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Be Super with Food

 article about Be Super with Food

This article belongs to Just Bee column.

How wonderful it would be if there were mega-heroes like Superman or the Fantastic Four to fortify our lives and communities with their greatness! But since this is only possible in the movies, each person who wants to live the best life possible is responsible for getting in touch with his or her own "superpowers".

For some, this means hitting the gym and developing a thorough exercise routine. For others, yoga and meditation are quite helpful in unlocking the body's vast healing potential. Although all these options are undoubtedly key components to a healthier and happier life, there is one that is most often overlooked. It is easy to acquire and does not cost hundreds of dollars. It is food! Yes, you can radically boost your health and well-being by simply eating a variety of delicious fare. As far as vegetables go, avocadoes, onions and tomatoes rank as some of the most beneficial. All three of these are wonderfully rich in antioxidants that safeguard the body against various cancers and other diseases.

They also contain compounds that lower blood pressure and enhance the function of the heart. Moreover, when eaten fresh, each is flavorful, satisfying and a welcome addition to any salad, especially in the summer months. When it comes to grains, brown rice is a good choice because it is high in fiber, protein and contains about 5% of your recommended daily iron intake.

This is great, but you could do much better with quinoa, a grain-like seed that, thousands of years ago, served as a staple crop to the prodigious Incan civilization of South America. A cup of cooked quinoa has half the carbs, more than twice the fiber and three times the amount of iron of brown rice. Moreover, it can easily be used in any recipe that calls for rice (even puddings and porridges), so it is an incredibly versatile food. An added bonus is that it cooks in half the time of rice.

Those who enjoy their sweet treats will be happy to know that blueberries, kiwifruit and yogurt are amazing "food superheroes" as well. Blueberries taste great and provide vitamin C, fiber and other powerful antioxidants that protect the body. And the native New Zealand kiwi-fruit isn't so shabby, either. According to a recent study at Rutgers University, the fuzzy kiwi packs the most nutrients of the 27 most commonly consumed fruits. And both these fruits pair rather nicely with yogurt. Derived from milk, yogurt is not only an excellent calcium and protein source, but a food champion with its strong probiotic presence. These probiotics are beneficial bacteria that work to regulate your digestive tract, which keeps your immune system strong.

It's so easy to get in touch with your fantastic potential this month. For a super salad, combine one cup of cooked quinoa (brown rice is a good substitute) with a chopped fresh tomato, one chopped avocado, cup finely chopped red or yellow onion, a splash of olive oil/vinegar and some salt and pepper (to taste). Complement your salad with a sweet treat of fresh sliced kiwifruit and plump, ripe blueberries served over fresh or frozen yogurt. This makes a great lunch, snack or light dinner and is both refreshing and scrumptious. If it is true that you are what you eat, then incorporating super foods like these into your regular diet will help you to look, feel and perform optimally. Have fun and prosper!

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