You’ve heard of superfoods, right? Maybe you’re wondering what all the hype is about. I mean, are these foods wearing a cape and fighting crime under the cover of darkness? Well, sorta…except for the cape part. Superfoods are crimefighters for our bodies, if you consider cancer and other age related diseases criminals. Which I do, of course. These nutritional superstars help reduce inflammation, offer protection against heart disease, and support healthy immune function. Superfoods are first and foremost whole foods that are minimally processed, if at all. They are packed with wholesome nutrients, healthy fats, high quality proteins, and of course, antioxidants. More importantly, the claims about superfoods are also backed by fairly strong science. Best of all, you can find many of these superfoods in ready supply throughout the season at your favorite farmers market, ahem….
Top Ten Superfoods
10. Berries. Either fresh or frozen, healthy berries include raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Eat them as nature intended or toss them into smoothies, in fruit salads, with yogurt or baked into healthy desserts.
Elderberries are known for their anti-viral properties.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, phytoflavonoids, potassium and Vitamin C. They help reduce inflammation, heart disease risk and protect against certain cancers.
The antioxidant, anthrocyanins, found in dark blue and purple berries protect the micro-vascular system, including tiny blood vessels to the eyes. A half a cup a day of blueberries is often recommended by nutritionists.
9. Alliums. Garlic, onions, shallots, chives, scallions and leeks are familiar alliums. For me, these are culinary staples. I like to use them liberally in almost every meal I cook. These vegetables are rich in flavonoids that stimulate the liver to produce its most potent antioxidant, glutathione. Glutathione enhances elimination of carcinogens and toxins in the liver.
Garlic lowers blood clot risk. It encourages the immune system to produce more natural killer cells to fight infections and tumors. Garlic has both antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Onions are known for their heart-healthy benefits. They are a rich source of sulfur and the antioxidant quercetin.
8. Orange and Red Vegetables and Fruit. Peppers of all colors, melons, sweet potatoes, oranges, vine-ripened tomatoes and red cabbage are nutritional superstars.
Orange fruits and vegetables are rich sources of beta-carotene and Vitamin C.
Lycopene in tomatoes, especially when cooked, protects against various cancers, especially prostate cancer.
Carotenoids in pumpkins, sweet potatoes and carrots help the immune system defend against cancer and aging.Read More