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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

8 Healthy Foods - Weekly Meal Plans

If you have a choice (and availability) - your food is preferably of organic origin (certified). And your poultry/meats are ideally grass fed, free range, etc... If not, just do the best you can to incorporate organic versions of not just the following - but all of the foods (and beverages) you consume as part of your regular diet.

1 - Bananas
This is one of my all time favorites - and I eat one every day. Bananas are a great source of magnesium (good for your bones and heart health) - and they are loaded with potassium (about 400 milligrams in a medium one). This is good since we are supposed to get close to 5,000 milligrams of potassium per day. Remember, potassium helps regulate blood pressure, fights bone loss and reduces your risk of kidney stones.

2 - Brown Rice
The difference between white rice and brown rice is not the color. White rice is brown rice AFTER it has been processed and devalued. Unlike white rice, brown rice is a true whole grain - because it still has the bran and germ of the natural grain. So you get the true 'whole grain' benefits - and about 10 times as much body-benefiting potassium and phosphorus.

3 - Bran
Either as cold cereal or hot cereal - bran kicks butt (I love oat bran cooked in water for breakfast [around 11:30am] with a medium banana, and 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed).

What do you get? A very nice dose of fiber, magnesium - and some VERY good quality carbohydrates.

4 - Brussel(s) Sprouts
Just 4 of these natural powerhouses gives you about 240 micrograms of vitamin K - which is twice the measly amount the average person gets in a full day. And trust me - you NEED vitamin K.

5 - Beef (Eye of Round is good)
Red meat is not evil - unless you are eating half a pound every day...

A 3 ounce serving of high quality beef gives you a body toning and strengthening dose of protein - at only 160 calories.

What else do you get from 'the beef'? Zinc and vitamin B6 - two more essential elements you need to function optimally

6 - Broccoli
Yes - its STILL good for you... - As one of the top 'dark green vegetables' - you want to find a way to get this on your dinner table a few times a week if you are interested in reducing your chances of getting cancer - just to name a few...

7 - Blueberries
..VERY high in antioxidants ...boost your brain function ...helps lower cholesterol ...loaded with vitamin K ...may help prevent osteoporosis ...prevents hardening of the arteries ...loaded with fiber ...should I keep going?

8 - Barley
Pearl barley has the outer husk removed - so DON'T eat it. You want WHOLE GRAIN barley - which still has the valuable husk. We all know the benefits of true whole grains - so no need for me to rehash here. You can also try bulgar or buckwheat groats (kasha) - as they are also nutrient packed whole grains.

There you have it - 8 simple, widely available foods you can include in your long term meal plans for optimal health and energetic fitness.