7 of My Favorite Health Foods and Why You Should Eat Them Too!

4 Jun

Eating healthy is fun. It allows you to not only be creative in your cooking but also has many added nutritional benefits. Here is as list of my 7 favorite foods to cook with and why they are so great for your health.

1. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are definitely one of my most favorite foods. They are great in the morning with eggs and a great way to spice up stews and curries. Not only are they tasty to eat but sweet potatoes have anti-imflammatory properties as well. Why is this a good thing? Because chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of healthy problems including diabetes and heart disease. So what gives sweet potatoes their anti inflammatory properties? They contain vitamin A (over 300% of your daily value!), vitamin C and a high amount of fibre, all shown to be effective in reducing inflammation. On top of all these fabulous perks, is the fact that Vitamin A has proven to be effective in fighting cancer cells.

2. Eggs

Ok. So I know some of you might be skeptical as to whether eggs can be considered a health food. Maybe your asking, aren’t they high in cholesterol? Won’t they make me fat? The answer is NO and NO. Believe it or not cholesterol is good for you. Did you know that every single on of your cells contains cholesterol? Well they do. How can you expect to build healthy cells if you do not give them the proper building blocks? There seems to be so much misinformation out there when it comes to the health benefits of eggs. I am definitely going to have to write a post about eggs and explain why we should all be eating more of them! Not only do eggs keep cell walls healthy, but they are necessary for the production of hormones and vitamin D. So eat some eggs and get yourself out in the sun!

3. Kale

Mmmmmmmm. Where do I start with Kale? This is one of my most favorite foods. And maybe that seems funny to you. It is just a green leaf after all…but I have the most delicious kale recipe ever and even after a year of making it a few times a week, I still love it so much. Kale is extremely dense in a variety of nutrients so it is recommended that you eat this on a regular basis! Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high amount of antioxidant vitamins present including, Vitamin A, C and K and many other sulfur containing phytonutrients. Kale is also full of cartenoids and flavonoids, two powderful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals. Why are free radicals bad? They can cause oxidative stress leading to aging, tissue damage and a host of diseases. According to some recent research, Kale is an excellent source of well-absorbed calcium. And there’s more! Kale is high in manganese, potassioum, vitamin B6 and folic acid.  Kale really is a super hero among the veggie world. So next time you are craving greens go for Kale!

4. Raspberries

Berries are definitely my favorite fruit. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries….But I think raspberries have got to be my absolute favorite. Of course raspberries are full of those great antioxidants everyone won’t stop talking about. Like kale, raspberries are also very effective in neautralizing free radicals in the body. Fresh raspberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C. So throw some raspberries into your next smoothie or mix them with oatmeal. Nom nom nom on some raspberries!

5. Beets

Shaved beets are one of the main staples in my diet. I love them in salads, on sandwhiches, in wraps or just boiled and served with meat. One great thing about beets is they are very high in carbohydrates so they are great if you are looking for an instant energy boost. Beets also contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. You really can’t beet that…ahahahha. Sorry couldn’t help myself.

6. Fresh Lemon

Fresh lemon is a great addition to any salad, stirfry or vegetable dish. I also love fresh lemon in smoothies and yogurt. One of the great things about lemon is once it’s digested it becomes alkaline. So when it comes to body pH, lemon is one of the best foods we can eat to alkanize the body and keep normal pH levels. Many of the foods in a standard North American diet are acid forming which can be harmful. When our body pH is out of balance, it loses its ability to heal itself, assimilate nutrients and prevent disease. So it’s really beneficial to start youir day off with a glass of lemon and water. Additionally, lemon has wonderful digestive properties and can help to relieve heartburn, bloating and belching.

7. Yogurt

The other day I ate a whole kilogram of yogurt. I didn’t mean to, it just sort of happened. One spoonful lead to another, which lead to another, which lead to another and then, well, then I was a little sick. But seriously, yogurt is so great. I usually just eat plain yogurt on it’s own. That might be a little wierd. But if you like a little sweetness in your yogurt then I recommend buying plain and adding a little honey and fruit. Most of the sweetened store bought yogurt is full of sugar or other weird artificial sweetners. The greatest thing about yogurt is the probiotics. Our guts have been so stressed with refined foods, antibiotics and birth control pills that most of us are lacking healthy gut flora. These little microbes are oh so important to digestive function, our immune system and even our production of seratonin. The active cultures in yogurt are transient and help to clean the digestive tract and feed the microbes living there. Since yogurt contains active bacteria that feed on sugar, many lactose intolerant individuals can tolerate yogurt very well. So my advice to you, if you can tolerate it, do it!

Mmmmmm. All these foods are delicious, nutrient dense and make for a great meal. If you don’t already eat them then add one of them to your next meal and experience some of the many health benefits listed above. Your body will thank you. See yas next time.

What is your favorite health food and how is it helping you improve your health?

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2 Responses to “7 of My Favorite Health Foods and Why You Should Eat Them Too!”

  1. Claire Hewson June 4, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Avocados…hands down! I may not know as much info as you but all I know is that they are high in fiber and have omega 3 fat which is good for the heart. I put avocados in everything…with eggs for breakie, in my salads and sometimes spread on rice cakes with sea salt. delish!

    • crazyhappyhealthy June 4, 2012 at 1:16 am #

      Yes! Avocados are so so great! I think an avocado a day will keep the doctor away! They are also great as gaucamole! Mmmmmmm.

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