Monday, November 5, 2012

Low-Calorie, Vitamin Rich

Some of the most versatile foods are also the best for you. I’ll confess I wasn’t much of a veggie eater until recently. I grew up eating mostly frozen and canned veggies, which, let’s face it, are usually lacking. I never realized how much I was missing out on—both in taste and in substance—until I finally started cooking for myself. For me, using fresh veggies is not only easier, but it tastes a heck of a lot better in whatever I’m making. Here are some of my favorite low-calorie superfoods to use:
Coffee can help prevent liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. It also speeds up your metabolism and helps burn excess fat.
Coffee helps prevent cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.
It also speeds up your metabolism and helps burn excess fat.
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Arugula4 calories per cup. A peppery leafy green packed with fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C, and K, and loads of other nutrients.
  2. Asparagus27 calories per cup. Don’t overcook it! A detoxifying food that flushes out your system and contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, folate, iron, copper, and protein.
  3. Broccoli31 calories per cup. A nice, crunchy green with plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that could help fight cancer.
  4. Brussels Sprouts38 calories per cup. Looks like little mini lettuce-heads. Packed with phytonutrients and fiber and can help prevent cancer. I like them with their stems cut off and steamed with a few spices.
  5. Beets37 calories per ½ cup. Red or gold, they have a nice earthy sweetness. Lots of antioxidants for fighting cancer, as well as iron, fiber, folate, and potassium.
  6. Coffee (black)0 calories per cup. Without all the sweeteners, black coffee can help reduce risk of liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s. It also speeds up your metabolism and helps your body burn fat.
  7. Grapefruit39 calories per half fruit. Great for heart health. Lots of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, pectin, vitamin A, and lycopene.
  8. Kale5 calories per cup. Many think it might be the healthiest food around. It contains cancer-preventing phytonutrients, B vitamins, folic acid, and manganese.
  9. Garlic4 calories per clove. It can help fight colds, cancer, and UTIs (not to mention vampires!).
  10. Tea0 calories per cup. Straight tea (without sugar, etc.) contains antioxidants that help fight cancer and other diseases. It may also lower cholesterol, prevent osteoporosis, and keep our brains nimble.
  11. Berries32 calories per ½ cup. Whatever kind you like, berries area all full of anti-inflammatories that reduce your chances of getting cancer or heart disease. They’re also packed with antioxidants.
  12. Carrots22 calories per ½ cup. They’re also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Lots of good vitamins and minerals, too: thiamin, niacin, B6, folate, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Berries are a powerful source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They can also help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Berries are a powerful source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
They can also help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Image: Shutterstock
Believe me, the list could go on… and on. These are just my favorites. I use most of them on a weekly basis—and now I’m hooked. They taste better and are better for me. But the big thing is that feel better eating fresh, pure, raw foods. What are your favorite superfoods?
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