July 14, 2014

5 Superfoods That Aren’t Always on the List (but Should Be).

Photo: Leann Shamash on Pixoto.

Just as any change in our bodies or health can require a second look, so does this go-round of the super food list.

There are numerous foods out there that have evolved past the stage of almost being edible any more, what with the GMO stance and the changes to our growing food habits and patterning, but the Super foods craze can now be defined as any food that will change your life for the better.

Clearly, the only defense against free radicals is to adopt some super food into our regimen. They are whole foods, eating them equals a certain synergy in the body, they are simple and positive, and the most healthful diets in the world comprise one or many of these foods. These sources of nutrition will give you the utmost sense that the only thing standing in the way is your dietary beliefs and habits.

Food is an emotional subject. For some, it is an unmitigated pleasure. For others, it is a source of worry and confusion. Perhaps this list will give the impetus to try something new. So, without further hesitation I introduce a new set of these miraculous foods that have everything to do with bodily benefits, quality cooking, and never again steering your car into the McDonald’s parking lot.

1. Wild Salmon

This type of fat is not the murderous monster it is made out to be. As a matter of fact, a vegan might find the salmon-eater to be the murderous monster, yet this wild fish is loaded with marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, potassium, and protein. By including wild salmon in our diets a few times per week we might achieve optimal protection against a multitude of diseases that have been associated with low intakes of critical fats.

2. Beans

Black, adzuki, garbanzo, pinto, fava, navy, kidney, and Great Northern beans are just a sampling of how these fiber-packed morsels can add to main dishes, or be the center of attention themselves. Beans are a super heart-healthy food. They lower cholesterol levels, can be substituted for animal protein when used in combination with other foods to achieve a complete protein, and they are a quality source of the water soluble vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid). For those wishing to eliminate animal protein altogether, the humble bean is an excellent replacement for solid protein nourishment.

3. Pumpkin

Long considered a bit of a dark horse in the super food category, pumpkin seeds and puree are now considered to be one of the front runners that are chock full  of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, alpha-carotene, and magnesium. The pumpkin is one of the most nutritionally valuable foods known to man (or woman). It is not a vegetable either it is a fruit member of the gourd family. Most Native Americans cherished the pumpkin and used both flesh and seeds as a staple and one of their most reliable foods. Roasting, pureeing, making pudding or pie, the honorable pumpkin is a year-round delight.

4. Yogurt

One of the most important aspects of yogurt is the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that affect the gut (in a good way) by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of the beneficial bacteria in the colon. Probiotics are the live microorganisms that, when taken in proper amounts, can aid in promoting health and warding off disease and infections. Both are prominent in yogurt. The live cultures in yogurt are rich in promoting a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

5. Oranges

These were considered a “health food” way back in the day due to the fruits’ potent vitamin C content. No one seems to get too excited about oranges lately, as many other citrus fruits seem to have surpassed the buzz of eating an orange. But, bringing this delectable juicy fruit back to center stage as a crucial component of a healthy diet will help with vitamin C levels, fiber, pectin, folate, and potassium.

In the pulp of an orange alone there is twice the concentration of vitamin C versus the peel or the juice. Whenever you do purchase fresh orange juice, make sure that the pulp is included, as this is where the meat of the citrus matter is, so to speak.

Oranges carry anti-inflammatory properties, as well as help combat cancer, heart disease, and stroke. This list of super foods can be a focus for daily meals, or some of the foods used in combination with other sources of nutrition.

No eating plan will work if you don’t adapt it to your lifestyle. If you eat a healthy diet and incorporate any of the above super foods, the best part is that they can mitigate any damage done by some consistent bad stuff, like too many processed foods. Either way, being sensible and conscious of your eating habits during the day will keep the Super food category pleasurable and satisfying.



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Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Leann Shamash at Pixoto

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