Fiorella DiCarlo's Take Your Body to the Next Level

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

5 Top Mega Foods That Can Boost Your Health

With the new year rolling around, I know that many of you have resolved to take this opportunity to lose some extra pounds and become more healthy. Remember that with any goal, preparation is key.

I have compiled some information on my top five foods that will maximize your nutritional efforts. They will boost immunity, raise your metabolism and help you lose weight. I keep these items in the fridge and I eat them every day.

Stock up for yourselves and reap the benefits!

1. YOGURT- This fermented dairy product is made by adding bacterial cultures to milk which causes the transformation of the milk’s sugar (lactose) to lactic acid. This makes it a great choice for people who are lactose intolerant. The yogurt is also filled with calcium and b-vitamins that boost your immune system. It’s main function however, is to create a balanced ‘gut flora” when our systems have been thrown off balance by alcohol, antibiotics, toxic substances and stress.

The “probiotic” effect of the yogurt reduces the growth of harmful bacteria in your intestines and has been shown to help irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and improve regularity.

I eat yogurt almost everyday, I stick with plain unsweetened low fat or full fat yogurt. The added sugar in most yogurts will counteract it’s cleansing effects, so look for brands with no added sugar and for cultures such as Lb acidophilus or Lb bulgaricus.

You can freeze it, toss fruit or cereal or add it to a healthy shake.

2. EGGS- Of the nine essential amino acids that the body can not produce on its own, the egg contains them all, which makes this little guy a “complete protein”. This nutrient dense food is filled with b-vitamins, selenium and choline
(which helps developing brains in utero.)

With only 80 calories per egg, 5 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein, it is an excellent snack or meal. Try to mix egg whites and whole eggs together to keep the calories in check while still reaping the benefits of all the vitamins found in the yoke.

Eggs became my best friend while training for my Hawaiian Tropic competitions. They are also very versatile and can be used in frittatas, omelets, and egg salads. Try them hard-boiled as a portable snack.

3. GREEN TEA- Drink it hot or cold or taken in supplement form, this antioxidant rich food is rich in polyphenols and catechins. It has been shown to have antibacterial and
anti inflammatory properties that enhance your immune system.

Best of all, It has been shown to boost your metabolism when combined with caffeine. New studies show that adding citrus to the tea enhances the absorption of the polyphenols in your body. Substitute your coffee with green tea daily or try green tea supplements.

4. BERRIES- These antioxidant superstars are bursting with flavor and powerful vitamins.The top three most powerful berries are: cranberries, blueberries and blackberries. Each of these berries are considered a low sugar fruit and filled with natural fiber.

They are naturally low in calories and high in Vitamin C. I top my yogurts, cereals and cottage cheese with these delicious berries. Fresh is best but frozen will do when they are not in season. New studies show that ripe fruit has the same or more antioxidant power, so don’t throw away fruit that you think is too ripe.

5. HIGH FIBER CEREAL- This exceptional food is my go- to cleansing system. The fiber promotes wavelike contractions that sweep out harmful substances from your intestines and keeps you regular. Fiber keeps your blood sugar levels low and helps you feel full longer.

Studies also show that fiber slows fat absorption in your body and fat is carried out in your stools more than with any other food. Of course all fiber rich foods work in the same way but I suggest high fiber cereals like ALL-BRAN or FIBER ONE because they have the highest grams of fiber per serving, a whopping 26 grams per cup.

Since you should aim for 25-35 grams of fiber per day, you see why the cereal comes highly recommended. Adding fruit or Splenda makes this cereal more tasty but if it is not your thing, try adding wheat germ or bran flakes to your regular cereal.

All these foods have always brought me results, they are no nonsense, high impact foods with immediate effects. Keep them in your arsenal at all times to battle your weight loss goals.

Fiorella

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