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10 Foods to Health Up Your Family (page 2)

10 Foods to Health Up Your Family

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Updated on Apr 22, 2011

What to Eat: Blueberries

Blueberries are a great on-the-go snack, on their own or with some seeds, nuts or other berries.

What It Does: These small blue fruits are throwing a nutrient party: they’re a good source of vitamin C, fiber and manganese. Vitamin C is known to help our immune systems, but also helps our bodies absorb iron. And manganese is an essential nutrient that plays a role in forming bones, and metabolizing fats and proteins.

Mix It Up: Throw some blueberries on a salad for a boost of fresh flavor. They can also go in hot or cold cereals to brighten up the morning, or smoothies for on-the-go. And of course they’re great as part of a dessert. The next time you bake a cake think about mixing blueberries into the batter. It’ll add moistness to the cake, too.

What to Eat: Beans (Black or Kidney)

In general, beans are a great food. They’re a source of iron and calcium, and are low fat. Beans are a good source of fiber, too.

What It Does: Other reasons fiber is good for you? A little fiber in your diet promotes a healthy digestive system, and helps control blood sugar levels which is important for diabetics. Our body is busy as bees creating new cells - skin, hair, etc. Folate, which you can get from beans, helps it create those cells.

Mix It Up: Try adding kidney beans to soup, or top off tacos or nachos with black beans. They’re both great as a simple side dish, or as part of a burrito, wrap or salad. If using canned beans rinse them with water to wash off excess sodium.

What to Eat: Almonds

They might make you think of trail mix, but almonds are one versatile nut to crack (no actual cracking required).

What It Does: Rich in monounsaturated fat, calcium, iron and vitamin E, almonds have a little something for the whole body, from your heart, to healthy skin and bones.

Mix It Up: A handful is great for a quick snack, but you can throw them into salads too, crush them up and sprinkle them on top of a bowl of soup or top off a casserole.

What to Eat: Sweet Potatoes

They’re as easy to prepare as a regular potato and packed with even more benefits.

What It Does: The sweet potato has a low glycemic index rating which means it digests slowly, raising blood sugar gradually and leaving you feeling “full” longer. These little orange power houses are a great source of beta-carotene, anti-oxidants, B-complex vitamins, manganese and potassium.

Mix It Up:  They can replace potatoes in almost every instance, from french fries to casseroles. Try this recipe idea for sweet potato fries with garlic aoili dipping sauce.

What to Eat: Avocados

Their creamy texture make avocados stand out already, but they’re in the spotlight for lots of healthy reasons, too.

What It Does: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Avocados are loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and folate. They're also cholesterol and sodium free.” And they’re a source of monounsaturated fat, which is healthier for your heart than saturated fats.

Mix It Up: Avocados are a great add to sandwiches, burgers, salads. And many people are familiar with them through guacamole, which is really easy to make fresh on the spot at home. Guacamole is a great vegetable dip for carrot and celery sticks, too.

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