Ten Health Foods You Need To Be Eating

131310-130878.jpg

The role that high quality, organic health foods play in achieving body composition and performance goals can never be overstated! Whether you are an athlete or fitness enthusiast, attempting to get by on low level nutritional choices is a recipe for disaster! To fuel your body correctly, here are ten foods that should be on everyone’s grocery list!

1. EGGS

Theres not enough room to state all the positive benefits that eggs offer, they’re nature’s most perfect food. They’re one of the best protein sources on the planet, having a higher protein efficiency rating than that of; milk, beef, whey and soy! Do not abide the old myth of removing the yoke, as it carries 45% of the protein and loads of vitamins and minerals. In addition to being high in protein, eggs have a perfect ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 essential fatty acids!

2. GRASS-FED BEEF

Where the food comes from, how it’s raised, what it ate and how its processed is all vitally important to the nutritional content. That said, cows that are fed a grain based diet have 1/3 the amount of nutrients a grass fed cow contains. Also, grass fed meat contains 60% MORE omega 3 fast acids. In addition to being full of healthy fat, grass fed beef is loaded with protein, vitamin B12, zinc and iron!

3. KALE

It’s a green, weird-looking leafy vegetable that most people are not familiar with. However; do not let kale’s odd look put you off, this veggie is a nutritional powerhouse. The USDA has a unique testing procedure termed an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) rating. This test ranks foods and their content of antioxidants, along with phytochemicals. Kale comes out on top by a mile! Include this cancer preventing green in your next salad!

4. ALMONDS/ALMOND BUTTER

It wasn’t too long ago that the we were all avoiding nuts because of their “high fat” content! Eaten in moderation, almonds can actually help with weight loss! An Adventist Health Study revealed that individuals who consume the most nuts, have the lowest BMI’s (body mass index). Almonds reduce the risk of heart disease, lower total cholesterol and are rich in monounsaturated fat (hear healthy fat)! Almonds provide about 6 grams of protein per ounce and virtually no carbohydrates!

5. AVOCADOS

Like almonds, avocados are high in monounsaturated fat as well! An eye-opening study revealed that 45 individuals who ate avocados everyday for a week, experienced an average drop of 17% in total blood cholesterol. By simply eating low carb and monounsaturated fats (fat in avocados), you can improve weight loss, and reduce the risk of developing cancer along with diabetes. Along with being a great source of fiber, avocados are high in potassium, folate, vitamin A and antioxidants that help the eyes, hair and skin healthy!

6. BLUEBERRIES

Neuroscientist Dr. James Joseph has marked blueberries as a memory-protecting food! Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and heart disease are all results of inflammation and oxidative stress. Blueberries contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that keep these issues at bay! “Old neurons mirror that of old married couples,” Joseph says. “They don’t talk to each other so much anymore.” Well blueberries actually help neurons in the brain communicate more efficiently! Even more astounding, blueberries help to enable the brain to grow new neurons! Blueberries are extremely high in phytochemicals and antioxidants, posting an ORAC (refer to kale) rating higher than any other fruit! Fresh of frozen, blueberries are a great addition to your diet!

7. QUINOA

The major misconception surrounding quinoa is that it is a seed, rather than a grain. Who the heck cares though, this highly nutritious food needs to be on everyones meal plan. Quinoa is naturally gluten free and is high in protein, iron, B-vitamins, magnesium and fiber!

8. GREEN TEA

Not counting water, tea is probably the healthiest beverage in the world. Unsweetened, organic tea contains very powerful antioxidants, shown to enhance your immune system and fight cancer cells! As I’ve said before, eliminate the liquid calories and start drinking tea!

9. WILD CAUGHT ALASKAN SALMON

For starters, wild and farmed salmon are two very different things. Salmon should be included in everyone's diet, due to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have more health benefits than almost any other single food on the planet! They’re helpful for the heart, brain, inflammation, circulation, memory, thought and blood sugar control!

To receive all these benefits however; the answer is not as simple as just eat more salmon…you have to eat the right salmon! As the old adage goes, “you are what you eat,” this holds true for salmon as well. When caught in the wild, salmon are loaded with healthy omega-3s. Rather, farm raised salmon are fed a grain, leading these salmon to producing little to no omega-3s! One way to tell between the two is that wild salmon has a much deeper, vibrant pink color as opposed to farmed salmon that is much lighter and bland.

10. BROCCOLI

This cruciferous vegetable has the ability to combat cancer! In addition to broccoli’s well established cancer-fighting properties, this vegetable contains; protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, folate and magnesium! Broccoli can actually shift the ratio in your favor of good estrogen to bad. Now men are probably reading this thinking “I’m never eating broccoli again…it contains estrogen !” Well men have estrogen too and it makes sense to have more good than bad!