Spinach is seen both as a life force and a cause for sheer rebellion, depending on whom you ask. The enthusiast might be the token health nut in your friend circle and the pessimist is likely your 7-year-old daughter and most grown men. However, whichever side of the spinach argument you fall on, there’s no denying it’s insanely healthy for you.
Health benefits: Spinach is one of the best foods you can add to your diet as it’s loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients like iron, vitamin C, niacin, calcium and vitamin B. It’s also an excellent source of free-radical fighting antioxidants, and contains folate, fiber, lutein and potassium, which are all essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Helpful tip: Did you know that microgreens can pack up to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts? For this reason, stick to baby spinach when possible. And if you really want to be an over-achiever, organic is best since the whole green in consumed. (more…)
Besides canned pears and bananas, grapefruit was one of the only fruits my mom could get me to eat as a kid. Back then I covered it in sugar but these days I approach it with a more refined palette, which has made enjoying its natural flavors – and robust health benefits – all the easier.
Health benefits: Grapefruit is an extremely flavorful citrus fruit that’s tangy, tart and sweet enough to please even the pickiest palettes. As a bonus, it also boasts some amazing health benefits. For example, just one fruit provides nearly 25 percent of your recommended amount of vitamin A; and 75 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, ward of colds, fight free radicals, and reduce inflammation.
According to Whole Foods, the pink hue found in grapefruits is not only pretty but also indicator of lycopene, which is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s been found to help fight tumor activity and cell-damaging free radicals. (more…)
Did you know pistachios are considered the skinny nut? And to think, I always just liked them because they tasted good. Looks like I was missing half the good news about this little green nut.
Although I snack on pistachios often I seldom use them in cooking. However, because of their unique flavor and crunchy texture they make a brilliant addition to dishes like crusted chicken, ice cream and sautees (find recipes below). Who would’ve thought something so naturally healthy could also be so delicious?
Health benefits: As mentioned above, scientists have discovered that pistachios are the ideal snack for weight loss. This is because the nuts’ fat is absorbed into the body making them lower in calories than previously thought.
In addition to being a considerably low-calorie snack, pistachios are also high in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and E, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Other studies have also shown pistachios to help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, increase HDL or “good” cholesterol, and fight inflammation. (more…)
Beets have been on my “don’t ask, don’t tell” produce list for years. Their unsightly appearance and tendency to stain your hands a bright reddish hue has left me less than enthused about including them in my daily diet. Let’s put it this way: I’ve never enthusiastically asked anyone to “Pass the steamed beets, please!”
However, in recent years upon discovering how nutritionally dense they are, I’ve changed my feelings about this winter root veggie and hope you will, too.
Health benefits: Beets – which come in red, gold and white varieties – are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. They’re also extremely high in fiber and nitrates, which are thought to help lower blood pressure and provide cardiovascular benefits.
According to a 2010 study from Queen Mary University of London, a single glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure in a matter of a few hours and is also believed to help boost athletic performance.
Beets also contain betanin and vulgaxanthin – complicated names for phytonutrients referred to as betalains, which have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties; this meaning they can help prevent heart disease and even certain types of cancer. (more…)