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Heroes of health

Heroes of Health | Augusta Health Matters

Superfoods do everything from help us lose weight to improve our eyesight

We’ve all heard the term superfoods, but what exactly does it mean? It turns out these special foods, most of which are relatively common items in the grocery store, are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients that set them above and beyond their edible peers. Here are a few examples of these star players and what gives them this special status.

Almonds: Go nuts over almonds, as this superfood does so many wonderful things for our health. Almonds can prevent heart disease, protect against type 2 diabetes, help us lose weight, boost our energy levels and regulate our heartbeats.

>Try It Eat them on-the-go, or mix them into your morning yogurt or cereal.

Apples: These sweet-tasting fruits really do keep the doctor away. Why? They help lower cholesterol, promote bone health, prevent asthma and assist us in losing weight. Grab an apple when you head out the door today.

>Try It Dip apples into peanut butter, eat them with cottage cheese or make a pie with them. Anything goes with this plentiful fruit!

Beets: These bright-red vegetables may not make it onto your shopping list, but you may want to reconsider. They are a rich dietary sources of antioxidants and nitrates that might improve blood pressure and blood flow throughout the body. They offer a lot of carbohydrates, so they boost energy and they help protect us from cancer.

>Try It Beets provide a tasty and colorful addition to salads.

Kale: This superfood contains high amounts of phytochemicals that may help in preventing macular degeneration and cataracts. It may also help to combat many types of cancer, including breast cancer.

>Try It Next time you have the munchies, make some kale chips. You’ll get the crunch with some extra nutritional value.

Mushrooms: Believe it or not, this well-known food is a member of the fungi family. But don’t let this fact stop you from indulging. To the contrary, mushrooms contain selenium, an antioxidant that helps to control damage done by free radicals. This, in tandem with its vitamin E, works to protect cells and reduce signs of aging. Mushrooms also provide potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure; and because they don’t have a lot of calories but lots of nutrients, they help to control our weight.

>Try It Next time you make a hamburger, load it up with mushrooms.