SUPERCHARGE Your Diet

A diversifying for “Super Foods” can be found everywhere. Numerous companies, not to mention friends and family, tell you to eat this food or that, promising improved health or more. But do you really need to drink only “antioxidant-rich” grape juice or make tofu your primary protein? The current age of “Super Foods” has the potential of making people restrict their diets to encompass only these foods. Is this good or bad?

Leading researchers strongly recommend that you not focus your diet solely on these “Super Foods.” Instead researchers recommend steering clear of such restrictive behaviors. What specifically do they recommend? Instead of focusing on individual foods, you are advised to eat a wide variety of foods. Emphasis should be placed on fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. The less “processed” the foods, the better. While the “Super Foods” may be incorporated into your overall diet, it is important to ensure that you eat a variety of foods. The “powers” of “Super Foods” are realized only when they are part of a healthful, balanced diet. In fact, focusing on a single nutrient (or food or food group) will probably create nutritional imbalances and that will do you more harm than good.

Following is a list of “Super Foods” that you can incorporate into your well-rounded, balanced diet. Notice that most of them are food types and not specific foods. Try to select a wide variety of foods within each group, so that you can obtain the myriad benefits of the complete food. Experiment with some foods that you may not have sampled otherwise! Don’t worry if you don’t like some of the foods on the list; there are sure to be other foods within the “group” that will offer the same nutrients. The key is to eat a balanced diet, composed of real foods (unprocessed foods and whole grains). Don’t think that eating any “Super Food” is going to compensate for a day’s worth of junk food, any more than taking a multi-vitamin does. You are what you eat… so eat healthy foods and be healthy…eat whole foods and be a whole person!

Try these “Super Foods” as part of your balanced diet: fish; soy milk, tofu, and other s o y foods; nuts; whole grains; dark-green, leafy vegetables; cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale); garlic, onions, and shallots; apricots, guavas, pink grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon; blueberries and other berries; green or black tea; olive oil (as substitute for other more saturated fats).

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