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"Superfoods" You Might Not Know About

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Television personality and AZfoothills.com columnist Nadine Toren is scouring the area, finding savvy Valley features, bringing readers “on the scene.” Every day she’ll introduce you to celebrities, athletes, and give you an inside look into local events and hot spots. She'll touch on topical issues, and keep AZ fans posted on all the big talkers around town.

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Get ready to ditch holiday weight-gain.  We have unique foods you'll want to fill up on.

The season is starting,

 and all through the night,

 trick-or-treaters gear up for a fatty fright.

 From Kit-Kats to Resse’s, Snickers to Twix,

 Calories galore quickly add to the mix.

 So to battle the bulge on Halloween night,

 Consider this: “Superfoods,” you’ll want to delight.

 Yep, we’re dishing the scoop on super healthy eats,

 Things you’ll want to fill up on instead of holiday sweets.

OK, forget the poem, let’s get down to the unfortunate business—Halloween candy will surely burden your bikini body.  Thought those mini Resse’s were innocent? Well, five of them will cost you 220 calories.  And don’t go breaking any Kit-Kat bars; snacking on them will break the scale--each pack is 210 calories.  Knowing this got me thinking—what are the foods we SHOULD eat to maintain a slim physique throughout the holiday season? 

Turns out, there are certain foods that help aid in weight-loss.  We all know the typical suggestions like leafy greens and lean meat, but with the help of Google, I found good foods you might not think of that keep you nice and healthy.

The first is quinoa, a healthy grain that has a rice-like taste and texture.  The fiber-enriched “superfood” helps curb your hunger, keeping your satisfied for hours.  It’s also a great source of protein, served best as a pasta replacement.

Next, steak—especially for the ladies.  (Didn’t think red meat would make the list, did you?)  Well, according to a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women on a diet that included steak lost more weight than those who didn’t.  The protein helps retain muscle mass.

Like steak, eggs (yolk and all!) also helps trim pounds.  The protein in eggs keep you full; in turn, you won’t eat as much throughout the day.  In fact, Scottsdale fitness trainer Jeremy Scott says eggs are the most important food to add to your diet.  They also promote healthy hair and nails. 

You’ll also want to add kale to your grocery shopping list—it’s a great green to befriend.  You can eat this spinach-like-leaf chopped raw or cooked…it offers a solid dose of fiber, iron, and calcium.

Goji berries are another “superfood” you may have never heard of.  They’re tart in taste, but curb your appetite more than any other fruit.  That’s because they have 18 amino acids, sporting a surprising amount of protein.  (Only 35 calories per tablespoon!)

And instead of peanut butter, go with almond.  Adding this savory spread to your diet is a delicious alternative to your typical PB & J.  It’s heart-healthy, helps lower your blood pressure, is rich in antioxidants, and aids in weight control. 

Another great eat is chilies—the sizzling spice is a major metabolism booster!  In fact, a component in chilies has a super cool effect that causes the body to burn extra calories after you eat them.  That, according to many nutritionists. 

Here’s one that might make many of us cringe: sardines.  Yep, the tiny fish is loaded with protein and omega-3s, helping the body maintain muscle.  They’re actually low in mercury and high in calcium.  (And if you don’t like the taste, soak them in milk beforehand—it removes that fishiness taste.)

Finally, one of my personal faves: avocados.  Don’t let their fat content scare you away--each avo has about 29 grams.  The yummy fruit keeps you satisfied, offering an array of heart-healthy nutrients.

Moral of the story, trade in Halloween sweets for “superfoods;” there’s simply nothing sexy about trick-or-treating aftermath. 

rsz nadine

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