Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top 5 Foods With a Bad Reputation.

5. Sweet Potatoes

What? "Sweet" Potatoes? I thought everything sweet was supposed to be something with negative connotations in a fitness meal plan? Not necessarily. This is one of the best ways to get Vitamin A- an essential nutrient that helps with eyesight. So if you don't like carrots, maybe Sweet Potatoes can be in your group from all the beta-carotene it embodies. In fact sweet potatoes carries some of the highest concentrations per potato. Bet you didn't know that.

4. Red Peppers

Did you know red peppers have high Vitamin C? Usually Orange Juice and other fruits get the most credit for Vitamin C, but Red peppers are very good for this vitamin. They actually will not help you in warding off diseases, however it can help you recover faster as shown in recent studies. Also Australian scientists in a separate study have just conluded that antioxidants in Vitamin C can actually reduce your knee pain, and help protect your knees against arthritis.

3. Apples

Apples are one out of three foods (pears and red wine) that are the most effective at reducing your risk of death from Hearth disease amongst post menopausal women. Other massive studies have contributed the fruit to lowering risks for things like lung cancer and diabetes. Many also believe that apples help speed up your metabolism and can assist in losing weight.

2. Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate? What? I can eat that? You bet you can....You're welcome by the way lol. Dark chocolate is JAM-PACKED with antioxidant flavonoids (up to 3x the amount in milk chocolate form). These antioxidants keep blood platelets from sticking together which can contribute to clogging your arteries. Also this particular chocolate helps you feel full. In a recent study from Denmark, researchers gave 16 participants 100g of either dark or milk chocolate and 2 hours later they were offered food. The persons who ate the dark chocolate consumed 15% fewer calories than those who had the milk chocolate and were less interested in any foods that were fat, salty, or sugary. How crazy is that? Try a chocolate with as much cocoa as you can get. Typically 70% or more for the best benefits. Couple this with something like fresh berries, and you have a dynamite packed snack without making a huge withdrawal in your caloric checking account. :o)

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is full of Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) which lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and actually RAISE your HDL (good) cholesterol. Rich properties of antioxidants are also present with Olive oil or as Rachel Ray calls it "E.V.O.O". These antioxidants help to lower the risk of cancer, and other chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's. When using this drizzle SMALL amounts of it over veggies before you roast/grill them or saute' it in a stir-fry to get the max from the antioxidant properties. This is a great substitute for butter or margarine.

Olive oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
Look for extra virgin oils for the most antioxidants and flavor. Drizzle small amounts on veggies before roasting; use it to sauté or stir-fry, in dressings and marinades, and to flavor bread at dinner in lieu of a layer of butter or margarine.

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