We’ve already tackled Energy Boosting Yoga Poses in our previous posts. Let’s us now talk about the different power foods that we should eat more of. These are the must-eat items to include in your cart every time you hit the supermarket… for a longer, healthier, slimmer and happier life.
20 Must-Eat Energy Booster Foods
- Apples An apple a day... well, you know. Besides containing quercetin, a compound that can protect brain cells from tissue-damaging free radicals, they're a great source of filling fiber, which can help you slim down; one apple contains 16 percent of your daily dose.
- Avocados Who are we to get between a girl and her guac? There's no point, because the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber that avocados pack also help you stay satisfied longer. And they're not as high in calories as you might think: only 50 for one quarter of a medium-size avocado.
- Bananas Some shun them for being "too caloric," but they're still a fruit, people! One medium banana delivers about 100 calories to your diet, 3 grams of fiber, and a boost of potassium, which helps keep blood pressure in check. Slip one into your kid's lunch too: A British study suggests that eating bananas daily may protect children from asthma symptoms.
- Berries Blueberries pack more antioxidant power than most other fruits, which is why studies suggest they can help fight cancer, keep your heart healthy, and boost brain power. And don't skip blackberries: They're loaded with fiber and ellagic acid, a powerful antioxidant that's good for your heart.
- Cabbage Get your health on a roll: Ditch the soggy lettuce on your next burger and pile on shredded cabbage instead. Each 20-calorie cup is packed with glucosinolates, chemicals that bolster your body's defenses against cancer-causing free radicals. (Broccoli and brussels sprouts deliver them too.)
- Eggs People in a University of Connecticut study who ate eggs for breakfast felt less hungry and consumed fewer calories throughout the day than those who had a bagel. And don't ditch the yolks: They're a good source of vitamin D and choline, a nutrient important for keeping the liver, heart, and brain healthy. "It's a good idea to stick to two yolks a week or less if you already have high cholesterol," notes Linda Van Horn, a member of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee. But for most people, having an egg a day is fine.
- Garlic So it makes your breath a little stinky. The bulb has heart-healthy benefits you don't want to miss, and can protect against stomach and colon cancer. A recent study also suggests that adding garlic—or onion—to whole grains may help you absorb more of their iron and zinc. So sauté some in olive oil to add a boost to your whole-wheat penne with marinara.
- Ginger It's just one spice—along with black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, rosemary, and turmeric—that may blunt the negative effects of high-fat meals that spike heart-hurting triglycerides in your blood, says a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition.
- Honey Skip the refined white stuff and swirl a teaspoon or two of antioxidant-laced "liquid gold" into your oatmeal, tea, or even coffee. The switch could affect hunger hormones in slimming ways, says a recent University of Wyoming study. Compared with sugar, honey delays the rise of ghrelin, a hormone that drives us to eat, and boosted levels of the feel-full compound Honey still adds calories, though (22 per teaspoon), so think drizzle, not drench.
- Kale Kale is an unsung veggie hero: A half-cup serving packs 420 percent of your daily dose of vitamin K, a nutrient that plays a starring role in bone health. Kale also ranks high in cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
- Kiwi One serving—that's two kiwis—delivers as much potassium as a banana and more vitamin C than an orange, all for about 85 calories. And they're so snackable: Just halve crosswise and scoop with a spoon.
- Mustard Use whole-grain mustard instead of mayo on your sandwich and you'll save 80 calories and 9.5 grams of fat (as much as two slices of bacon!) per tablespoon. Plus, "mustard seed is a cousin to kale and cabbage, and contains similar immune-boosting power," says Kay. Grainy varieties pack the most, because they're less processed than the bright yellow kind.
- Nuts You shouldn't shovel them in by the handful, but studies have found that people who regularly nosh on nuts are leaner than those who don't—possibly because they're so satisfying that you eat less of other foods. Count out an ounce (that's about 24 almonds, 47 pistachios) and savor them slowly.
- Oatmeal You probably know it's every nutritionist's favorite breakfast food, but you may not realize why: It's full of soluble fiber, a bad-cholesterol-buster that also helps burn belly fat. Go for the unsweetened kind, and flavor with berries and ground flax—a super source of omega-3s.
- Papaya Cut some up and put it at the counter for snackers: This tropical fruit will satisfy your sweet-toothed kid or hubby. One cup delivers more than your daily needs of vitamin C, a nutrient that may help fight colds and create collagen, proteins that keep skin smooth and supple. Eat a few slices and consider it an instant facial.
- Salmon Fish is the number-one source of omega-3s, the fatty acids that can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, and may even increase serotonin, a happy-mood brain chemical. And canned salmon is lower in mercury than tuna. Plus, it's often wild, not farmed (and will say so on the label), so you can feel good about your sustainable seafood choice.
- Spinach It's nice when you can count one veggie as a multivitamin—and spinach is packed with A, C, K, and folate, which boosts the production of brain chemicals that affect your mood (low levels of folic acid are associated with depression).
- 3 Cups of Tea Every Woman Needs BLACK TEA for stress relief, PEPPERMINT TEA to focus, GREEN TEA to shed pounds.
- Whole Wheat It counts as a complete protein, which means it supplies all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Toss in veggies and it's a balanced meal. Also switch to whole-grain bread (look for whole wheat—or rye, or oat—on the label); it's a stellar source of insoluble fiber.
- Chocolates You've probably heard that the dark kind can make you less likely to develop high blood pressure or suffer strokes, thanks to compounds called flavonoids. Now new research from the University of Cambridge shows that people whose diets include chocolate—milk or dark—have a 37 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who live in chocolate deprivation (a state of being we don't recommend). But it's still high in calories, so don't go totally loco.
The next time you do your grocery shopping, make sure to throw in these foods in the cart.