One of my beliefs for myself, my family, and KimNick is to base most of my recipes on power foods. Power foods are foods that help keep us healthy and strong. They provide us with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also easy to prepare and often taste delicious as well!

Some examples of power foods are:

– Lean meat like chicken or turkey

– Whole grain foods like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and oats

– Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas

– Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and spinach


What exactly is power food?

Power foods pack the most nutritional punch for the least number of calories.

These are often vegetables and fruits, but they don’t always have to be! Here’s my list of the top power foods that you may want to start incorporating into your diet:

Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are suitable for your heart. It’s also a great source of protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients that may help prevent cancer and slow the aging process.

The best way to enjoy salmon is by grilling, baking, or poaching it with lemon juice or dill. You can also pan-fry it (if you don’t like eating the skin) or steam it.

Greek Yogurt
Regular yogurt’s thicker, creamier cousin is chock-full of protein and probiotics. It fills the belly, improves digestion, and bolsters the immune system. Plus, it’s a great healthy recipe substitute for sour cream, cream cheese, and even mayonnaise!

Maca Powder

Maca powder is a root vegetable, also known as Peruvian ginseng, native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. It contains vitamins and minerals, specifically calcium, magnesium, and iron. It also contains essential amino acids for hormone balance, energy metabolism, and cognitive function.

For centuries, indigenous people in the Andes region of South America have used Maca to increase energy levels, boost moods, enhance libido, and improve fertility.

Add two or more power foods to your daily diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is the healthiest for cooking because it’s monounsaturated fat. This means that it helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure while also allowing you to control your blood sugar. In addition, olive oil is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that help protect your body from heart disease, cancer, and other diseases of aging. It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids (good fats) and vitamin E, which help build muscle tissue.

Peas

They’re also a good source of vitamin A, essential for healthy vision, skin, and bones. Peas are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. Peas lower cholesterol and blood pressure because they are a great source of fiber.

If you want to add peas to your diet (and trust us—you do), here are some ideas on how:

Blueberries

Blueberries contain fiber, which aids digestion by helping you feel full longer, so you don’t overeat junk food when you get hungry later in the day. Eating blueberries with breakfast is especially beneficial because it helps prevent spikes in blood sugar levels after meals—especially important if you have diabetes or prediabetes—while also improving memory and brain function due to their high antioxidant content.

Blueberries contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals that can damage cells and cause disease. One cup of blueberries contains about 60% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, a nutrient known for its antioxidant properties. Blueberries are also rich in polyphenols, plant compounds that may help reduce inflammation and improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and keep you feeling full. They’re also rich in vitamins A, C, and B6 and antioxidants that can help prevent disease. Plus, they’re low in calories and make an excellent option for weight loss!

 

Eating more than two servings daily means getting all the nutrients you need without consuming too much sugar or fat.

 

Avocados

They are rich in healthy fats, making them an excellent energy source. Avocados also contain fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full so that you won’t overeat with other foods. They’re also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and they can be used in many ways: mashed up with salsa as a dip or spread, mixed into salads, turned into guacamole (which is better for you than the chips!).

Quinoa
This teeny-tiny, grain-like seed packs some serious nutritional prowess. With a mild, nutty flavor and a texture similar to rice or couscous, quinoa is one of the only grains or seeds that provides all nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce. And it’s filled with protein— eight grams per one-cup serving, to be exact!

Oatmeal
High in fiber, antioxidants, and tons of other nutrients, this breakfast staple has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, aid digestion, and even improve metabolism. And it’s downright delicious— especially if you add other power foods such as berries, apples, or nuts.

Herbs are a power food too.

Parsley

Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin C and iron, which both help build strong bones. It also contains calcium, so it’s good for your teeth.

It also has a pleasant flavor that makes it easy to incorporate into nearly every meal. For example, you can use parsley as a garnish for soups or salads, add it to omelets or scrambled eggs, or chop up some leaves to mix with olive oil and vinegar for dipping breadsticks!

Almonds

Almonds are a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamin E. In addition, they have been shown to reduce cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. Almonds also contain vitamin B6, which is good for the brain; magnesium, which is good for your bones; zinc, which is good for your skin; potassium and copper that help maintain healthy hair; iron, which helps with red blood cell production and promotes healthy cognitive function by improving memory formation in older adults. They are also a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2), which supports healthy vision, and lutein & zeaxanthin, which may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Green Leafy Vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach)

The leafy green vegetable category is a veritable powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, but kale is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens.

Kale is an excellent source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, which helps protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. Kale is also a good source of vitamin K and manganese, both important for bone health. Additionally, kale contains high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid that can help reduce symptoms of inflammation or autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Here’s another reason you should include more greens in your diet: they’re filled with fiber! The average American only gets about 4 grams daily—but we need 20 to 30 grams daily for optimal gut health (which means regular trips to the bathroom).

Antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins that promote vision and bone health make this little ol’ green super. And those bones will be thanking spinach, too! Just one cup of the stuff packs up to 12 percent of the recommended daily dose of calcium and enough vitamin K to help prevent bone loss.

Chia
Ch-ch-ch-chia!

Yep, this little seed is the same as those adorable ceramic animal planters of the 90s!

But don’t worry, the nutritious part is not the clay pot. Chia seeds are loaded with the essential fatty acids of any known plant! One serving of the stuff is loaded with magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.

Watermelon

Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which help to protect your cells from damage. It also contains a good amount of potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure and plays other vital roles in the body. Watermelon also contains lycopene, a carotenoid pigment found in red fruits such as tomatoes and watermelon.

Green Tea
This age-old health secret has been used as a natural remedy for everything from cancer to heart disease! The secret to this delicious drink? Antioxidants! The main superhero here is Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a phytochemical that slows irregular cell growth, which could potentially help prevent the development of some cancers.

Broccoli
This lean, mean, green machine is packed with vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting compounds, and the fiber essential in any diet. Though all members of the cruciferous vegetable family are super-duper-healthy, broccoli stands out for its exceptionally high levels of vitamin C and folate (which can reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and stroke).

Strawberries
Vitamin C is the superstar of this superfood. Just one cup of these red beauties satisfies the daily requirement for vitamin C (74 milligrams per day for women, 90 for men)! Studies suggest that antioxidant helps build and repair the body’s tissues, boosts immunity, and fights excess free radical damage. And the vitamin C in strawberries could help promote healthy eye function.

Pistachios
These lil’ nuts hide lots of protein and fiber behind their earthy flavor and nutty crunch. Plus, they’re naturally cholesterol-free. A one-ounce serving of these nuts has almost as much potassium as a banana.

Eggs
A relatively inexpensive protein source loaded with nutrients, eggs certainly earn their superfood status. A large egg is just about 70 calories and offers six grams of protein. Eggs are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for normal body function and heart health.

Ginger
Slightly spicy but oh-so-enjoyable, ginger has been used for years as a delicious flavoring and an all-natural remedy for everything from an upset stomach to unwanted inflammation.

Beets
This all-star veggie contains tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help fight disease and strengthen vital organs. And their purple hue may be the secret to their healthy success— some studies suggest betalains, the purple pigments in these veggies, may help ward off cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Beans
Beans are also loaded with fiber, folate, and magnesium, and studies have shown that legumes can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of certain cancers. High in protein and low in cholesterol, beans of any variety can add a healthy twist to any dish.

How many power foods do you eat in a day?

 

Pumpkin
Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, these gourds aren’t just for carving (or making into pie). The star nutrient here is beta-carotene, a provitamin that the body converts to vitamin A, which is known for its immune-boosting powers and essential role in eye health.

Apples
Say it with us, people: “Fiber is good.” And apples are a great low-calorie source. (A medium-sized apple weighs in at under 100 calories.) Plus, upping apple intake has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and asthma.

Cranberries
It’s time to work these fall favorites into dishes year-round. Cranberries have a handful of health benefits and disease-fighting powers, whether in the shape of a can or fresh off the stove. These bacteria-busting berries can help fight inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve oral health, help prevent ulcers and yeast infections, and may even inhibit the growth of some human cancer cells.

Garlic
These cloves can do more than flavor— they’ve been used for centuries as food and medicine. These days, garlic treats anything from high blood pressure and heart disease to certain types of cancer. Plus, studies suggest garlic extract can treat yeast infections in women and prostate issues in men.

Cauliflower
While all the vitamins and minerals are a great bonus, the real star is cauliflower’s cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolates. These phytochemicals are responsible for cauliflower’s sometimes-bitter flavor, but they have also been shown to prevent damage to the lungs and stomach by carcinogens, potentially protecting against those cancers. And thanks to interactions with estrogen, cauliflower may also help prevent hormone-driven cancers like breast, uterine, and cervical.

Power foods will help you fight against disease and illness

Leeks
Leeks owe many of their anti-cancer superpowers to their organosulphur compounds. These nutrients have been credited with everything from kicking cancer to boosting immunity Studies also suggest leeks could help protect the digestive system from stomach and gastric cancers.

Lentils
They’re cheap, easy to prepare, and high in protein, iron, and other essential nutrients. Iron may help fight off anemia (a condition prevalent among vegetarians and vegans), and they’re also low on the glycemic index. That means they cause blood sugar to spike less quickly than other starches, so our energy lasts longer.

I hope this list of power foods has given you some new ideas to try in the kitchen and plenty of inspiration for further exploration. If there’s one thing I want to clarify, these are just starting points. There are so many unique foods out there, and I encourage you to keep exploring them—both in terms of what new things you can add to your diet and how they can be incorporated into recipes!

Anyone can start eating better today by checking for nutrient-dense ingredients while ensuring they’re not loaded with calories or saturated fats (or both).

Check out my recipes. You will find the majority of my recipes are based on power foods.

What Is a Mediterranean Diet?

Blueberry Smoothie

Quinoa with Berries for Breakfast

For more information: https://www.webmd.com/diet/superfoods-for-health