Turbocharge Your Diet With 10 Super Foods
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resourceThere
are certain foods every man, woman and child should consume on a regular basis
-- and they aren't pizza, burgers, fries and pop.
Believe it or not, the human diet isn't
supposed to be based on foods loaded with calories, saturated fat, sodium and
sugar. You may be a big fan of all of the above, but that doesn't mean these
things do a body (or mind) good. Studies show that almost 65 percent of
Americans are overweight or obese. Even more shocking, at least 20 percent of
children are overweight.
Were fatter than ever, and its
cause for concern, according to Drs. Russ Greenfield and Stu Ditchek. Its
bad enough that more than half the adult population in the U.S. are overweight,
but now our children are following in our footsteps. Instead of role models,
weve become roll models, teaching the next generation its okay to
gorge on Big Macs and supersize fries and sodas.
One thing we try to put forth is that
the role of the parent is to try and put down good fare on the table, Dr.
Russ says from his North Carolina office. Then the child decides whether
he or she eats it or not. What we expose our kids to early on in life is what
theyll return to as early adults. Its critically important to
expose kids to the ideas of good nutrition early on.
With this in mind, the director of the
Carolinas Integrative Health co-authored Healthy Child, Whole Child with
colleague Dr. Stu, a renowned pediatrician. Not only is their handbook helpful
for healthy child rearing, its also a beneficial blueprint for the parent who
doesn't know the first thing about their own nutrition. For many people,
relearning how to eat can be painstaking; the determined docs want to ease the
The first thing is to set realistic
goals. Were not saying tomorrow you should go all organic. To change your
diet all at once doesn't work. You have to make small adjustments that are
doable and that you can stick with. You have to set goals that are
Dr. Russ encourages parents to add healthy,
new foods to the menu. Introduce a different vegetable every week. Parents
should bring their children shopping and let them pick out fruits and
vegetables. This will not only impact what kids eat, it will affect their
health and wellbeing later in life.
Food is more than just fuel for the body.
Its medicine that will improve your health, prevent illness and treat
diseases. Dr. Russ says study after study has proven the miracle workings of
Here are Dr. Russ and Dr. Stus top 10
list of foods that should be a part of every diet:
Oatmeal: This comfort food does more
than just warm the belly and the soul; it manages cholesterol. Rather than
popping pills, Dr. Russ supports eating foods that taste good, while still
getting the health benefits. Oatmeal is both nutritious and tastes good.
Yogurt: Yogurt that contains live
organisms have within them probiotics. These live organisms are, in general,
health-promoting. Anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the immune system resides
in the digestive track. The bacterial environment can impact proper functioning
of the immune system. Data shows the proper utilization of probiotics can
lessen the severity of excema and even prevent development of the condition
when given to pregnant moms. Dr. Russ recommends organic yogurt and dairy
products to avoid the consumption of the bovine growth hormone often found in
Berries: Berries are high in fiber,
manganese and antioxidant phytochemicals. They're all high in vitamin C, which
is linked to improving cardiovascular health.
Broccoli: Both broccoli and
cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables that appear to contain anti-cancer
elements. (One of which is the supplement indole-3 carbinol.) Eating these
types of vegetables on a regular basis is a healthy thing for both parents and
Soy: Although there has been much
debate around soy, Dr. Russ says consuming soy in moderation (one to two
servings a day) can be health promoting, as evidenced in epidemiologic studies
and observational studies. Soy may help modulate hormone levels, lower
cholesterol and increase calcium deposition in bones. When it comes to soy,
women with breast cancer are recommended to ingest less soy than more.
Salmon: This fresh water fish is
chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids which can only be
obtained through diet. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation. Since
cardiovascular disease is an inflammatory condition, its understandable why
getting fish oils is so important. Although there is a lot of data on fish oil
capsules, Dr. Russ says he prefers people eat their fish rather than popping
pills. Aim for cold water fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel. Limit
intake of shark, swordfish and other carnivorous fish, which may have ingested
toxins. Also watch tuna intake, which can be high in mercury.
Orange Juice: Calcium fortified
orange juice is a good way for both kids and adults to get calcium. Because it
is high in sugar, it might be wise to dilute the juice. This breakfast staple
is also loaded with vitamin C, which promotes skin health and prevents problems
with air pollution in the lungs.
Almonds and Almond Butter: A
smart substitution for peanut butter, almond butter isn't as high in partially
hydrogenated fat. Almond also has a healthier fatty acid profile, since it is
rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds and almond butter are also good for fiber,
vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and zinc.
Tomato: Tomatoes contain lycopene,
which helps prevent and treat prostrate cancer in men. For women, lycopene may
help prevent colon cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. Because lycopene
is fat soluble, absorption is improved if its eaten with a fat source, such as
a little bit of cheese.
Milk: In general, milk is a great
way for people to get calcium, especially children. Dr. Russ recommends organic
milk to avoid the bovine growth hormone. Although dairy products are fine in
moderation for adults, he suggests getting your calcium through green leafy
vegetables, soy and orange juice. This is especially important for people who
suffer from upper respiratory tract disorders such as asthma.