What are the best foods to eat? Part 1

This is going to be an on-going blog touching on the best foods we should be eating on a regular basis to keep us healthy and strong.  Please come back often.

It’s fun to try new pasta recipes and splurge on treats like ice cream, yummy pastries…a delicious slice of chocolate cake or a handful of chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven, but we need to include foods in our diet that harness therapeutic benefits to keep us healthy.  So, what “superfoods” should we be eating?

We’ll touch on a few of my favorites here, starting with fish.  Please read my Blog What is the best fresh seafood? Cold water fish contain a number of polyunsaturated fats, known as Omega-3 fatty acids. People who live in Alaska and Greenland eat an enormous amount of fish and can boast having very low levels of heart disease.

 

The Omega-3’s in fish help keep our hearts beating in a healthy rhythm by fortifying the heart muscle.  We should all try to eat 3oz of  cold water fish, preferably salmon, every week. But eating more than 8oz may put you at a higher risk for stroke. Purchase wild salmon only. They have a healthy “wild” diet mostly of krill.

I prefer to stay away from farm raised salmon because they are fed chemicals that give the meat its pink color and fed antibiotics to combat lice. Those antibiotics are then consumed by us resulting in our becoming more antibiotic resistant.  Think about it.  While wild salmon is more expensive, you’re getting 3 grams of Omega 3’s in just 3 ounces of fish. The best Alaskan salmon? Sockeye, Chinook, Chum, Coho and Pink.  And they are caught with gear that does little damage to the environment.  That’s good enough for me.

Salmon isn’t the only fish with Omega 3’s…canned tuna, canned sardines, rainbow trout, mackerel and Atlantic herring are all good sources.

Please check out the Seafood recipes I’ve provided for you on this site and I  hope you come back often as this site is growing and new recipes are added on a regular basis.  In addition, I invite you to leave a comment below. If you have a question or would like a specific seafood recipe, I will gladly help you find it.

The next “superfood” I’d like to touch on is another of my favorites…cauliflower. We all know that broccoli is good for us, but did you know that cauliflower is also full of phytonutrients that fight cancer? How they do this is by increasing our body’s production of enzymes that gets rid of toxins that ultimately damage cells.

Cauliflower is loaded with folate and vitamin C which helps our immune system stay strong, among other benefits like aiding in the prevention of heart disease, cataracts and cancer.

It’s best to eat it raw (in a salad or served with dip as an appetizer) or steamed….but never boil cauliflower as it will lose most of the nutrients we’re eating it for. Please check out my recipe for Roasted Cauliflower under “Appetizers”. Once you try it you’ll come back and thank me, for sure.

⇒ Don’t purchase cauliflower with brown spots….it’s older and has lost needed nutrients.

The next “superfood” is celery….yes, celery.  Packed with essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin C and calcium, celery is a great source of fiber. It’s actually in the parsley family and may help lower blood pressure.

Celery is loaded with compounds that researchers believe may help prevent cancer cells from spreading. The healthiest part of the celery are celery hearts….leaves too, as they actually contain the most nutrients.  So, chop away and add celery hearts to just about anything you’re preparing because they hold up well during cooking. Use celery seeds, found in the spice aisle, in soups and stews.  Munch on celery raw or serve with dip as an appetizer along with your cauliflower.             vegetables-and-dip

The next “superfood” is the carrot. Rich in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, both antioxidants, carrots fight free radicals that are known to lead to heart disease and cancer.  The more antioxidants we consume, the healthier we become. And because the beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in our bodies, it helps improve vision especially as we age. Have you noticed it’s getting more difficult to see at night than when you were younger? People with low levels of vitamin A tend to have night blindness and have difficulty driving when it’s dark. So, fill a baggy with baby carrots and munch on them during the day at work and add them to your kid’s lunchbox. You’re doing your body good.

Carrots are delicious raw (my favorite…baby carrots) served with Ranch dressing and while some vegetables lose nutrients during cooking, carrots don’t so much.  They are packed with fiber and cooking them briefly helps your body absorb the beta-carotene.

⇒ Place baby carrots in a heated skillet with melted butter.  Cook until just tender but still a little firm.  Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top and enjoy.  So good.

The next “superfood”….asparagus.  Asparagus contain folate and vitamin E.  Studies have shown that women in childbearing years who take folate and eat foods rich in folates are less likely to give birth to a baby with brain and spinal cord defects.

fresh-asparagus Asparagus are full of antioxidants which help protect us from heart disease and helps in the prevention of cancer.

Store fresh asparagus in the back of the refrigerator, upright in a bowl with a little water and covered in a plastic bag. Prepare fresh asparagus as soon as you can before the nutrients have a chance to break down and remember the tips contain the most nutrients.

Bend each asparagus stalk…where it breaks is where it is the freshest. Heat a little oil and a little butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Sauté a little chopped Vidalia onion until tender, add a couple chopped garlic cloves and the asparagus.  Toss and sauté until tender but somewhat firm so they still have a bite.  Sprinkle a pinch of Kosher salt over the top and enjoy.

Which brings me to the next “superfood”…garlic.  I love garlic…and use it in so many dishes.  It adds a tremendous amount of flavor.  Click here to see my recipe for Roasted Garlic.  You’re going to love it.

Not only does garlic lower cholesterol, thins your blood helping prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke but it also slows, and may even block, the growth of cancer cells.  It boosts our immunity and reduces high levels of blood sugar.  I read recently that garlic may also relive asthma (I can attest to this via my husband) and the best part?  Garlic may delay or prevent some of the conditions associated with getting older.  Enough said.

Did you know… garlic is a great repellent for mosquitoes? Oh yea…mix 1 part concentrated garlic juice with 5 parts water into a spray bottle. Spray in any area that they gather and this will keep them away for up to 5 hours. OR, you can add garlic to whatever dish you are preparing. As you perspire, mosquitoes will be turned off by the hint of garlic smell. This works even for dinner the night before….trust me, I know.

Garlic is good for our hearts because it smooths blood flow preventing platelets from sticking together and clotting. It lowers our cholesterol and including garlic in our diet may lead to preventing cancer and aid in the treatment of cancer. We’re talking about 3 cloves of garlic each day.  Again…check out my recipe for Roasted Garlic.  It may sound like a lot but it really isn’t when you get right down to it….and roasted garlic is really delicious.

garlic

 

Enjoy it fresh…roasted…rubbed on bread or wooden salad spoons. Chop it fine or mash it to better release its healthful compounds.  Don’t overcook garlic. Doing so will destroy some of the delicate compounds. Stir-fry with vegetables or toss it in a stew during the last few minutes. Mix it in at the last minute with onions for a great tasting omelet and the best yet…roast several cloves of garlic and add them to mashed potatoes.  Oh yea…garlic just may be the perfect food.

Skål

To be Continued…

I welcome your feedback, shares and comments.  If you would like to suggest a possible “superfood” for research, please let me know and I’ll be happy to look into it for you.

8 comments to What are the best foods to eat? Part 1

  • Phil

    Hi Karen, what a great website with tons of useful information.
    I have a healthy lifestyle website and we are in agreement with what “food” really is.
    Unfortunately, The Standard American Diet (SAD) is lacking in many aspects.
    I appreciate all the research and work you’ve put in here and I will be back often.
    Phil

    • Karen

      Hi, Phil…thank you for your comments. Unfortunately, this generation lives in a hurried society where convenience plays an important role. The older I get, the more I’m aware of this. I invite you to read my other blogs about the best foods to eat and also “A Honey of a Retraction”. I look forward to your feedback.

  • Ty Jord

    I’ve been doing some research and playing around with a lot of diet changes lately in an effort to increase my digestion health among other things.

    I see some added benefits to introducing foods from the lists you have provided, this has been a great help.

    Thanks for sharing and best wishes.

  • Mark

    Great post. I’m on the atkins diet and Cauliflower, Asparagus, Fish, and Celery are all foods I can eat on the diet. Thanks so much for the information.

    • Karen

      You’re welcome, Mark, and thank you for the feedback. This in an on-going post on “superfoods” so please check back often for updates & additions.
      Karen

  • Mike

    Thank you for this informative article on superfoods. When looking for wild-caught salmon, be aware that Sockeye salmon cannot be farm-raised. It is only available as wild-caught fish and boy does it taste great! I generally buy a big fillet, slice it up into single meal servings, and freeze it for future use.

    • Karen

      Mike…thank you for your comments. I’ve updated the post on “superfoods” with a bit more information on salmon. Check it out and I hope you will read my post “What is the best fresh seafood?” as I updated that as well adding more info on salmon that we all should be aware of.
      Thanks for your input.
      Karen

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>