Tag - berries

5 Power foods for vitality and health this holiday season

One of the keys to maintaining good health and vitality is to pay attention to what we are eating.  This may seem like a challenge during a busy holiday season, so here is a quick guide of healthy choices that are quick and easy to add to the day.

1. Eat Berries. 

Lots of them.  Berries are considered a super food.  For one thing they are loaded with antioxidants.  Antioxidants help keep free radicals under control.  What are free radicals? Free radicals are toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism that can cause significant damage to living cells and tissues in a process called “oxidative stress.” Excessive amounts of free radicals can damage your cells. Antioxidants such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol  – found in blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries  can help neutralize these compounds.  Berries also contain fibre, which may help decrease your appetite (as well as binge eating) 

2. Eat high fibre foods. 

We know that dietary fibre is important.  It helps normalize bowel movements, and the key to elimination is a healthy bowel.  Choose foods high in fibre: Wholegrains, vegetables and fruit, beans and pulses. When rushed in the morning? Eat a high fibre cereal with a handful of berries. 

3. Eat foods that fight inflammation. 

For example increase your servings of green leafy vegetables, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines. Use olive oil for your dressings.  

4. Eat your broccoli. 

Your bones are continuously changing — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. This green veggie packs vitamins A, C and K, which helps with bone health, as well as folate. Bones are the structure of our body, they protect organs, they anchor muscles and store calcium.  Folate is a B-vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Your body needs folate to make DNA and other genetic material. Your body needs folate for your cells to divide. Broccoli contains sulforaphane,  which is thought to help stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes.

5. Drink tea. 

Is tea a food?  Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids  You can maximize the power of its flavonoids by drinking it freshly brewed. In order to preserve the flavonoids and drink your tea throughout the day just add some squeezed lemon or lime.  Flavonoids  reduce pain and inflammation.  Teas high in flavonoids are black, green and white tea.  If you are concerned with caffeine, then choose green or white tea.  Herbal teas are always a good choice, they are not high in flavonoids, yet they contain other beneficial antioxidants. Chamomile tea for example has antioxidants may help prevent complications from diabetes, like loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage, and stunt the growth of cancer cells.

Bottom line when dining out or at Christmas parties – choose the fruit and veggie trays. Load up on as many different colours of fruits and vegetables as you can so that you have a variety of antioxidants. Meal planning?  Choose whole foods, fatty fishes, whole grains and include 3 vegetables per meal. The more colour you can find in a white winter season, the more healthy and energized you will feel.

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