Back by popular demand! …. My super foods list!
So many people have asked me over the years – what do i eat? What is my diet? My answer is always the same: I never diet. I eat the same natural, whole foods everyday. Long before the popularity of kale and the accessibility of pinterest boards, I have been eating the same delicious foods everyday- I have always refered to my list as my “Super foods”.
For those of you not interested in hearing about the easiest, fastest and best way to get into amazing shape, both internally and externally, please ignore this post and move along with your day.
For the other 99% of the world, you’re welcome!
There are so many opinions of what to eat for optimal health. I keep my shopping list simple and inexpensive. I eat as much as I want of these same super foods every day and feel energy, have great skin, maintain a healthy weight and always feel satisfied.
What are super foods?
Super foods are easy to find, natural, fresh, whole foods (ie; not processed or packaged) that not only taste delicious, but also help prevent chronic diseases, reduce risk of cancer, and improve your overall health and weight loss goals. There are plenty of high end, expensive foods out there that are all the rage right now, but you don’t need to break your budget to find these inexpensive powerhouses of nutrients:
Eat these 10 foods everyday in any combination:
- Berries. Any kind.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take a pill to lose weight, prevent disease and help keep your brain sharp? Actually, there is something better than a prescription, and you can find it in your local grocery store or farmers market. Berries not only taste delicious and are easy to eat alone or blend into a smoothie, but they also have high levels of phytochemicals that help protect cells from damage. They are low in sugar and are a great way to curb your sweet tooth!
- Avocado –Don’t be afraid of healthy fat! Fat is your friend and sugar is the enemy! I repeat:Fat is your friend and sugar is the enemy! These healthy fats that go well with other vegetables are actually a fruit and are packed with 20 essential nutrients including potassium, fiber and folic acid. They are a good source of Vitamins B, K, C and E, and help enable the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene and lutein, which offer outstanding health benefits when absorbed into your cells.
- Eggs. Just one egg is loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients such as, riboflavin, which helps your body break down food into energy. Eggs also contain a good amount of Vitamin A, retinol, that is great for your eyesight, as well as Vitamin E that fights cellular and tissue damage and prevents cancer. Eggs can be eaten in a variety of ways and help in weight loss by keeping you fuller longer. Contrary to popular belief, although eggs contain “dietary cholesterol”, eating eggs does not increase your “blood cholesterol” and are a low calorie, inexpensive protein source.
- Nuts. My favorite on-the-go snack or just a great add on to my salads! These heart healthy fats contain omega- 3 fatty acid and Alpha-linoleic which are proven to reduce LDL (the bad) cholesterol and maintain HDL (the good) cholesterol. Besides, they are easy to take on the go, very satisfying to chew and keep you full for hours in between meals. I prefer to add them to my salad for an extra crunch! P.S.- make sure they are raw and unsalted!
- Sweet potatoes. (Or spelled Potatos if Youre George W bush )These orange complex carbohydrates are packed with alpha and beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A and assists in keeping bones, immune system and eyes healthy. They also contain phytochemicals which act as antioxidants to defend against disease producing free radicals. Just one potato contains Vitamins A, C, B and potassium lutein and manganese; all make this sweet treat one of the healthiest vegetables to eat.
- Broccoli and Kale. These tiny green tree look alkies are loaded with vitamins C, A and K that help with bone health and fight cancer. They also stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes. Cook them up in a skillet with red peppers and mushrooms and a splash of olive oil for a delicious (and easy!) stir-fry. My kids love to add a little sea salt and make them extra crisp.
- Spinach. Although easily stuck in your teeth, this vegetable is packed with fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese and water soluble Vitamin A, C, K and vitamin B, which helps form new healthy cells. I eat so much of this superfood I don’t even care that it takes 3 pieces of dental floss to get the part that is stuck in between my teeth.
- Greek Yogurt. I have been eating greek yogurt since before it became cool to eat greek yogurt…my best (not so kept secret!!) The creamy thick texture of this supper food makes it one of the most delicious desserts that can actually add on years to your life. Yogurt has “good bacteria” that aids in gut health and helps prevent digestive issues. This inexpensive snack is also rich in calcium, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein. I love to add cinnamon, stevia, and 100% rolled oats and berries to my yogurt in the morning for a fast on the go breakfast! Greek yogurt is also a fantastic base for smoothies.
- Tomatoes. These juicy red fruits are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that can prevent cancer and protect your skin. They contain fiber, potassium and vitamin C and help protect against the harmful UV rays. But don’t get cocky- still slather on the sunblock!
- Oats. These whole grains that are loaded with fiber can replace any recipe that asks for all purpose flour and are great for baking or just adding to some of the above super foods such as Greek yogurt and berries for a delicious and easy morning meal. I also love to mix oats with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and liquid egg whites prepared as a pancake in a skillet – delicious!! ENJOY! See my Recipe section for other ideas. http://www.jordanabalsam.com
- Note: I used to have salmon on my list of super foods but I have since removed it and I’ll tell you why: Wild salmon is so expensive ($30+/lb. and the way I used to eat it would cost over $400 a week – seemed wasteful. ) Farmed salmon, while more affordable, is absolutely horrible for you because of all the antibiotics and hormones they pump into them so it deflects from any of the health benefits of eating fish. Stick to the above list and you will look and feel amazing!
Keep your meal planning simple and inexpensive: stick to the same above list of super foods and you will have a complete nutritionally balanced diet that will keep you full, give you radiant skin, shiny hair, prevent disease and keep you slim!!
Hi Jordana, Thank you for this list! Except for Kale, I love everything on your top ten. Is it still OK to eat salmon which I love as a protein (I’m not a fan of red meat…) Lorys
Hi Lorys! I actually dont like kale in its normal state as well but I blend it in a green smoothie with avocado and raw ginger and a little liquid stevia- tastes great! i also stir fry it with other veges like bel peppers and onions so its good that way too. Salmon is amazing as long as its wild. anything farmed (including chicken) -ie the kind they sell in publix is awful for yoU! It has sea lice, disease, ocean floor feces – if you want to learn more- here is a short and easy read :
hi -please read from morning chain below for another comment:
I have gone a step further than that actually- I went to the fish market in deerfield beach which has been around forever- the sell that same type of “farm” raised salmon with healthier techniques too- its only $15/ lb vs wild at $30/lb. They explained that although it is not the same process as farmed meaning they don’t add antibiotics and hormones- that they don’t have any control over the lake that the salmon is raised in and whatever is in the water that the fish is feeding from (feces, sea lice etc) is not something they can control
so my $0.02 is this: although healthier – stress the letters “er” as in not quite healthy- but healthiER- the farm raised at whole foods has similar consequences. I’m sure its fine for a once in awhile thing- i am not going not eat it like i did every day- i stopped that a while ago anyway. I wont give it to my kids who like salmon- when i buy for them i treat to the wild. its the long term affects that i worry about which is why i took it off my superfood list – the list that I literally eat and preach everyday without harm-
On May 12, 2015, at 9:18 AM,anonymous wrote:
Just read your blog. Can you do me/yourself a favor and talk to the Whole Foods people? I heard that their farm raised salmon comes from providers who use healthier techniques than the average. I’d like to keep eating it!!! Have you already researched that??