Frustrating, isn’t it? You want to eat better, you really do.
The problem is, each week you read about a new superfood that will cure all your ailments, and a new diet that will deliver weight loss and glowing health. Then you read that last week’s “scientific claims” are bogus. You wonder if you should give up, and continue to eat junk since it’s impossible to figure out what is actually good for you.
But you’re sick of feeling so tired and sluggish. Sick of struggling to get out of bed each morning. Sick of envying the healthy, energetic people you know.
You’re also fed up with trying to decode fact from fiction when it comes to nutrition.
Well here’s a secret. Evidence shows that adding a couple of key foods to your diet can give you a big boost.
Add these five simple powerhouse foods to your diet, and you’ll soon be on the road to more energy and less lethargy.
1. Sip antioxidants to stay young.
Antioxidants are nature’s way of protecting our bodies from aging and cellular mutation from invaders, as in cancer. Pack in as many antioxidants from our diet as you can.
A study comparing the antioxidant capacity of 283 drinks found that hibiscus tea trumped all others. You can find Hibiscus tea in many inexpensive herbal tea mixes. Two cups of hibiscus tea per day were shown to lower blood pressure as much as a 25mg dose of captopril taken twice per day. Hibiscus appears to produce nitric oxide which helps the blood vessels to dilate and relax.
Don’t like hibiscus tea? Matcha green tea, red wine, green tea, coffee, and black tea also contained high levels of antioxidants.
To-Do: Replace sugary sodas by unsweetened teas, coffee, and red wine (in moderation) and grape juice to protect your cells.
2. Eat legumes to live longer.
Legumes (aka beans) are one of nature’s perfect foods: low in fat, no cholesterol, and high in fiber and protein. People across the globe who add legumes (aka beans) to their diet live longer. This study found that bean consumption in Sweden, Japan, Greece and Australia decreased the likelihood of death by 8% for consuming only two tablespoons of beans.
Navy beans, pinto beans, and soybeans have been proven to drop cholesterol. Beans help you to feel full for longer, encouraging consuming less overall calories. Choose a type of bean that you like — black beans, garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), white beans, or kidney beans.
To-do: Buy a couple cans of your favorite organic beans, and add them to salads, stir-frys, and pasta. Don’t worry — he gas-passing factor usually passes after two weeks.
3. Eat nuts for a slender waist.
Do you shy away from nuts because they’re high in fat? Despite their high fat content, nuts will help you to lose rather than gain weight. People who eat nuts tend to be slimmer and don’t gain weight proportional to the fat and calories in nuts. Studies show that people lose weight, especially in the abdomen, when they add nuts to their diet. (Check out this comprehensive review of the evidence. Eating nuts can protect you from heart disease and diabetes, and even help you to live longer.
In the Harvard Nurses Study, nut consumers had fewer deaths from cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease. A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School has shown that a diet high in walnuts suppresses tumor growth and the growth of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis) in a mouse model of human colorectal cancer. Mice fed a walnut-heavy diet had significant tumor shrinkage relative to mice fed a corn-based diet.
To-Do: Keep a variety of unsalted nuts close at hand for snacks and sprinkle them on salads with abandon.
4. Gorge on greens for happy blood vessels.
Greens are a secret to keeping your blood vessels happy. Greens like collards, kale, spinach and arugula help the blood vessels to produce nitric oxide, which keeps the tiny linings of our blood vessels soft and pliable. Imagine a natural chill pill for your blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels reduces your risk of heart attacks and lowers your blood pressure.
When you eat fish, meat and eggs these same vessels get stiff and rigid. Their endotoxins cause systemic inflammation immediately after eating them. Arugula, swiss chard, beet greens, basil, cilantro and kale are the best sources of nitric oxide.
As an added bonus, greens release cancer-fighting chemicals when chewed in the mouth.
To-do: Buy a big back of pre-washed greens and eat a handful or two with your lunch and dinner. Chew well.
5. Spice your palate and slash inflammation.
This bright yellow powder is one of nature’s strongest anti-inflammatory, even works better than some drugs. Turmeric suppresses inflammation, is an antioxidant, and has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and the growth of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis). Daily use of turmeric in the Indian diet in curries has been linked to lower rates of Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Boost Your Energy
You want to say goodbye to feeling lethargic and heavy?
Then boost your energy with these simple diet tweaks. They’re a painless way to increase your vitality and improve your health.
It’s easy to buy a bag of nuts, some cans of beans and bunches of greens.
It’s easy to sip red wine and green tea.
It’s easy to smile when you know you’re helping your body.
Making these changes will help you live longer, healthier and happier.
And who doesn’t want a long, healthy, happy life?
Featured photo credit: Dollarphotoclub via media.lifehack.org