Decoding some nutrition terminology:
ANTHOCYANINS: It's the pigments that give plants their vibrant blue, red and violet hues. Foods rich in anthocyanins have been linked to disease prevention. You can find it in deep colored fruits and vegetables such as berries, red onion, eggplant, red cabbage, red grapes and plums.
MUFAs (Monounsaturated Fats): Commonly referred to as "healthy fats" that can help reduce cholesterol, improve heart health and provide nutrients like vitamin E. Healthy fats should make up about 35% of your daily caloric intake. Get them from olive oil, seeds, nuts and avocado.
ENZYMES: Substances that speed up chemical reactions in the body, such as digestion and absorption of carbs, proteins and fats. Raw fruits and vegetables, especially pineapple and papaya, are rich in digestive enzymes, as well as ginger root, peppermint and fennel.
GLYCEMIC INDEX: A scale that measures how fast and how high a food raises your blood sugar levels. Eating low GI foods may help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. Foods with a rating of 55 or les are considered low, whereas 70 or more is considered high.
Stick to unprocessed foods and carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, sproouted grain bread, quinoa, barley, legumes such as lentils and chickpeas, as well as fresh produce. For more info, go to glycemicindex.com
AMINO ACIDS: Considered the "building blocks" of protein, they are critical for human functions such as growth, digestion and repairing body tissue. Essential amino acids must come from foods. Get all nine essential amino acids from protein sources such as meat, fish, dairy, nuts and even quinoa.