I’ll be the first to admit I’m cheap. I take pride in keeping a $200 grocery budget every month for my husband and I. And although it can be difficult at times, I love knowing that I’m saving us money that can be spent elsewhere. It’s almost a little game to see if I can make it to the end without going over.
In addition to being cheap, I also like things simple. So when I come across stories like these from The Today Show about super foods that I likely already have on hand, I get all sorts of elated. Eating healthier without spending more money? Sign me up.
With the help of registered nutritionist Kari Glassman, we can easily determine what super foods are likely lying around our kitchen and why they’re so exceptionally healthy for us.
Starting with apples. Apples contain fiber and Vitamin C, but they’re also high in flavonoids – the compounds that give fruits and vegetables their color. One of those compounds is quercetin, which is especially high in apples. Quercetin helps control our blood sugar level, acts as an antihistamine, and can even help prevent heart disease. Enjoying apples raw is enjoyable. But baking and topping them with ice cream is even better. Try this Apple-Whatever Cobbler for a quick and satisfying 400-calorie fix.
Next up: Coffee. In moderation, coffee is surprisingly beneficial. It can give our metabolism a boost, help keep us alert, and even aid in controlling our blood sugar level. But one thing you might not know is that coffee drinkers are less likely to become diabetic. Who knew? Observe the ‘no more than 250 mg a day’ or one to two cup rule to keep your habit in check. And try these Black Bean Brownies featuring espresso powder for a healthy, after-dinner treat.
We all know yogurt contains calcium and protein. But many yogurts also have probiotics – the healthy bacterias that, when consumed regularly, can help improve our immune system and digestion. Glassman pointed out that our digestive track is 70% of our immune system, which is why it’s important to keep healthy bacteria in there. Simply check to make sure your yogurt has probiotics by reading the label. And then add it to recipes like this three-ingredient Yogurt Sundae. Think banana split meets frozen yogurt bar. Be still my heart.
Eggs are versatile, inexpensive and a complete source of protein. But most people don’t know that their yolks are high in choline, which is great for delaying memory loss. Enjoy eggs poached over wheat toast, or south-of-the-border style in this recipe for Huevos Sofritos.
Avocados contain healthy mono-unsaturated fats, and they’re also loaded with carotenoids – the compounds that act as an anti-inflammatory and help protect us from toxins and stress. Whip up this quick and healthy Shrimp, Avocado and Cilantro Ceviche to start enjoying the benefits of this super-fruit today.
You don’t have to convince me to eat more dark chocolate. This not-so-secret super food contains almost as many antioxidants as berries. Huzzah! Eat your dark chocolate straight from the package with some wine like me, or indulge in a healthier-for-you dessert like this Dark Chocolate Angel Food Cake.
March 26th, 2012