We are sick, stressed, overworked, overweight, and tired. According to a food and health survey, 52 percent of Americans say figuring out their income taxes is easier than knowing what they should and shouldn't eat to be healthier. Experts agree that the best way to improve your diet is with simple steps.
If you are one of the many Americans that need a health make-over, you can start by picking up these eight foods:
First up is coconut oil: it protects against viruses and bacteria, boosts thyroid function, and reduces cholesterol. A recent study also found applying it to the skin for two months reduced the severity of eczema by 68 percent.
Next up is kale:
"Kale is the powerhouse of all dark, leafy greens," said Kim Wilson Pollock, a health coach. "It has the most antioxidants and it actually has more calcium than beef."
Also, load up on nuts. A recent study found people who ate nuts every day were 29 percent less likely to die from heart disease and 11 percent less likely to die from cancer.
Fill your cart with cinnamon. Research shows a half-teaspoon a day can regulate blood sugar. Apples are also superfoods.
"Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away'?," Pollock explained. "It's totally true."
In lab studies, flavonoids in apples slowed the development of colon, lung and breast cancers. Popcorn is another cancer fighter. It has four-times more polyphenols, cancer-fighting compounds, than the average amount found in fruits.
Whole grains are also important. They have enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa contains protein, iron, riboflavin, and magnesium.
Finally, there's dark chocolate. Eating about 30 calories of it a day was shown to lower blood pressure after 18 weeks without weight gain. So, the next time you're at the grocery store, load up on these eight foods for a healthier you.
Why Eat More Kale?
- Low Calorie, High Fiber, No Fat: One cup of kale has only about 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of fat. It contains nutrients, vitamins, folate, and magnesium. Kale also helps with digestion and elimination of waste.
- High in Iron: Kale has more iron than beef, per calorie. Iron is important for transporting oxygen through the body, cell growth, and proper liver function.
- Rich in Vitamin K: A diet high in vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. Vitamin K also promotes bone health and prevents blood clotting.
- High in Vitamin A: Vitamin A is great for vision, skin, and helps prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
- High in Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps the immune system, metabolism, and hydration.
- Anti-inflammatory: One cup of kale is filled with 10 percent of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders.
- Antioxidants: The carotenoids and flavonoids found in kale are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits.
- Cardiovascular Support: Kale helps lower cholesterol.
- Detox Food: Kale is filled with sulfur and fiber for detoxifying the body and keeping the liver healthy. (Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html)
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