Often in our search for a healthier self the first place we start to look at is the kinds of foods we consume. Are they too high in sugar? too many carbs? too much fat? A word that keeps showing up is 'variety'. What does this mean? What is the importance of variety in your diet? Why can't we just find some healthy foods that we like to eat and then eat them all the time? Well, although it is good to have a base of healthy foods in your diet, the only way to ensure a broad spectrum of nutrients and minerals is with variety. For example, Wild Alaskan Salmon in an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, but contains no bromelain. Pineapple, contains no omega 3 fatty acids, but does have an abundance of bromelain. To ensure a wide variety of beneficial foods and healthy portions of each food in our daily diet, we should use the food pyramid as a guide.
We should be consuming:
To help you find the health benefits of certain foods, and add variety in your diet, here is a quick break down: These can all be found year round at www.nwwildfoods.com
Lingonberries: Are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium and powerful antioxidant compounds. It is believed to have anti cancer, diabetes, macular degeneration, heart disease properties as well as promoting immune health
Wild Huckleberries: Are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, calcium and potassium. They are known to have anti cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and glaucoma properties, as well as potentially slowing age related degeneration and promoting immune health.
Elderberries: Elderberries are an excellent source of Vitamin B6, anthocyanins, flavonoids, potassium and iron. They are known to help fight off depression, reducing sinus swelling and inflammation, and helping prevent stroke and heart disease.
Pineapple: Is an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folate, and pantothenic acid; which help aid with immune function as well as bone, hair and vision health among other things.
Cherries: Cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, anthocyanin, melatonin and cyanidin. These are associated with anti cancer, anti inflammation and pro immune health and sleep regulatory properties.
Aronia Berries: Are an excellent source of anthoncyanins, vitamin C, fiber and other powerful antioxidants which are known to help promote colon health as well as helping aid against cancers and age degeneration.
Black Raspberries: Contain phenolic compounds such as ellagic acis, gallic acid, and rutin, as well as high levels of anthonyanins. These properties are known to help prevent cancer, stroke, heart disease and possibly alzheimers, while helping promote anti inflammatory processes, healthy vision, cardiovascular health and memory retention.
Pomegranate Arils: An excellent source of rich antioxidant properties. High in viatmin C and K, as well as polyphenols, tannins, quercetin and anthocyanins. This fibrous snack promotes immune, bone, and blood health, as well as regularity, while potentially helping inhibit breast, colon, and prostate cancer and leukemia.
Goji Berries: Goji berries are one of the highest sources of antioxidants. More vitamin C per ounce than an orange ( for immune system health). Goji berries are extremely high in protein (great for skin, nails, hair and bones) and essential fatty acids (to promote weight loss). They are also packed with vitamin E and B vitamins B1, B2 and B6 (help to retain better memory function and eye health).
Almonds: Are an excellent source of fiber, fat, magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
Pecans: Pecans have the highest antioxidant value (ORAC) of any tree nut making them a true superfood. They contain over 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. These combined help promote digestive, heart, bone and teeth health, while exhibiting anti inflammatory properties and reducing the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and breast cancer.
Walnuts: Walnuts are high in protein, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, trace minerals, lecithin and oils. They also have very little sodium and are cholesterol free. And to top it off walnuts are rich in magnesium, phosphorus and iron. All elements combined help promote health benefits ranging from weight management to prevention and slowing of various cancers, heart disease and other common health issues.
Oyster Mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and possess natural anti-bacterial properties. They are also a good source of B vitamins, protein, copper, potassium, zinc and selenium. All essential minerals to a healthy diet. These mushrooms are high in dietary fiber and low in both saturated and unsaturated fat. Dietary fiber helps stimulate digestion, relieving constipation problems.
Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of copper, pantothenic acid, selenium, manganese, fiber folate and vitamins D, B2, B3 and B6. These help support strong immune and heart health while showing anti cancer and anti viral and anti inflammatory properties (and strangely enough anti fungal as well).
Wild Alaskan King Salmon: Wild salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, protein, Vitamins A, D, B6, B, and E, as well as smaller amounts of caliums, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. These combined help promote immune, heart, blood and brain health, while helping reduce the risk of stroke and symptoms associated with immune disease such as arthritis.\
Wild Alaskan Halibut: Wild halibut is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, phosphorous, Vitamins A, B6, B12, selenium, calcium, iron and zinc. These combined help promote strong anti inflammatory properties with excellent blood and brain health, while reducing the risk of strokes and liver disease.
Looking for a delicious path to a healthier you?
You can find year round: