrates enter your blood stream, preventing blood-sugar dips and spikes. This plant is a top source of magnesium, a mineral that helps the body use the glucose-regulating hormone insulin more effectively. Chard also contains syringic acid, a substance that blocks the breakdown of starch into sugars, helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Given the fact that many of us only get half the fiber and less than two-thirds of the magnesium we need, Chard is a good source of these blood sugar balancing nutrients.
- Looking to build your immune system up or to fight off a cold, then you want to eat more dandelion greens. This veggie is high in vitamin A, a nutrient that keeps the lining of our airways healthy, which is one of the first defenses against bacteria and pathogens that cause the common cold and other respiratory illness. Just one cup of raw dandelion greens boast 110 percent of your daily dose of Vitamin A, which is twice the amount you’d get from the same serving of spinach and 10 times the amount you would get from eating the same amount of broccoli. Dandelion greens are high in vitamin C, which is great for boosting the immune system.
Here’s a little tip, if you want to get more of these yummy green veggies into your diet, you can incorporate them into salads, stir-fry’s or smoothies. Once you start eating these goodies, I guarantee that you will love them and your mind and body will thank in you many ways beginning with the essence of feeling more energized, healthy and vibrant. So eat up. What are you waiting for?
I welcome your comments, tips and suggestions below.
Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS
The Queen of Feeing Fabulous