I love Real Simple magazine, I always learn something new when I read it! My favorite article from the February 2011 issue is “The 30 Healthiest Foods”, I just love check-lists and this is a good one to remind me why I eat certain foods and why i need to renew my relationship with others!
“Real Simple asked the country’s top dietitians and nutritionists to tell us which superpowered ingredients we should be incorporating into our diets regularly. Here are the combined picks, plus some simple and delicious preparation suggestions.” (Real Simple Magazine, February 2011)
Here they are- (I simplified the info for you!)
1. Skim Milk (9 essential nutrients!)
2. Mushrooms (protect against breast cancer and can substitute for meat which can slash up to 400 cals per meal!)
3. Whole-Grain Pasta (three times the fiber of regular pasta)
4. Walnuts (Omega-3 fatty acids)
5. All-Natural Peanut and Almond Butters (Monounsaturated fats (heart healthy) and protein- just look for 2 ingredients, nuts and salt) *Jenica NOTE: I love Trader Joes salt-free Peanut Butter, just peanuts!
6. Steel-cut or old fashioned Oatmeal (helps with cholesterol, fights against heart disease, soluble fiber keeps you full!)
7. Barley (another high-fiber cholesterol fighter)
8. Quinoa (all 9 amino acids, protein) *Jenica NOTE: Costco and amazon have a big delicious bag of this and it is super easy to make, I serve it with some soy sauce and veggies and it is delicious- definitely a fav!
9. Lentils (protein and folate- good for pregnancy since it may prevent certain birth defects)
10. Bulgur (fiber, potassium, B vitamins and calcium)
11. Almonds (monounsaturated fatty acids- keeps blood vessels healthy, help lower cholesterol)
12. Eggs (whites offer protein with minimal calories, yolks have vitamin B12 and vitamin A)
13. Nonfat Greek Yogurt (PROBIOTICS!!!, 8 grams more protein per serving than regular yogurt) *Jenica NOTE: I have tried them all, I like Fage with a touch of cinnamon!
14. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (low fat, high protein)
15. Wild Salmon (omega-3 fatty acids- go with wild, fewer toxins)
16. Sardines (protein, vitamins D and B12, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids) *Jenica NOTE: I will have to take a supplement, this is one of two foods I will not eat!!!
17. Kale (loads of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, and antioxidants.
18. Kiwi (ounce for ounce 2x more vitamin C than an orange and almost as much potassium as a banana)
19. Blueberries (fiber, one of the top antioxidant-rich pics)
20. Broccoli (tons of vitamin C, vitamin K- helps blood clot properly)
21. Avocados ( 20% of your daily dose of fiber in one serving, monounsaturated fats) *Jenica NOTE: Fun fact, avocados are a fruit, not vegetable!
22. Black Beans (antioxidants and magnesium which maintain nerve and muscle function)
23. Sweet Potatoes (the darker the better- antioxidants, beta-carotene) *Jenica NOTE: Here is how I make them for the family- wash well, cover skin in olive oil, put in 350 oven for 1.5 hours, cut in half and sprinkle with cinnamon)
24. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (monounsaturated fats, might cut the risk of heart disease- use in moderation)
25. Edamame (fiber and protein) *Jenica NOTE: great for kids lunches!
26. Chard (tons of nutrients, calcium, B vitamins, beta-carotene and fiber)
27. Kidney Beans (one of the most antioxidant-rich foods according to USDA study)
28. Oranges (vitamin C-helps body burn fat!)
29. Spinach (iron- healthy hair, folate and flavonoids- loaded with antioxidants)
30. Pumpkin (antioxidants, potassium)