Superfoods to the Rescue

May 2, 2014

By: Hope Osborn

Everywhere we turn we hear about yet another diet that is supposed to improve our life. How do we decide what is truly healthy for us to eat? One thing we can count on is the direction given by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Keep the food pyramid in mind and listen to this.

Superfoods are foods that are especially beneficial for your health and well-being because of their considerable amount of nutrients. These nutrient-rich superfoods are notable for disease prevention. They are also notable for fitting into to the food pyramid created for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The 2010edition further clarifies the pyramid with these key recommendations for which food and nutrients in your diet to increase.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 says, “Increase vegetable and fruit intake…eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas” (47).

Superfoods to the rescue:
Beans—High protein, high-fiber, magnesium and potassium rich, they control blood sugar after you eat and help to lower blood pressure and increase health in blood and heart vessels.
Pumpkin—Rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and potassium, this fruit improves heart, bone, and eye health while lowering blood pressure.
Spinach—Rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin C and in vitamin K and iron, spinach promotes cardiovascular and bone health.
Pistachios—Rich in phytosterols, soluble fiber, protein, and unsaturated fat, these snackable nuts help lower total and bad cholesterol.
Red bell peppers—Vitamin C and beta-carotene antioxidant rich, these colorful vegetables may prevent arthritis and decrease the risk of eye disease.
The superfoods list goes on with broccoli, oranges, tomatoes, walnuts, and blueberries.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 says,“Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains” (47).

Superfoods to the rescue:
Oats and Soy—Lowers cholesterol. (Avoid soy if you have a family history of breast cancer.)

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 says,“Increase intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages” (47).

Superfoods to the rescue:
Yogurt—Rich in calcium it helps to strengthen bones and prevents osteoporosis and may help with weight loss.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 says, “Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry” (47).

Superfoods to the rescue:
Salmon—Rich in omega 3s, it lowers the risk of heart disease and helps with arthritis. It may also help with depression, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s.
Sardines—They are also rich in omega 3s. If you eat sardines additionally with the bones, you get the added benefit of calcium.

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You have enjoyed your superfood-rich meal and you wish you could satisfy your sweet tooth? Go ahead and have superfood dark chocolate for dessert—the darker and lower in fat and sugar the better. This tasty treat is rich in antioxidants and can lower blood pressure and improve heart health and your mood, making it a natural choice for your health and well-being.

Works Cited

Bauer, Joy. “Top 10 Superfoods.” Everyday Health, Inc., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Seliger, Susan. “’Superfoods’ Everyone Needs.” Web MD. Web MD, Feb. 2007. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, Dec. 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.