6.22.2015

You are what you eat

If you had a childhood anything like mine I am sure you heard "You are going to turn into a xxx if you eat another xxx." You can fill in that xxx with whatever it is/was that you couldn't resist. Fast forward to today and I realize there is still a small list of go to foods that I do eat on a very regular, almost daily basis (I am listing my top 10 and please note, I do eat chicken or turkey on a regular basis too). Fortunately, it isn't Snickers anymore but for fun I thought I would look into what these foods offer my body as it is true, we are what we eat.

Bananas - We all hear bananas are a rich source of potassium but did you know they contain higher amounts of vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C? The potassium helps maintain good blood pressure and keeps your heart happy. The sterols in bananas can even keep your cholesterol lower and bananas help keep you regular due to their fiber content. From the athletic perspective, the potassium in bananas can help keep muscle cramps at bay. I even read you could fuel on the run with bananas but they said you would be eating 1/2 banana every 15 minutes?? No way!

Blueberries - The antioxidants in blueberries make them quite beneficial for nervous system and brain health and may improve your memory. The good news is that blueberries can be frozen without damaging their beneficial antioxidants and that is really good news because the vast majority of the blueberries I eat are frozen (and organic and I read organic blueberries are healthier)! Blueberries contain vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, and copper.

Steel cut Oats - We have all heard oats are good for your heart and some may argue steel cut oats are healthier due to less processing and perhaps less sugar. All oats are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber and protein and for me, that is a great way to start the day!

Beans - black or pinto - Beans can make your heart healthier and contain a range of cancer-fighting chemicals. The fiber in beans helps maintain a healthy gut and may make you feel full longer...although I am not convinced but perhaps I am just a very hungry person. I blame marathon training. A serving of pinto beans contains 15 grams of protein and 20% of the RDA for iron, 8% of the RDA for calcium, and 2% of the RDA of vitamin C. For black beans, a serving contains 15 grams of protein, 20% of the RDA for iron, 5% of the RDA for calcium, and no vitamin C and here I thought black beans were better than pinto beans. Maybe there are other factors at play.

Tomatoes - Tomatoes are another heart healthy food and the lycopene in them can help lower cholesterol plus tomato extracts can prevent the clumping of blood platelets. In addition, tomatoes may contribute to better bone health and may have anti-cancer benefits.

Almonds - Did you know almonds provide 49% of our RDA for biotin and 40% of our RDA for vitamin E? That is pretty cool! Besides helping keep our hearts healthy and lowering cholesterol, almonds may protect against diabetes. But just remember, whole almonds with their skins provide more heart happy protection and not only are they rich in protein, they provide calcium and iron. I now buy whole almonds, run them through the food processor, and add that to my morning oats in place of peanut butter.

Garlic - Garlic seems to be the magic food that many turn to for a happy heart, for anti-cancer benefits, and to boost their immune system. Some add that is can help fight dementia. Regardless, I love the flavor and cook with it regularly and yes, you can catch me eating roasted bulbs of garlic by themselves. Love them! P.S. And I do add some extra cloves when cooking when the family is battling colds.

Cinnamon - Cinnamon just may fight inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria in addition to lowering blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and treating yeast infections. But honestly, I am not adding cinnamon to my coffee, oats, and tea for those benefits but for the flavor. I also question just how much cinnamon one would need to consume for a therapeutic benefit.

Tea - black or green - Tea may be good for your heart, have anti-cancer properties, encourage weight loss, and lower cholesterol but I truly find it a relaxing and therapeutic way to consume some extra water. I do waiver between caffeinated tea and decaffeinated and love a good chamomile tea at the end of the day to help me relax. And yes, with the onset of colds and coughs, I will turn to a hot cup of tea and perhaps add some lemon juice and honey with hopes I will be back to 100% sooner rather than later. But in case you are wondering, black tea has the highest amount of caffeine and green tea has the highest amount of ECGC, a powerful flavenoid that can fight free radicals.

Coffee - Coffee is a vice I should let go of because it can lead to a stuffy nose for me but for those less sensitive, it is also a nice pick me up and a good source of antioxidants. It may reduce type-2 diabetes, prevent Parkinson's disease, lower the risk of cancer, prevent liver disease, and is good for the heart. By golly, perhaps those pro's outweigh the con of my stuffy nose?

What are your top 10 foods you consume?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I recover quickly from my "coffee stuffy nose".

Daily Bible Verse: So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

3 comments:

  1. I certainly agree that we are what we eat! I would totally be a green salmon LOL - I eat tons of spinach and salmon ;) I also eat loads of winter squash like butternut and spaghetti squash and... Nori! LOTS of that stuff for sure!

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    1. I just can't seem to acquire the taste for salmon but I hear it is so good for you!

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  2. Thanks for posting this! I always love a good reminder about fueling my body with those tasty healthy foods!

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