As we enter the New Year, many of us adopt resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, or become healthier. Often times, the diet or exercise plans people adopt are too strict or too rigorous causing them to give up after only a few weeks. Rather than implementing a drastic change, there are simple dietary choices you can make that will improve your health and promote weight loss.
The most important aspect of good health is a dietary plan that includes nutritious foods in conjunction with physical activity. These “super foods” come in an assortment of colors and can be used to create some delicious and simple recipes. Many of these foods also contain many disease and cancer fighting nutrients and satisfy many of the recommended requirements that most Americans are missing from their diet.
Although you can eat greater quantities of these foods, preparation and portion sizes are also important. You should avoid using excess amounts of butter and oils to prepare them and maintain sensible portion sizes. Some of the “super foods” you can use to boost your health include:
- Dark Leafy Greens – These are the most nutrient-dense vegetables containing calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and iron. These include kale, arugula, romaine, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard.
- Tomatoes – They get their color from lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Tomatoes are also a great source of biotin, which boosts your metabolism and vitamins A, C, and K.
- Bell Peppers – All colors are nutrient rich, but since red ones remain on the vine longer, they have much higher levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene.
- Broccoli – It is an excellent source of folate, fiber, vitamins A, C, and K and 16 other nutrients in both the florets and the stem. It also contains sulfur compounds, which neutralize toxic substances, lowering the risk of cancer.
- Berries – They are loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, water, and fiber. Since they are sweet and low in sugar, they are an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Adding just a few of these super foods into your diet can make a big difference and keep you healthy in 2014 and beyond.