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“Super Foods”. Eat less & get more value Nancy N. George, M. Ed, RD, LD. Who decides what is a super food?. Think of a health goal: Weight reduction Cardiovascular health Anti-cancer properties Anti-aging properties Improving athletic performance

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Super foods l.jpg

“Super Foods”

Eat less & get more value

Nancy N. George, M. Ed, RD, LD


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Who decides what is a super food?

  • Think of a health goal:

    • Weight reduction

    • Cardiovascular health

    • Anti-cancer properties

    • Anti-aging properties

    • Improving athletic performance

  • Each goal could have it’s own set of “super” foods


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“Super” foods

  • Nutrient rich

  • Other antioxidants or phytochemical properties

  • Lower in calories, meaning they are nutrient-dense


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Who decides what is a super food?

  • Popular magazines

  • Dr. Oz

  • msnbc.com

  • WebMD.com

  • Food network

  • Dietitians

  • Etc., etc.



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Nutrients:

  • Vitamins

    • Water soluble & fat soluble

  • Minerals

    • Potassium, magnesium, calcium & others

  • Protein

  • Carbohydrates

    • Including soluble & insoluble fibers

  • Fats

    • Essential fatty acids & heart healthy omega 3’s

  • Water


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vitamins

  • “vital for life”

  • Compounds that have activity within cells to help the body perform functions:

    • Promotes growth of tissues & cells

    • Energy use & the maintenance of health & life

    • Reproduction


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minerals

  • Structural elements for the body:

    • Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium

  • Blood cell production

  • Regulation for body functions:

    • Blood pressure & heart rhythm

    • Fluid & electrolyte balance


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proteins

  • Structured from amino acids

  • “mighty” muscles

  • Collagen, blood cells, tissues

  • Provides 4 calories per gram (about 8 grams per ounce of meat)


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carbohydrates

  • Most prevalent nutrient in nature

  • Found in all food groups except lipids

  • Simple carbohydrates are sugars

  • Complex carbohydrates are “fibers” –

    • Soluble & insoluble fibers

      • Prevents colon cancer

      • Decreases cholesterol levels

      • High feeling of fullness

  • Provide 4 calories per gram (about 15 grams/serving)


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fats

  • Essential fatty acids provide structure for cell walls

  • Part of the body’s hormones (including cholesterol)

  • Fat in food provides flavor & soft textures

  • Omega 3 fatty acids help prevent blood clots & stroke, lowers blood pressure & protects against irregular heart beats

  • Provides 9 calories per gram (5 grams/tsp)


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water

  • Can be considered a “super food”!

  • All the body’s processes ‘happen’ in a fluid environment

  • No calories!



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Super foods:

  • Common themes:

    • Good sources of antioxidant vitamins & minerals & other phytochemicals

    • Good sources of other minerals – selenium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium

    • Good sources of fiber & complex carbohydrates

    • Good sources of proteins

    • Low in fat, or contain healthy fats


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List “A”

  • Low fat or fat free yogurt

  • Eggs

  • Nuts

  • Kiwis

  • Quinoa

  • Beans

  • Salmon

  • Broccoli

  • Sweet potato

  • Berries


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Tomatoes

Garlic

Broccoli

Grapes

Acai berry

Imo

Tumeric tea

Mangosteen

Greek greens

Barramundi

List “B” & “C”


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List “D”

  • Walnuts

  • Flax seed

  • Pomegranate

  • Salmon

  • Dark greens

  • Soy (including edamame)


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Lean red meats (grass fed)

Salmon

Spinach

Berries

Wheat germ

Tomato paste

Nonfat yogurt

Sweet potatoes

Oranges

Old fashioned oatmeal

Curry

Ginger

Black beans

Tea

Fresh herbs

Dark chocolate

List “E”



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Salmon

  • High in Omega 3 fatty acids

  • Good quality protein

  • Low in saturated fats

  • High in iron

  • 3 oz = 155 calories, 23 g protein, 6 g fat, 375 mg potassium, has selenium & iron

  • Easy to fix, versatile



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yogurt

  • High in calcium

  • Vitamin D fortified

  • Can be reduced fat or fat-free, so low in calories

  • Nutrient dense: 1 cup of fat free yogurt provides 110 calories, 40% of the RDA for calcium, 22% of daily protein, 15% of daily potassium



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eggs

  • Low in saturated fat

  • Contains 12 vitamin & minerals

  • Good source of choline for brain development

  • Good sources of Omega 6 & omega 3 fatty acids

  • Cheap & easy




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Whole grains – make sure you see the term “whole”

  • Good sources of carbohydrates for energy

  • Good sources of fiber

  • Protein is 8 grams per cup (15% of daily needs)

  • Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, magnesium (which may help prevent diabetes), folic acid & iron





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Tomatoes & tomato paste

  • Contains lycopene

    • The red pigment in the tomato (& in red peppers)

    • Potent antioxidant

    • Studies have looked at the link between lycopenes & the reduction of prostate cancer in men & the reduction of cardiovascular disease in women




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Broccoli (& other cruciferous vegetables)

  • Excellent source of:

    • Vitamin C

    • Fiber

    • Vitamin K

    • Potassium

  • Low in calories



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Carrots & sweet potatoes

  • Best sources for vitamin A

    • Powerful anti-oxidant that can influence 500 genes in our body

    • Supports reproduction & growth, protein synthesis & healthy skin

  • Good source of fiber

  • Naturally sweet

  • Also vitamin C, potassium, calcium



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pomegranate

  • High in antioxidants which may have heart healthy benefits

  • May be useful in preventing cancers

  • Has lycopene



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Kiwi

  • 1 kiwi gives the whole day’s supply of vitamin C in only 60 calories

  • Good source of potassium, vitamins A & E

  • Good source of fiber

  • Portable & easy to eat: cut it in half & scoop it out with a spoon



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Dark chocolates

  • High levels of antioxidants

  • May be helpful in lowering total cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation in arteries

  • Look for 70% cocoa (or more)

  • Limit to 1 oz

  • Avoid milk chocolates with added fat & sugar



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Nuts

  • Good protein

  • High fiber

  • Antioxidant rich

  • Good sources of omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids

  • Choose 1 oz of : pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts or pecans

    • Use for mid morning or mid afternoon snacks, add to salads or cereals



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Blueberries (& others)

  • Low in calories

  • Good sources of lycopenes & other phytochemicals, antioxidants

    • Decrease inflammation

    • Reduces risk of colon & other cancers

    • Cranberries may help the urinary system

  • High fiber



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Soy

  • Heart healthy tip:

    • Substitute 2 soy-based proteins for other meats each week

    • Good source of fiber, potassium, phosphorus, calcium

  • Provides natural sterols to help lower cholesterol & act like natural estrogen-replacement (but extra soy is not recommended with a family history of breast cancer)



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