Top 5 healthy foods - picked by dietitians

March 10, 2011 - 0:0

The Super Foods section of our website is very popular with our readers. It lists many healthy foods which are beneficial to health. Among all the foods listed there, I have decided to pick the top five healthy foods for this article.

- Eating Salmon helps lower your blood cholesterol
Hands down! Salmon is my favorite food to substitute meats. It is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, which has been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
In 2002, the American Heart Association recommended eating at least 2 servings of fish a week, particularly fatty fish such as salmon. With increasing public concerns over farmed salmon, choose wild salmon. Most canned salmon are wild.
- Benefits of Soy
Soy products are great substitutes for animal products. I love cooking tofu with various tasty Asian sauces and also enjoy drinking soy milk. Soy beans contain high amounts of protein which comprise of all essential amino acids (the only such vegetable source to do so).
Soy beans are also a rich source of calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. Numerous scientific studies demonstrated that a diet containing significant soy protein reduces total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and Triglycerides.
In 1999, the FDA recognized the health benefits of soy and heart disease by approving a soy health claim. In addition, more and more studies are being published suggesting other health benefits of soy such as the prevention of prostate & breast cancer as well as osteoporosis.
- Green vegetables
Green vegetables such as kale, chard, collard greens, bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc... are packed with vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and phytonutrients.
They are very filling, high in fiber and low in calories. Personally, I like eating them cooked so I usually stir fry them in a non-stick pan, but it is absolutely fine to eat them raw as well so go ahead and toss them into your salad and reap the nutritional benefits!
Berries: Big health benefits in a tiny package
Berries by far are my favorite fruits! They are loaded with Vitamin C, folate, fiber and phyto-nutrients. Indeed, fresh berries are some of the most powerful disease-fighting foods available as they top the ORAC score chart (a method of measuring antioxidant activity). Berries are easy to prepare - just wash and rinse - no need to peel at all! In addition, you may serve berries (fresh or baked) as part of a dessert dish.
Whole grains
Whole grains have some valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables. They also contain B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber. The new 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that all adults eat half their grains as whole grains - that's 3 to 5 servings of whole grains a day.
To include more servings of whole grains in your diet, use whole-wheat flour in your recipes instead of white flour.
Look for the word ""whole"" when purchasing packaged foods such as cereals, biscuits, pasta and breads. In addition, try adding wild rice, brown rice, quinoa or barley in your soup to increase whole grain intake.