New Year Resolution: Improve Health and Wellness
Posted: January 4, 2013
The countdown for the 2013 New Year has started today. Consider making 2013 the year to improve your personal health and wellness. You hear and read a lot about different foods and the nutrition they provide, and a lot of the “research” can be confusing and often conflicting. To help you with your health and wellness improvement resolution, the following are some “super foods” that you’ll want to consider including in your 2013 diet.
“Super Foods” has lately become a marketing buzz word for natural foods that are considered to be rich in nutrients offering many benefits without adding unhealthy fat or artificial ingredients. Depending on what source you research, there are several top ten lists, but there are a number of foods that are commonly found on each list.
1. Low-fat dairy products. Research has shown that people who eat low-fat dairy products have increased success in managing their weight, especially around the middle. Greek yogurt tends to be higher in protein and calcium. Some people find it more satisfying since it is thicker in consistency. An excellent source of calcium and B-12, a 6 ounce serving of plain Greek yogurt would be equivalent to one carbohydrate choice.
2. Salmon, walnuts and sardines are all great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids that help to lower triglycerides and reduce inflammation. They are also known to reduce blood clotting and can help with memory and mood. Wheat germ is another source of Omega-3s, as are almonds, pistachios, pecans and peanuts. Keep in mind appropriate portion sizes, since they are high in fat, but they are also a good source of protein and fiber.
3. Eggs, once thought of as a food to be avoided, are a good source of protein and vitamin D and some contain Omega-3s as well. It is still recommended not to eat more than 3 – 4 whole eggs a week.
4. Citrus fruit and berries are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. One specific citrus is grapefruit (the darker red variety) that has been shown to lower LDL and triglycerides. Other benefits include fat burning, stabilizing blood sugars and insulin levels and it may even promote collagen formation for plumping up the skin. Since grapefruit can interfere with certain lipid medications, it is best to check with your physician about whether this would be a good choice.
5. Dark green leafy vegetables are also great sources of vitamin A, C and other antioxidants in addition to fiber. Kale is an excellent choice that can be added to soups and salads.
As always, it is important to get a variety of foods in order to maximize your nutrient intake. For people with or at risk for type 2 diabetes, getting the most in the way of nutrients for the calories you consume will lead to improved health and wellness. Rate your own plate for food choices and have a healthy new year from Penn State Extension!