TOP 10 FOODS YOU SHOULD INCLUDE IN YOUR DIET
TOP 10 FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT
To put together our list of 10 foods folks should be eating, but aren’t, we checked in with Jonny Bowden, a California-based nutritionist and author of seven books, including The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy. Bowden says Americans should avoid taking their cues from the USDA’s food pyramid, which he dismisses as the product of interest-group politics. Instead he favors a Mediterranean-style diet rich with fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and olive and nut oils, focusing on the following 10 foods in particular.
Nutritionist Jonny Bowden notes that cherries are packed with anti-inflammatory properties. They contain antioxidants, thought to help the body protect against the damaging effects of free radicals and the chronic diseases associated with the aging process.
Like cherries, blueberries contain antioxidants found to promote heart health. A 2009 study showed that rats fed blueberries lost belly fat, the kind of fat linked to diabetes and heart disease.
This tart little green fruit, with its soft, hairy skin and seeds you can swallow, is chock full of vitamin C–a whopping 115% of what you need to eat in a day. It’s also low in calories–just 45 per fruit sans skin.
Unlike mass-produced cows raised in feedlots, free-range cows nibble grass and avoid the ravages of hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Grass-fed beef is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Bowden says beef’s bad rap comes from highly processed varieties like McDonald’s hamburgers and ballpark franks. “Grass-fed beef is a whole different animal,” notes Bowden.
Even more so than grass-fed beef, wild salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, associated with heart and brain health, and with bringing down blood pressure and triglycerides, a risk factor for heart disease. Omega-3s have also been found to improve mood and reduce inflammation.
Also a tremendous source of omega-3 fatty acids, flax seed has been shown to contain powerful anti-cancer compounds called lignans. Flax is also a great source of fiber, which enhances digestion. Try throwing it into your next smoothie or sprinkling on a salad.
Little Miss Muffett knew what she was doing when she ate her curds and whey. A run-off of the cheese-making process, whey in powder form can be a great source of protein. It’s also been shown to stimulate the immune system. So get off your tuffett and try sprinkling some in your next smoothie.
A member of the cabbage family, which Bowden dubs “vegetable royalty,” kale contains indoles, a compound found to fight cancer. Kale is also full of sulforaphane, another cancer-prevention agent. Plus, Kale contains calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and K, and two nutrients that are great for the eyes, including zeaxanthin.
Rich with a phytochemical called flavanol, found by a 2005 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology to improve cardiovascular health. Look for chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content.
Olive oil is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach.