By Ashley Mateo, SELF magazine
We're huge fans of Michaels:, so when the Biggest Loser trainer and Losing It with Jillian host speaks up, we listen. She Tweets about her workouts, her diet regimen and spends a lot of her time directly answering her followers specific questions. On Wednesday, she called attention to an article in the New York Times about rebranding fruits and vegetables.
Jillian Michaels: Do we really have to "rebrand" fruits and veggies to get people to eat them? Aren't great health and skinny jeans enough? Thoughts on this? What solutions do you have? http://fb.me/IEeMHIYH
Related: Find out how to get toned in just 20 minutes
Eating your fruits and veggies is a no-brainer, but too many people skip them for unhealthy food on the go. Here are some "super" ways to get your necessary 2-3 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit a day:
All berries are good for you, but blueberries are among the best of the bunch. They have the highest antioxidant level of all commonly consumed fruit. They also deliver 3.6 grams of fiber per cup.
Related: Try the best fruits and vegetables for fall
Goji berries have a hunger-curbing edge over other fruit: 18 amino acids, which make them a surprising source of protein. Snack on them midafternoon to stay satisfied until dinner. The calorie cost? Only 35 per tablespoon.
Like vino, the skin of fresh red grapes contains the protective chemical resveratrol, which may sharpen your brain and reduce your risk for both heart disease and cancer. "And there's no alcohol, which has been linked to certain cancers," Gerbstadt says. Pop a bunch for a ticker-saving dessert: Eating 1 to 2 cups of red and green grapes protects against the heart-harming effects of a fatty meal, a study in Vascular Pharmacology concludes.
The juice gets all the hype for being healthy, but pomegranate seeds deserve their own spotlight. In addition to being loaded with folate and disease-fighting antioxidants, they're low in calories and high in fiber, so they satisfy your sweet tooth without blowing your diet.
Related: Check out The Food Lover's Guide to Great Skin
An apple a day can keep weight gain at bay. People who chomped an apple before a pasta meal ate fewer calories overall than those who had a different snack. Plus, the antioxidants in apples may help prevent metabolic syndrome, a condition marked by excess belly fat or an "apple shape."
Long sidelined as a lowly garnish, kale belongs center stage on your plate. One raw chopped cup contains 34 calories and about 1.3 grams of fiber, as well as a hearty helping of iron and calcium.
The vegetable you hated as a kid could help restore your youthful glow. Brussels sprouts contain vitamin A to keep your immune system healthy and vitamin C to aid collagen building and fight wrinkles. Plus, they offer a phytonutrient that can help clear away carcinogenic substances in the body, says Keri Gans, R.D., spokeswoman in New York City for the ADA.
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
Be-leaf it! Women who ate more than three 3/4-cup servings of cabbage weekly slashed their breast cancer risk by 50 to 70 percent, a study from Michigan State University in East Lansing notes. Cabbage has phytochemicals that may ward off the disease. And it may lower your cholesterol nearly as much as oat bran, a study in Nutrition Research reveals.
Lend us an ear: Corn is healthful in all forms, be it baby corn or popcorn. Research from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, reveals that milled yellow corn products, such as cornmeal, grits and corn flour, are rich in the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants that protect your eyes and skin from UV damage.
Related: Clean up your diet with this seven-day plan!
Mellow out with this soothing snack. Pumpkin seeds are rich in the calming amino acid tryptophan. The seeds also deliver phytosterols that may help lower cholesterol and help fend off certain cancers. Smashing!
More From SELF:
- Hungry? Try one of these 30 healthy snacks
- Lose weight faster: 6 days to get slim
- Try these superfoods for flatter abs
Check out 10 ways to avoid germs at the gym
- Reach your weight loss goal with SELF's no-stress fitness plan
Photo Credit: NBC