You are what you eat – eat this! 5 Power Foods

You are what you eat, so starting eating and even juicing these power foods.

1. Watercress

Watercress is a great detoxifying vegetable. Watercress is packed with antioxidants that can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells. DNA damage to blood cells can increase the development of cancer.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a daily portion of watercress (85 g) can decrease DNA damage to cells that already have been damaged by free radicals. (1)

Besides the beneficial antioxidant properties, watercress can also reduce triglyceride levels in the blood. (1) Heart disease and stroke can be preventable by keeping stress levels down, keeping cholesterol levels down and making sure you get enough movement throughout the day.

Watercress also contains an antioxidant called lutein and beta-carotene. These antioxidants are important in maintaining healthy eyes and decreasing risks of macular degeneration and cataracts.

2. Berries

All berries are beneficial. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals. Berries can decrease heart attack risks due to the high level of flavonoids that they contain. Besides healthy heart benefits, berries also decrease the chances of cognitive dementia due to old age.

Even though berries are categorized as fruit, they are low in calories and high in fiber (both soluble and insoluble fiber). Berries are also great for people who have diabetes because it doesn’t spike up blood sugar levels like other fruits. I like to blend rather than juice berries. Next time your craving something sweet, grab a handful of berries.

3. Raw Almonds

Almonds are packed with vitamin E. One small handful of almonds provides the recommended daily consumption of almonds.

Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats which have been associated with decreased risk of heart disease which is primarily due to the abundant amount of vitamin E that almonds contain. (2) Besides vitamin E, almonds also contain magnesium. Magnesium increases blood flow throughout the body.

Almonds also contain potassium. Potassium is important because it is involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, regulating blood pressure, and healthy heart function. (2)

Almonds are a great snack. Eat a handful in between meals and see the difference in how you feel.

4. Beets

Beets contain betacyanin. Betacyanin is a type of pigment that ranges from dark red to purple. Betacyanin is being studied for it’s anticancer and tumor fighting effects. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that increases the bodies immunity against different aliments. Beet juice is a great way to build immunity.

Beet juice and beets have soluble fiber. This is my favorite type of fiber because soluble fiber delays the emptying of your stomach which could help control weight gain. Soluble fiber also is capable of lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Beets are packed with folate (provides 34% of the Daily Value). Folate is important for pregnant women, since it may prevent birth defects and promote brain development of unborn babies. Folate may also protects us against heart disease and cancer.

Beets may also prevent anemia since it can foster red blood cells due to it’s components iron and folic acid. It’s also a natural blood purifier since it works to push toxins out of the blood.

Beets are packed with nitrates. Many clinical studies have found that supplementing your diet with 2 cups of beet juice per day actually lowers your blood pressure. Besides lowering your blood pressure the nitrates found in beets enhance athletic performance by reducing your body’s need for oxygen during a workout.

Drinking 2 cups of beet juice before a workout is safer and healthier than taking caffeine and workout supplements. Workout supplements often have nitrite which is toxic at high levels.

5. Kale

Kale is packed with beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant which helps to build the body’s immune system. An antioxidant helps neutralize free radicals and helps prevent molecules from oxidizing. One cup of cooked kale has about 5.8 mg of beta-carotene (Barone et. al, 2002). Beat-carotene is also important because it’s a precursor for the production of vitamin A. When we get adequate amounts of vitamin A, we have healthier skin, a stronger immune system, and it helps with vision as well.

According to Organicauthority.com, kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also easier to absorb. Calcium is important in preventing osteoporosis, preventing bone loss, and helps maintain a healthy metabolism. Remember to get enough vitamin D, since it helps with the absorption of calcium.

Kale is dark green so that is a clue that it has high amounts of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a type of pigment that provides kale it’s deep green color. There are many benefits of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll aids in gastrointestinal problems, promotes the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells, has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, and it also helps with bad breath.

Chlorophyll is a great detoxifier as well, so add kale and other dark leafy greens to your juice.

Source:

1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/63314.php

2. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20

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