What to eat? How to accommodate the varying palates of your household? Who is responsible for the grocery list and ultimately going to the store? Fully acknowledging our blessings in being able to have so much choice, but there are weeks when managing the food and schedules in a household becomes a chore. Give me more time on the weekends to leisurely stroll at the farmers market, please! To get you started below are my favorite foods that appease the taste buds and keep us healthy through this holiday and all the holidays yet to come. Go to WELL in L.A.’s Facebook page and grab the PDF grocery list to jump start your weekly food planning if you need a little food inspiration.
Quite possibly the coolest molecules around because they make food PURPLE! Eggplant, beets, black beans, cherries and blackberries are loaded with Anthocyanins. The deep hues carry powerful food medicine, playing a major role in preventing blood clots and inhibiting LDL – a.k.a. the “bad” cholesterol. Beyond that researchers are finding connections with their power to lower blood sugar levels and help individuals with diabetes to boost their insulin production. And if you know anyone with arthritis or painful joints, recommend this food group as anthocyanins may also play a role in reducing pain from inflammation.
Give it up for maintaining new cells, which help us keep that youthful glow and vigor. And lowering levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is associated with risk of heart disease and stroke. Consuming foods rich in folate may reduce breast and colon cancer risks. Where can I find whole foods filled with this awesome nutrient? Citrus fruits, asparagus, tomatoes, dried beans, peas, and dark, leafy vegetables.
Whether you’re working out or simply working to keep toned, you’ll want to add this to your diet. Lutein keeps your muscles primed and helps prevent muscular degeneration. This powerhouse nutrient can be found in egg yolks, avocados and dark leafy veggies (yeah!!). Research suggests lutein can prevent atherosclerosis – those nasty, fatty deposits that can form in blood vessels. P.S. don’t miss this great story on Kale from NPR (who knew I’d be so excited to talk about GREENS!?!)/
Load up on this nutrient along with the other cancer-fighters on this list. Lycopene has been linked to lowered risks of prostate, lung and colon cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease. Red-hued fruits and veggies contain lycopene. Think red peppers, grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, papaya and tomatoes.
Healthy fats = happy brains and organs. Rich sources of these polyunsaturated fats can be found in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut and mackerel. Omega 3s have been shown to help stabilize an irregular heart beat, lower cholesterol and decrease blood pressure. Studies have also shown Omega 3s help reduce diabetes, ease joint pain, improve memory and combat depression. Non-fishy foods that contain Omega 3s: flaxseeds, canola oil and leafy greens.
We’re eating foods to promote new cell growth. Check! Helps protect the currently active and healthy cells from damage by including plenty of Vitamin E in your diet mix. Evidence shows that vitamin E can prevent blocked arteries and clear potential blood clots, lowering your risk of heart diseases. Vitamin E can be found in most nuts – like walnuts and almonds – sunflower seeds and vegetable oils.
What’s YOUR favorite rock-star food?
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