There is a plethora of information about super foods and what you should be eating to be healthy, live longer, have good brain health and more.  You probably already know that avocado is a nutrient superstar, full of healthy monounsaturated fat and linked to successful weight loss.  Dark chocolate is another food celebrity loaded with antioxidants and a protective agent against heart disease.  Let’s talk about some of the unexpected foods that have health benefits that you might not be eating.

Embrace egg yolks! Eggs are a misunderstood fat-rich food that’s an incredible source of vitamin A, B vitamins, and selenium.  The deep orange color in the yolks of pastured raised chickens contains vitamin D and antioxidants.  The Lexicon of Food defines pasture raised as chickens, cows, pigs and other livestock raised on pasture with access to shelter.  Pasture raised livestock, preferably locally sourced, provides more nutrients that conventionally raised livestock. So, skip the egg white omelet and enjoy flavorful, healthy eggs from a pasture raised chicken.

Bring home the bacon.  High quality, pastured raised bacon contains a nutrient called choline, which has been shown to help fight off chronic mental impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease.  Bacon is also a good source of some B vitamins and zinc which can aid in reducing anxiety. Of course, it is a food to be enjoyed in moderation, but do enjoy it!

Eat better butter.  Butter is a much healthier fat than most people realize, particularly if it comes from grass fed cows.  The dietary fat from pastured cows contains higher levels of a fat-soluble vitamin that deposits calcium into your bones and removes it from your arteries. This kind of saturated fat is also much safer than fats that come from industrially produced vegetable and seed oils.

The bottom line for eating is this:  Eating healthy is not a matter of restricting what you eat, but choosing the highest quality foods to eat as part of a balanced diet.  I suspect that all those farm house meals that our families ate in the agricultural era were not bad for us, because they were fresh off the farm.  While industrialized farming brought more food to more people, it did so at the expense of taking away many of the beneficial qualities that our food naturally possessed.  An important component to eating well now is a matter of selecting our food based on how it is raised or grown.

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.