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9 Power Foods for Your Health and Body

Winter's coming to an end and those big, bulky sweaters will be coming off. No more excuses to hide your body and camouflage those excess pounds. But that doesn't mean deprivation; you can still eat and enjoy it. Just be sure to cut out the excess sugars, bad fats, and unneeded calories and swap in these 9 tasty and good-for-you power foods. You'll feel terrific, look better than ever, and have more energy to do the things you love. Get eating!

1. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are a must for a healthy body. Rich in micronutrients, fiber, vitamins, protein, and essential fatty acids, these little gems will help keep your health in check. They are great for healthy skin and hair and can even aid in weight loss. Sprinkle some over your oatmeal, swirl into yogurt, or toss some onto a fresh salad. They're about the size of sesame seeds but their benefits are huge!

2. Almonds

Not only are almonds crunchy and delicious, they are also so good for you. They are rich in vitamin E, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These nuts are a great source of protein and can help in lowering cholesterol. Heart-healthy and useful in blood sugar balance, almonds are the perfect on-the-go snack. Grab a handful or incorporate into your favorite recipes.

3. Kiwi

Did you know kiwifruit has more vitamin C than an orange? The fuzzy green fruit is also high in vitamin K and E and is a great source of fiber. They are low-calorie yet sweet as can be. Dice some up in a fruit salad, add to your cereal, use in salads, or enjoy on their own.

4. Broccoli

Whether you like it raw or steamed, broccoli is a low-calorie, high-nutrient veggie that everyone can benefit from. It's super high-fiber, rich in potassium and vitamin C and A, and supplies the body with healthy antioxidants. Dip some in low-fat dressing, steam with chicken or fish and whole grain rice, or even blend into a smoothie.

5. Salmon

Get your fix of protein and omega-3 fatty acids by enjoying salmon regularly. Salmon can help with inflammation, brain functioning, and helps with heart health. Go for canned salmon, fillets, or even cured or smoked salmon or lox. It's so delicious you'll forget how well it's treating your body.

6. Blueberries

While small in size, the benefits of blueberries pack a punch. These little berries are low-cal, high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B6. Blueberries can help lower cholesterol and are high in antioxidants. Eat them as nature intended or add into recipes to suit your taste. You can eat so many and they won't bust your diet.

7. Bananas

Go bananas for bananas. They will give your body a healthy dose of potassium and vitamin B6. Bananas aid in proper digestion and keep blood sugar levels in check. They fill you up for about 100 calories and are as sweet as candy. Eat them plain, dice into a bowl of cereal, use in smoothie recipes, baking, and more.

8. Black Beans

You've heard beans are good for your heart before, because they are! Black beans help lower cholesterol. They are super high in fiber, aiding in digestive health. Black beans are a great source of protein and are versatile when it comes to eating them. Use in salads, stews, dips, chili, soups and more. So tasty, filling, and healthy.

9. Yogurt

Go for plain, unsweetened yogurt for the best in health benefits. Yogurt is rich in calcium and protein, and is full of vitamins and potassium. Probiotics help keep the digestive tract healthy and has even been known to prevent high blood pressure. It's filling and fresh and can be enjoyed as is or in smoothies, dips, and salad dressings. Toss in some fresh fruit, nuts, and flax seeds for a superfood snack experience!

Feeling hungry for something healthy? Toss out the cakes and cookies and move on to something your body will thank you for!

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