Dr. Candice Seti San Diego Licensed Clinical Psychologist said “Many of us are focused on eating healthier and incorporate whole foods into our diet. But the options out there can be overwhelming and we don’t always know what’s best.”
If the majority of your diet comes from real, whole foods then chances are you don’t have much to worry about. But here are some foods that you can incorporate into your diet to ensure that you are getting maximum healthy value.
Apples – Remember that old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, in this case, it might actually be true. Apples have been shown to have any overwhelming amount of nutritional and healthy values such as lowering LDL cholesterol levels, lowering risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s, reducing risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as reducing risk for stroke, breast cancer, and numerous other health issues. Apples also offer a good amount of soluble fiber and vitamin C, with a small amount of calories and sugar, so they are a great snack option. Plus, since they don’t require any prep or refrigeration, they are the perfect “on the go” food.
Tempeh – tempeh is a sister product to tofu made from fermented soybeans, with a nutty flavor and firm texture. The fact that it is fermented makes it a valuable food item for those with digestive issues, as fermented products contain natural probiotics. Unlike most of its soy counterparts, tempeh is not a processed isolate of soy but is much closer to a whole food version of soy. For this reason, tempeh maintains many of the health benefits of soy without many of the health risks that come from processing. In addition, tempeh is high in protein, amino acids, riboflavin, and niacin, making it valuable for metabolism, muscle tissue, skin, eyes, appetite control, and overall health and wellness. Best of all, you can bake, steam, or sauté tempeh and mix it with just about anything…so let those creative juices flow.
Avocados – yes, avocado is a fat, but it’s one of the good ones. The monounsaturated fat in avocados, is the heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering kind, known as oleic acid. Not only do avocados help defend against heart disease, but they are also packed with fiber, to aid in digestion and help you feel fuller, but they also have a powerful dose of potassium and bit of protein to round it all out. So, don’t shy away from that avocado; throw it on your salad, your eggs, your burger, etc for a cream, healthy, and delicious treat. And, as an extra bonus, you can even use avocado to replace some of the butter in baking recipes.
Beets – Yup, we are talking about those funny red things you see on top of the occasional salad. Bet you didn’t know what a nutritional powerhouse they were. Beets are high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid, which helps prevent colon cancer, and osteoporosis. Beets are also serve a function as a liver cleanser, and are much easier to incorporate into your meals than a cleanse diet. And, believe it or not, beets can actually help with your stamina if consumed prior to a workout.
Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are high on the short list of healthy carbohydrates to incorporate into your body. One medium sweet potato provides only 162 calories with 0 grams of fat and is chock full of good things for your body. They are high in antioxidants and folate, They are also high in potassium, which can help alleviate muscle cramps. They are very low on the glycemic index which can help lower blood glucose levels. They have a high amount of dietary fiber which helps you feel fuller longer, which is great for weight management. They also help prevent constipation and promote an healthy digestive tract.
Chia Seeds – You’ve probably been hearing a lot about chia seeds lately and may not know why. This small edible seed has been added to the superfood list and there are many ways it is super. For starters, they are loaded with omega 3’s and antioxidants, which both help promote optimum health. With 40% of chia seems being fiber, they are one of the best fiber sources out there and help you feel full while maintaining your digestive health. Additionally, they can be very valuable to bone health as they are high in both calcium and magnesium. And, you can do just about anything with them; sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt, blend them into a smoothie, add them to your stir-fry- the list is limitless.
Coconut Oil– Coconut oil is definitely the best oil to cook with. It is the most durable oil for maintaining in high cooking temperatures and it contains healthy saturated fats, which metabolize quickly, instead of being stored as fat in the body. Due to its nutrient content, coconut oil can improve blood lipid profiles and manage Type 2 diabetes. Interestingly enough, coconut oil has also been linked to weight loss, as it has been linked to increased energy expenditure and a reduction in abdominal obesity and it can help fight sugar cravings.
Raw Almonds – Almonds are a quick and delicious snack option. And they are healthy- a large handful of almonds contains 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, 35% of your recommended vitamin E and manganese, 20% of magnesium, 15% of riboflavin, copper and phosphorous, and 8% percent of calcium and iron. They are also low in saturated fat and high in antioxidants. What all this nutrient content means is that they can reduce risk for coronary heart disease, help prevent heart attacks and hypertension, help protect the cells against free radicals, help build stronger bones, help protect against colon, cervical, and prostate cancer, help regulate blood sugar, and help with weight management. So get snacking.
Sardines – Yup, I’m talking about those little canned goodies in the tuna fish isle. Just one can of sardines will meet your daily recommended dose of Vitamin B12 and 63% of your recommended Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a rare thing to find in a food source, so this is a particularly valuable benefit. Sardines are also a great non-dairy way to get calcium and 35% of your recommended daily allowance. And, of course, like most seafood, sardines are a great place to get your Omega 3’s so you can easily get rid of that fish oil supplement by throwing some sardines on your salad. In addition, when you compare sardines with other seafood, since sardines are small and close to the bottom of the food chain, they are significantly less likely to have mercury contamination- another bonus. So, what should you do with those little guys? Well, for a snack on the go you can eat them straight out of the can. Or use them in the same way you might use anchovies: as a salad dressing, a spread, or in a marinara sauce. Try them with crackers as a great snack or appetizer. Or use them in any sandwich or as a topper on a salad.
Eggs – Yes, egg whites are low-calorie and a great source of protein, but if you are just eating the white, you are missing out on a ton of nutrients, including Selenium, Choline, Lutein, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin A. Most of the concern people have about keeping the yolks is about cholesterol. Even though egg yolks do contain cholesterol, most studies have shown that eating egg yolks actually improves your cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease. So, eating the whole egg can help your heart, your eyes, your brain, your skin, your immune system, and your weight. Plus eggs offer you limitless varieties on ways to cook them. So, don’t fear the yolks.
There are a lot of healthy food options out there, but make sure to incorporate the above foods to get the healthiest benefit out of your diet.
For more information visit Dr. Seti’s Who Is Page here in the Journal
On CNN http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1219702 or http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1220913
And Small Business Trendsetters Magazine
Dr. Candice Seti Licensed Clinical Psychologist in San Diego
You may contact her at her office
350 10th Street #1023
San Diego, CA 92101
Or by telephone 619-345-4355