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3 foods you should add to your diet, like yesterday!

I don’t believe in "super foods" (this can be an entire blog topic on its own…).

I do understand the hype about super foods is that people want nutrition simplified. Unfortunately, nutrition IS NOT SIMPLE. So, disclaimer: adding ONLY the foods below, will not be magic. ALL fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains are essential to incorporate. However, these 3 foods are a great place to start.

1. Greens

We all have heard, “eat your greens,” but why should we?

When we eat greens, our bodies convert the nitrates to nitric oxide. This compound is powerful in opening up the arterial wall. Now, you may think, I don’t have any health conditions, so why should I care about restoring my arteries? Fortunately, no one gets heart disease overnight—it takes years of bad eating habits to lead to heart disease and other health conditions. Unfortunately, most people do not realize this until it's too late. The more greens you start eating now, the healthier your arteries will remain. Plus, clean arteries mean better blood flow to all organs, including the brain, the liver, the kidneys and even the penis! Additionally, greens provide a lot of bulk—they help fill us up—for very few calories.

1 serving = 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked

examples include:

  • kale

  • collard greens

  • mixed salad greens

  • spinach

  • swiss chard

  • arugula

2. ‘Gumes

Legumes include beans, lentils and split peas.

All the above are great sources of protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron and zinc. Additionally, legumes contain phytates—a compound that is associated with a significantly lower risk of colon cancer and lower risk of osteoporosis.

1 serving = ½ cup cooked

This is so easy to add to your day!

Perhaps mix a serving into your salad, make bean patties, add some edamame into your stir fry, indulge in black bean brownies, throw a can of beans into your soup, replace the bottom layer of your shepherd's pie with lentils instead of beef...the list goes on!

3. Berries

Berries are loaded in antioxidants—a cancer fighting compound—and they are the lowest glycemic index fruit (meaning they raise the blood sugar more slowly). Luckily, most people enjoy at least one kind of berry. To say one is superior to another is to misunderstand a holistic approach to nutrition. All are beneficial, so choose at least one to incorporate every day!

1 serving = 1 cup

Add this into your daily routine in the form of:

  • a cereal/oatmeal topper

  • a smoothie

  • a salad topper

  • a snack

  • dessert (…maybe with chocolate hummus!)

*The most delicious strawberries in the state (bias aside) from Quonest View Farm.

[Note: strawberry season starts early to mid June. Check Quonset View Farm's Facebook page for updates].

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