The secret to achieving a lifetime of healthy weight may be as easy as changing your mindset, according to Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN, founder of Essence Nutrition.
“Instead of focusing on the goal of weight loss by way of fad diets, strive for feeling better,” she says. “Fad diets fail in the long run and are damaging to both psychological and physical health.”
So how do you choose what food to eat? “Eat the rainbow. Every food has a benefit, working together as a whole in the body.” And what about those few bites of birthday cake? Go for it!
“Deprivation and restrictions always lead to overindulging. People who have a healthy relationship with food and know they can have it whenever they want don’t overdo it,” she says.
Superfoods from A to Z
You’ve heard the hype around superfoods, but is there a crop of foods that deserve this distinction? While health officials recommend eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, certain nutrient-dense foods pack in a substantial number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which not only help fight diseases, prevent cancer and reduce inflammation, but also keep skin glowing and control weight! Coming in at just a few calories, here’s a list of this year’s top superfoods.
The superpowers in the foods or ingredients listed below are not guaranteed to cure or prevent disease; however, the benefits may help improve certain health conditions in combination with a healthy lifestyle.
ALLIUM VEGETABLES (CHIVES, ONIONS, GARLIC)
Super Ingredients: Vitamins C and B6, manganese, selenium, other antioxidants—most notably, allicin.
Superpower: Antibacterial and antiviral properties, helps prevent diabetes, reduces high cholesterol and high blood pressure
Super Food Recipe: Roasted Garlic
Super Ingredients: Manganese, copper, vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6
Superpower: Weight loss, improves metabolism, lowers risk of diabetes, promotes good gut bacteria, lowers risk of cancer, helps fight asthma, protects the stomach from effects of NSAIDs
Super Food Recipe: Healthy Apple Crisp
Super Ingredients: 20 vitamins and minerals, monounsaturated oleic acid, lutein, potassium, folate
Superpower: Lowers cholesterol, benefits eyesight, reduces the risk of stroke, reduces risk of obesity, regulates blood sugar, lowers blood pressure
Super Food Recipe: Guacamole
Super Ingredients: Potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate, vitamin C, nitrates
Superpower: Reduces blood pressure, helps anemia, improves circulation, improves cognitive function, enhances skin appearance, aids in detox
Super Food Recipe: Beet Berry Smoothie
Super Ingredients: Antioxidant anthocyanin, vitamins C and K, fiber
Superpower: Anti-inflammatory, lowers blood pressure, helps prevent heart disease, improves memory
Super Food Recipe: Blueberry Superfood Smoothie
Super Ingredient: Sulforaphane, bioactive compounds, vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese.
Superpower: Increase enzymes that lower the incidence of colon and lung cancers, decrease cell damage, prevents weight gain
Super Food Recipe: Cruciferous Crunch Salad with Avocado Dressing
Super Ingredients: Flavonoids, antioxidants, magnesia, selenium, iron, copper, fiber
Superpower: Supports circulation, suppresses coughs, improves memory, helps hydrate and smooth skin, improves mood, suitable for anabolic health
Super Food Recipe: Superfood Dark Chocolate Bark
Super Ingredients: Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, fiber, vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphate
Superpower: Improves cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, anti-fungal properties, weight control
Super Food Recipe: 100% Flax Breakfast Cookies
Super Ingredients: Gingerols, capsaicin, piperine, antioxidants
Superpower: Boosts metabolism, aphrodisiac effects, anti-inflammatory, reduces morning sickness and nausea, helps with muscle pain and soreness, helps with osteoarthritis, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, improves brain function
Super Food Recipe: Ginger Tea
Super Ingredient: Soluble fiber, antioxidants, manganese, phosphorus, copper, zinc, iron, vitamins B1 and B5, protein polyphenols, avenanthramides
Superpower: Appetite control, regulates blood sugar, manages weight, improves skin appearance, relieves constipation
Super Food Recipe: Easy Overnight Oats
Super Ingredients: Iron, potassium, fiber
Superpower: Strengthens bones, improves muscle efficiency, helps anemia and asthma, improves eye health
Super Food Recipe: Pumpkin Spinach Meatballs
Super Ingredient: Phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins C and B6, potassium, magnesium
Superpower: Anti-diabetic effects, reduces the risk of obesity, improves immune system, supports healthy brain and nervous system function, improves gut health
Super Food Recipe: Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
Super Ingredients: Alpha-linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium
Superpower: Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, reduces inflammation in arteries, lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes
Super Food Recipe: Healthy Candied Walnuts
WILD CAUGHT SALMON
Super Ingredient: Omega-3 fatty acids
Superpower: Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke, helps alleviate depression, supports brain function, promotes healthy aging
Super Food Recipe: Easy Baked Salmon
Super Ingredients: Calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, probiotics, lactobacillus
Superpower: Improves digestive health, boosts immune response, reduces risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, manages weight
Super Food Recipe: Yogurt Bowl
Add Some Spice to Your Life
Super Ingredients: Manganese, iron, vitamins B6 and C, fiber, potassium, turmerone and curcumin
Superpower: Anti-inflammatory, regulates glucose levels, boosts immunity, regulates liver, helps skin conditions, stabilizes mood
Super Ingredients: Antioxidants, polyphenol
Superpower: Regulates blood glucose levels, aids digestion, improves gut health, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic effect, reduces heart disease
Super Ingredients: Thymol, carvacrol, vitamins K and E, fiber, manganese
Superpower: Clears congestion, aids digestion, antibacterial properties
This story is from the Summer 2021 issue. Read the magazine here.