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Super foods could benefit your health

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There’s a big chance that many students have already fallen victim to the persisting illnesses that come around this time of year: colds and the big one, the flu. Nobody wants to fall behind in their studies because they caught the dreadful flu that could have been prevented in the first place.

We know that prevention is the best method for fighting the flu and other sicknesses, but in what ways do students prevent catching the bug? Many go out and buy supplements and multivitamins to try to build up their immune system. Some will go to the doctor for a flu shot, but the true method of prevention lies with what people are putting in their bodies as fuel. Preventing sickness goes hand in hand with what food you are consuming.

“You don’t want to catch anything bad,” said 18-year-old medical assisting major Liz Rosario. She said that she actively tries to eat healthier foods in order to keep herself from getting ill. “Do something small, at least.”

Cosumnes River College’s nutrition professor Timaree Hagenburger is a registered dietician with a Master’s Degree in Public Health with her own website dedicated to nutrition and healthy eating called The Nutrition Professor. She also has a monthly column in the Lodi News Sentinel and is a guest contributor for The Stockton Record. Hagenburger delved into how “superfoods” are beneficial and necessary for our bodies’ wellness.

“‘Superfoods’ are foods that provide more than just the calories, carbs, proteins and fats that our bodies need. They contain phytonutrients that literally fight for your health,” Hagenburger said.

Hagenburger mentioned a very well-known MD from the east coast of California named Joel Fuhrman, who classifies superfoods into an acronym called GBOMBS, which are the most potent form of superfoods that fight diseases, reduce the risk of cancer and elevate your body’s overall nutrition. The acronym stands for greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds.

“These are the types of food that are going to elevate your body on a cellular level,” Hagenburger said. “Adding each of those to your diet is going to be very easy.”

Many students think that buying food that is good for you is going to break the bank or they don’t have time to be making meals at home with all their studying and school work. Hagenburger explained that in reality, it is actually cheaper to buy these foods compared to buying fast food or eating out every day and making one crockpot meal can make a meal that will last an entire week, saving a lot more time than one would think.

“A fast food meal can cost anywhere from $5 to $10, while you can get three different fruits or vegetables at the grocery store for that amount. While you are studying at night, take thirty minutes to cut up some vegetables, open a can of beans and broth, and cook overnight to make a crockpot of soup that will last you a week,” Hagenburger said.

Hagenburger gave suggestions to stepping up your nutrition game in ways are that extremely easy and fast. If you get a sandwich from Subway, get spinach on it instead of iceberg lettuce for no additional charge. If you are in a hurry and make oatmeal for breakfast, add some frozen berries to it. These are all easy ways to elevate your nutrition.

“I have students who take my nutrition class and experiment with these foods and the number one response I get from them is that they have more energy,” Hagenburger said. “They no longer need naps during the day or fall asleep in class and it makes them want to start exercising.”

Not only do students start doing better in school and getting better grades from the energy they gain, but behind the scenes, their bodies are being protected against viruses, heart disease, cancer, lung disease and high blood pressure, Hagenburger said.

Some students, like 18-year-old undeclared major Michael Sterk, say that it’s worth the cost. “If they have obvious benefits, then yes,” said Sterk. He said that if the health benefits are guaranteed, then superfoods are worth the increased cost.

If you would like to see easy and healthy recipes that contain superfoods, then visit Hagenburger’s website “thenutritionprofessor.com”.

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Super foods could benefit your health