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The grocery chain has made incorporating power foods into your diet easy through their “Health Starts Here” program. The program is based on an unprocessed food diet that is high in plants and nutrients. “Health Starts Here” also uses the scoring system, ANDI, which divides the number of nutrients by the number of calories in them.
Below are some power foods tips and recipes for a healthier you.
KALE: Has a score of 1000 which is the highest score. Kale has almost no calories but is JAM PACKED with nutrients which gives it such a high score. This dark leafy green kale holds:
• immune-boosting carotenoids (beta-carotene and lutein)
• has powerful phytochemicals
• delivers easily absorbable calcium and is a complete protein (like meat and eggs)
• Cardiovascular health
• Immune function
• Healthy vision
• Bone health
Make a kale salad using:
I bag of pre-washed kale
2 tomatoes chopped
2 avocados chopped
Juice of two lemons
Then mix. It will create a dressing all by itself…
You can also steam kale, put it in smoothies and much more. Pre-made Kale salads are available at Whole Foods.
QUINOA: is the one that nobody knows how to pronounce! It’s QUINOA and now you can impress your friends when they say kwin-o-a. It’s a favorite of Katherine Nilbrink, a healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods, “it’s of my favorites because it’s a whole grain that cooks quickly. It’s an ancient grain originating in South America. Now available all over, it comes in 3 varieties – white, red, and black. All taste great and it’s fun to mix them for a colorful dish! You use it anytime you would rice. It has a slight nutty flavor and is good in savory and sweet dishes. “I’ve made quinoa with coconut milk and it’s a creamy tasty dish that tastes great with curries,” she says.
• One of the many great features of quinoa is that it is a complete protein so it includes ALL of the essential amino acids (including lysine) which are unusual in vegetable based items. This aids in tissue growth and repair. 8 g/cup cooked
• It’s packed with manganese which helps enhance antioxidant activity and Magnesium which is important for optimal athletic performance
• Provides energy enhancing B vitamins and iron.
• Great source of fiber, 5 g/cup cooked
Recipes: For Breakfast: Mix with a little honey and add raisins for a porridge. Use like a rice and add herbs. Serve chilled and mixed with cranberries, nuts and other flavors. Check out more recipes on the Web!
Important tip: Rinse quinoa in water before using or it can get a bitter taste. 2 to 1 ratio. For every cup of water use ½ cup of quinoa. Put in pot, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Recipes: For Breakfast: Mix with a little honey and add raisins for a porridge. Use like a rice and add herbs. Serve chilled and mixed with cranberries, nuts and other flavors. Check out recipes online.
FLAX: Everybody has heard about flax seed and how great it is and that they should add it to their diet. And of course now we see tons of products with flax seed in it as well. Most people aren’t sure why flax is so great or how to get the most out of it.
• Great source of folate (folic acid is synthetic form – Vitamin B9
-Supports synthesis and repair of DNA
-Important in aiding rapid cell division and growth
-Needed to produce healthy red blood cells and supports the prevention of anemia
-Supports mental agility and memory
• Full of water soluble fiber
-Digestive health! And helps remove toxins and waste from the body
• 1 Tbs Ground Flax has 1.8 g omega-3 oils
Important tips: Eat it ground. Our digestive tract can’t break through the hull to get the benefits so it passes directly through the body. If you can grind it yourself (a coffee grinder, high power blender), do it in small batches and then freeze it. Ground flax begins to lose its beneficial qualities over time so freezing it slows down this process. Or if you buy it ground, place it in the freezer.
• Sprinkle on cereal, salads, fruit, yogurt
• Put it in a smoothie
• Add some to your baked goods – breads, muffins, even cakes
COCONUT WATER: Great for use in rehydrating your body instead of sports drinks high in sugar and other non-essential ingredients (colors, etc). It is quickly absorbed and great for athletes. Identical to human blood plasma – was used in WWII when soldiers needed blood transfusions and they didn’t have any available. Enjoy as is, or add it to smoothies, or mix with other juices.
In Sanskrit the word for the coconut palm means “tree which gives all that is necessary for living” since almost every part of the tree can be used in some way. Coconut is actually botanically classified as a seed, not a nut. It’s the largest seed known.
• Contains more potassium than most sports drinks
• Contains less sodium than most sports and energy drinks (only 25 mg vs. 41 – 200 mg)
• Low in natural sugars – only 5 mg vs. energy and sports drinks range from 10 -25 mg of altered sugars.
Important tip: drink in moderation. For additional flavor for your kids, mix with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. Even make lemonade with it.