The Most Nutrient Dense Foods For Your Diet Journey

nutrient dense foodsRevving up your diet means including the best foods to the menu. The best foods are those that pack so much of so many nutrients in relation to their calorie content. In other words, these foods give you enough nutrients without filling you up with too much calories. And since I have been on this weight loss and workout journey, I have been looking for foods that will fill me up after a long session on my awesome home treadmill, cause running on it makes me super hungry! Well, here are the foods that I’ve found meet this criteria so far:

1. Salmon

Fish is generally nutritious, but some types are more nutritious than others. Salmon is probably the perfect example. Among fishes, salmon has the most omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has been hailed as one of the best types of fat. It fights bad fat and lowers the risk of heart disease. On top of that, salmon is rich in protein, B vitamins, potassium, selenium, and magnesium. Eating fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, or sardines, once or twice a week gives you a good dose of omega-3.

2. Kale

Kale is probably the king of all green leafy vegetables. It is a superfood that is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. One hundred grams of kale has twice the daily needed amount of Vitamin C, thrice the daily needed amount of Vitamin A, and ten times the daily needed amount of Vitamin K. It is a good source of B6, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Kale also contains a lot of bioactive compounds like isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol. According to research, these substances help fight cancer in animals.

3. Seaweed

Did you know that the seaweed contains more nutrients than vegetables? And did you know there are thousands of different types of seaweed? Seaweed is rich in minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is also rich in bioactive compounds, like carotenoids, phycocyanins, and antioxidants. Seaweed is also rich in iodine, which is necessary for proper thyroid functioning.

4. Shellfish

Different types of shellfish are incredibly nutritious. Clams, for instance, are a great source of vitamin B12. Did you know that 100 grams of clams can supply 16 times the amount of B12 you need in a day? Aside from that, they are also rich in other B vitamins as well as vitamin C, iron, and potassium.

Then you have oysters, which are a very good source of iron. A hundred grams yield 6 times the daily requirement for iron and twice the daily requirement for copper. That’s on top of oysters being rich in B12 and vitamin D.

5. Blueberries

These are the best fruits you can help yourself to. Like most fruits, they contain vitamins and minerals, but that’s not where blueberries are best at. The best thing about them is their antioxidant content. Anthocyanins and phytochemicals make blueberries a superfood. These antioxidants are known to keep the brain healthy and protect adult brains from cognitive decline. Blueberries also lower blood pressure and keep bad cholesterol at bay. Another important thing that antioxidants in blueberries do is they fight cancer.

6. Egg Yolks

You might have read that egg yolks are bad because of their cholesterol content. That’s all myth, unsupported by research. What recent research says is that you shouldn’t worry about cholesterol in eggs, because it doesn’t necessarily raise your blood cholesterol levels. Moreover, skipping on egg yolks means skipping on a lot of nutrients in them. Each yolk is high in B vitamins, antioxidants (lutein and zeaxanthine), choline, and protein. Take note that lutein and zeaxanthine are antioxidants that keep your eyes healthy and prevent macular degeneration. Choline is a nutrient necessary for proper brain functioning.

7. Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolates are created the same. If you must bite a piece of chocolate, bite dark chocolate. One of the best things about dark chocolate is the amount of antioxidants it has. It contains more antioxidants than blueberries. These antioxidants are the ones responsible for regulating blood pressure, keeping bad cholesterol at bay, and improving brain function. Aside from antioxidants, dark chocolate is also rich in iron, copper, manganese, and magnesium.

These are just the top ones that I have tried so far, but I have read about others. So, keep looking for more on your own as well!

Should I Give Up Coffee?

should i quit coffee

As I have been reading articles on how to make changes for a healthier lifestyle, I keep coming up against conflicting information on coffee drinking. I used to think that coffee was some sort of super food cause it seemed like every week I was hearing something on TV about it being good for cancer or other ailments. Well, now that I have been doing this research, it seems like the opinion on it is split.

Some people say that coffee is good for you and to drink it every day. Other people say that coffee is not good for you and that you should stop drinking it period.

So, how do you know what to think, right?

I have been really giving this a lot of thought because I really want to make the best possible decisions when it comes to things like this. I mean, I do think that is really the only way to be sure that you are giving yourself the best possible chance of success. So, this has really been messing with my mind this week. I mean, I’d hate to give up coffee only to learn on down the line that it truly is a super food. And on the flip side, I’d hate to keep drinking it and find out that it is worse for you than expected.

Since I cannot seem to find any real consensus on this either way, I have decided to come up with a compromise that lets me kind of straddle the fence here. I will continue to drink coffee for the health benefits. BUT – I will do so only in moderation due to the possible negative health consequences of drinking coffee. And based on some of what I read, I need to switch to only organic coffee to make sure that I am not getting any pesticide residue in my java.

Hopefully, this is the smart decision for me and I will not harm my health in any way.

My Current Fave Healthy Soup

sweet potato cauliflower soupSince it is still deep in the heart of winter here, I have been making a lot of soups to keep my warm and healthy this season. Plus, soups are usually pretty easy to make and I like that you only make it once and you end up with all these meals from it. Love me some time saving in the kitchen cause man, some meals take forever to make from scratch, right?

Well this soup that I like a lot right now is a Sweet Potato Cauliflower soup and man is it tasty. I first came across it on Pinterest here. It is a bit healthier than your standard potato soup since you get extra vitamins and stuff (like carotene) from the orange in the sweet potatoes.

The ingredient list is simple and making it is a breeze. And it tastes oh so yummy!

You can find the recipe that I used here, but I did leave out the garam masala from it. Let me know if you give it a try cause I haven’t found anyone else who has made it. And I just love it!

Dealing With Food At Work

I think pretty much anyone who is trying to lose weight and works in an office knows what I am talking about when I say that you have to deal with a lot of food temptation at the office. If it isn’t a holiday party then it’s a birthday or other “special event” that requires people bringing in some type of food.

For me, this week, it was cupcakes. One of my co-workers has a birthday this weekend, so there was a little mini office party for her in the break room. It was not so much as party as a break for everyone to gather and enjoy the sweet treats that were brought in to celebrate. Well, not only did I not want to eat a cupcake because I am trying to lose weight, but I am also wanting to focus on eating organic foods and these came from the local Kroger bakery, which means that there is no freaking way that they have anything organic in them.

But here is the real problem with people bring food to work for everyone to eat – they do not like it when you tell them that you’re not interested in eating it with them. It is almost like they do not want to take no for an answer and I have no idea why. They even try to make you feel bad about joining them! I think maybe me not eating the cupcakes with the rest of them maybe makes them feel guilty about the indulgence, but that is not really my problem. However, they still kind of take it out on me, which is totally not fair. Cause I really do not care if they want to eat cupcakes after lunch. Heck, they can even have my share if they want it, that is how much I do not care about it!

I am really not sure what to do about this type of situation cause there will be many more just like it. I mean, I guess I could stay at my cubicle instead of going in the break room with them. But I think that might be a worse idea because it will end up making me look like a snob, which is definitely not what I want them to think. I just do not know why I cannot celebrate with them without eating the cupcakes or other food that they have brought in. Guess I will be dealing with that a lot this year.

Should I Go Organic?

I was reading a magazine article at the dentist office a few weeks back that was talking about all the health benefits of organic food. It was not a very long article, so I ended up doing a little more research on the subject once I got home. That led me to learning about how there are a lot of additives and such in food that cause you to eat a lot more than you would if you were eating more natural foods.

Then that got me to wondering, will eating organic foods help me lose weight?

So, I looked on the web to see if I could find that information any where out there. Then I came across a great article on the subject on the Huffington Post website. The article is written by a real doctor and he says that he always tells his weight loss patients to eat organic foods. If you are interested in all the details, you can click to read the article. But the basic gist is that you get more nutrients from organic foods, which means that your body is more satisfied when you are eating them and thus you consume less food.  So that is a pretty interesting thing to learn right there.

With that in mind, I think that I will skip my usual way of losing weight, which is to buy up a lot of dieting foods like weight watchers meals and such. Instead, I will spend my money on food that is organic without a lot of processing and additives in it. Hopefully this will work exactly as the article mentions and I will end up getting more nutrients into my body, which will result in my body telling me that it is full so that I do not eat as much per meal.

At least, this is my plan unless anyone else out there can point me to a more recent article where doctors are saying that you won’t get a weight loss benefit from eating organic foods. But, if I find nothing like that, I plan on heading out to the local Trader Joe’s to do my grocery shopping this weekend. Hopefully I can find everything that I need there cause it is closer to my house than the Whole Foods.