With less than a week to go (the Office Challenge ends Friday!), our contestants are in crunch mode. But in today’s nutrition webinar with UnitedHealthcare’s wellness director Andie Rowe, they received an important reminder: Wellness is about long-haul changes, not lose-weight-quick diets and numbers on a scale. She encouraged our players to carry the lessons they’ve learned in the Office Challenge far beyond the contest deadline.
So she talked super foods, ones that pack extra punches with loads of healthy fats, fiber and free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Getting into the practice of incorporating these foods into your diet now, she says, can add up to years of good health later. Diets rich in things like fruits, veggies, seeds and fish may help protect against some chronic diseases and promote good heart health—both keys to long, healthy lives.
Here are the super foods Andie recommends most:
• Avocado: High in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which may help lower cholesterol. Andie says it’s a good substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches.
• Apples: A good source of vitamin C and hunger-curbing dietary fiber.
• Berries: Good sources of flavonoids, which help prevent inflammation and protect cells from oxygen damage. Buy them frozen, and blend for a quick and easy smoothie.
• Broccoli: Another vitamin C source (who’da thunk?). Also good for lutein, which promotes good eye health.
• Salmon: Good for a dose of selenium, which decreases joint inflammation, and omega-3s.
• Beans: You’ll find flavonoids and loads of fiber and protein in beans.
• Mushrooms: Another source of selenium and B vitamins.
• Nuts: Vitamin E, an antioxidant, is the winner here. Andie likes walnuts and almonds most.
• Quinoa: An ancient grain making a comeback, quinoa packs loads of protein. Bonus: It’s gluten-free.
• Pomegranates: Eat the seeds for the flavonoids—and, of course, the delicious taste.
>> See also: Vitamin Guide