Tuesday, February 28, 2012

9 Superfoods for a Beautiful Mind & Body

By Mike Conner

Here are nine superfoods which will sharpen your "Brain-Beauty" connection. Of course just about every bright colored fruit and vegetable falls into the "super for you" category along with nuts, beans, seeds, herbs and spices. A beautiful mind and body requires an overarching approach focusing on the consumption of more of the right foods that can lower or help regulate blood sugar levels; preventing diabetes, obesity, wrinkles, and other lifestyle diseases.

Researchers believe that eating these superfoods help to prevent or reduce inflammation and improve the immune system, giving the body vibrant, glowing skin not to mention:
•Help regulate metabolism and burn body fat.

•Lower total cholesterol.

•Lower blood pressure.

•Help protect against heart disease and cancer

•Help protect organs from toxins.

•Promote digestive health.

Here we go:

1. Acai (ah-sigh-ee) is a high-energy berry of a special Amazon palm tree and is packed with antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.

2. Allium food group which is composed of garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, shallots and chives containing flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant responsible for enhanced elimination of toxins and carcinogens, helping to prevent cancer.

3. Barley, which is considered a soluble and insoluble fiber. In the soluble state barley can help the body to metabolize fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. When insoluble, it helps bulk up your stools, which assists in elimination, reducing the risk of cancers. Dietary fiber is a source of beneficial bacteria in the large intestines, which crowds out the disease-causing bacteria. In order to get the most value from fiber, it should be consumed with the outside (outer hull or the bran) intact.

4. Green Foods, which include young cereal grasses (barley grass, wheat grass, blue-green algae), which are similar to eating dark green leafy vegetables, are less nutritionally dense. Green foods have a high concentration of chlorophyll, which is a phytochemical. Dietary chlorophyll inhibits disease bacteria and l like all the other super foods as they offer a positive health benefit on cholesterol levels, immune system, cancers and blood pressure.

5. Buckwheat is actually a seed. Hulled buckwheat kernels are referred to as grouts; when roasted it is commonly known as kasha. In our culture kasha is similar to rice, millet, wheat and corn yet superior in nutrition, rich in amino acids and great for combining with foods like beans to boost protein value. This superfood assists in lowering cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and reduces hypertension.

6. Beans and Lentils
are low in fat, high in protein and jam-packed full of vitamins. Beans represent the right kind of carbohydrate, low calories, high volume and low sodium yet is a complex carbohydrate; beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Beans do not provide complete amino acids and need to be combined with other foods like Barley or oats to get a compete protein. Again it is a superfood because it may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure; eating three times a week can cut the risk of coronary heart disease and it ranks low on the Glycemic scale. Finally, they represent a potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant (flavonoids and flavonals) found in tea, fruits, grapes, red wine and cocoa beans.

7. Hot Peppers, whether sweet bell or the hot chile variety contain compounds called capsaicinoids. Peppers are super as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant (carotenes and flavonoids) and analgesic, anti-cancer, heart-healthy and high in vitamin C.

8. Nuts and Seeds have a unique mix of protein, fat, sterol, vitamins and minerals which can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Most nuts are high in arginine, an amino acid that reduces cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure.

9. Sprouts
are a concentrated source of living enzymes that are lost when foods are cooked and not fresh. Because of their high enzyme content, sprouts are easier to digest than the seed or bean.

What's your favorite superfood?

Published February 28, 2012 at 1:15 PM
About Mike Conner
Simply put, Conner helps individuals reinvent the dialogue between their brain, body and food. A Wellness, Food and Kitchen Coach who spends endless hours helping her clients create meaningful life plans as she infuses there lives with fresh ways of thinking about lifestyle change. She talks to you with a casual conviction of her own learning and life experiences surrounding the fragility of the human condition. As Conner says, “There is no such thing as bad genes-good genes, bad karma-good karma, there is solely life’s trails and corrections.” Another thought provoking thread in the fabric of Conner’s WELLCOACH practice rallies around spreading the notion of being responsible for your health. As we talked she suddenly laughed then with a big smile said, “All you have to do is figure out ways to explore the edges of the world around you. This can be as easy as changing the physical environment you live or work in, or the cultivation of new interests and habits. Visit coachconner.com for the extended versions of health and wellness articles.

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