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Food for Thought: 10 ‘Superfoods’ to Keep You Healthy

They say you are what you eat and perhaps you’ve heard how foods such as blueberries, kale, and salmon pack a super nutritional punch. They’re part of a select group of foods known as “superfoods.”

Although there’s not a formal or technical definition for the term “superfoods,” it’s widely accepted that foods designated with this label contain high levels of vitamins and minerals that we often lack in our diets. In addition to those foods, many lesser-known foods offer a multitude of benefits, while serving up relatively low calories and providing a delicious addition to any meal.

At Bethesda Senior Living Communities, we recognize how important diet is to overall health. That's why we work hard to create meal plans for our residents that are both nutritious and delicious. Here are a few “superfoods” our culinary directors recommend if you want a power punch of nutrients in your next meal:

  1. Broccoli – With high levels of vitamin C and folate (known for reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and strokes), broccoli is packed with additional benefits such as vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting compounds and fiber.
  1. Cauliflower – This veggie may be bitter, but it’s also full of glucosinolate, a compound known for fighting cancers of the stomach and lungs, as well as phytochemicals, which combined with the body’s estrogen may help prevent hormone-driven cancers such as breast, uterine and cervical.

  2. Leeks – The superpower of leeks is traced to the organosulfur compounds, which have been known to help boost immunity, as well as protect the digestive system from specific stomach and gastric cancers.

  3. Eggs  Weighing in at only 70 calories per egg, this lightweight is loaded with six grams of protein and a full suite of nutrients and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Strawberries – One cup as a snack will provide the full daily requirement for vitamin C, and each berry is chock full of antioxidants to help build and repair tissues, boost immunity, improve eye functions and fight free-radical damage.

  5. Watermelon – It may be hard to believe this sweet treat is low in sugar and calories. Not only that, this miracle fruit can also potentially lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and, thanks to its lycopene, help protect you from UV rays.

  6. Almonds  The most nutritionally dense nut offers a healthy dose of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium and iron.

  7. Pistachios – A naturally cholesterol-free choice, a one-ounce serving of these protein- and fiber-packed nuts have as much potassium as a small banana.

  8. Apples – They say one a day keeps the doctor away! This sweet, low-cal snack can help reduce cardiovascular disease and fight against diabetes and asthma.
     
  9. Green tea – Contains EGCG, Epigallocatechin gallate, a phytochemical in tea that slows irregular cell growth, which could potentially help prevent the growth of some cancers. This also helps with heart disease and weight-loss.

    You’re probably already enjoying a few of these options, but now you can proactively seek them out to make the most of every meal. Happy (and healthy) eating!