Fuel for Your Body

Ty Valkanas

Fri April 25, 2014 12:30pm

Optimal health is fueled by wise food choices. Read on to discover which power foods should be included in your diet on a regular basis.
We all know that optimal health is dependent upon how well we eat and how healthy we can keep our bodies. When it comes to getting the energy, nutrients and fuel that we need for the day, there are certain power foods that can make sure we get there! Below are five of my personal favorite Power Foods that should be regularly included in our meals.

Oats
Oats are a wonderful source of complex carbohydrates. Unlike the reaction you would get from eating simple sugar, complex carbohydrates won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar after you eat them. Oats are an excellent  source of fiber and are high in many important nutrients, such as selenium, zinc and magnesium. Oats have also been found to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels, heart disease prevention, blood sugar balance and even immune response. Oats contain many phytonutrients and are an excellent source of antioxidants.

Quinoa
Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate grain and can be used in a similar fashion to rice. It is one of the highest protein grains, containing 5 g of protein per ½ cup. Quinoa is extremely easy to digest and is hypoallergenic, so it is a great food option for those with dietary sensitivities. Quinoa is full of manganese, folate and phosphorous. It is also rich in magnesium and vitamin B2, making it an excellent option for migraine prevention and cardiovascular support.

Avocado
Avocados are a fruit rich in healthy, unsaturated fats. The fat content of this fruit is what causes many people to avoid them! But, avocados contain a combination of different forms of healthy fats, which actually may be the main source of this fruit’s many health benefits! Avocados are rich in fiber, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamins B5 and B6. They are full of phytosterols, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.  They have been shown to benefit inflammation, support cardiovascular health and to help regulate blood sugar. The healthy fats will keep you feeling full longer and will also help keep your blood sugar and your energy stable for longer.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon is high in fiber and in manganese. Its main health benefits come not only from its anti-microbial properties, which may help stop the growth of bacterial, but for its role in blood sugar regulation. Studies have confirmed that cinnamon may actually help to stabilize blood sugar and that sprinkling cinnamon on your food can actually lessen the impact that high carbohydrate meals have on your blood sugar.  This doesn’t mean that you should run out and eat all the unhealthy sugars you can find and sprinkle them with cinnamon. However, if you’re looking for extra blood sugar support, try putting some extra cinnamon on your oatmeal every morning!

Kale
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around! It’s a green, leafy vegetable loaded with antioxidants, fiber, iron, manganese, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and so much more! As an antioxidant, it is five times more powerful than broccoli! The antioxidant properties in kale have been linked to supporting cardiovascular health and inflammation. Research is even finding benefits in cancer prevention.
Adding these 5 Power Foods to your eating program will help balance your blood sugar, mood swings, and energy levels. Always remember your portion size of your meals is extremely important in any eating program.
If you need help understanding your portion size in your meal planning reach out to us. Let us help you make 2014 your healthiest year ever!
Ty Valkanas, former U.S. Navy SEAL, serves as the program director at Body By Bobbie, Inc., The Institute of Health & Fitness and Global Fighting Legion; also as an advisory board member for the Southwestern College Fitness Certification Program. www.TeamGFL.com.