What’s So Super About Superfoods?

12 Apr

Based on the comments from yesterday, I am going to give quinoa a try.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  :)

source

If you do a Google search on superfoods, you can come up with a pretty extensive list of good-for-you foods that deliver some amazing health benefits.  I was curious, though, what it is about these foods that makes them so super?  Why are they better than some other foods that many people think are healthy choices?  Let’s take a look at four of the most common superfoods.

One of the foods that shows up near the top of almost every list I found is blueberries.  This made me very happy because I love blueberries!  I love blueberry muffins, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry streusel, blueberry cobbler, blueberry pancakes….  ;)  Why are blueberries so good for us?  Blueberries contain antioxidants and phytoflavinoids.  Phyto what?  Phytoflavinoids apparently are compounds protect your body from stress.  Well, we certainly need that, don’t we??  :)  In addition, blueberries are high in potassium and vitamin C and can reduce inflammation, which is considered by many to be the cause behind many chronic diseases.  Blueberries can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and can help improve your memory.  Those of us who have dealt with chemo brain need all the help we can get in that area.  Can I get an Amen?

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a list that does not include salmon.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit this.  Salmon has never, ever crossed my lips and entered my mouth.  Ever.  It’s possible I’ve tasted a salmon patty before, but never in it’s pure form.  I don’t know why.  I think there’s something about the name that I don’t like.  I also think it has something to do with the thickness of the fish because anytime I see salmon, it’s always cut pretty thick.  I don’t like thick fish.  Yes, I’m weird like that.  BUT.  I am determined to give it a try because I hear so many good things about it.  We all know that Omega-3 fatty acids are good for us and salmon contains two kinds of Omega-3s.  Salmon is good for your heart, joints, mood, and memory.  It’s important, though, to eat wild salmon.  The farm-raised kind does not come with the same benefits.

Green tea is another superfood with benefits related to preventing, or at least inhibiting, cancer.  Studies in the United Kingdom and Spain have shown that the antioxidant, EGCG, that is found in green tea can hinder the growth of cancer cells.  That same antioxidant is also proven to lower cholesterol and can possibly help to ward off diabetes, stroke, and dementia.  Barry and I tried some hot green tea a few months ago and I can say I was not a huge fan.  We also tried cold green tea (I think it was one of the Lipton varieties) and, while it was better than the hot, it was not one of my favorite beverages.  Maybe it’s an acquired taste?

If you want a powerful cancer fighting weapon, look no further than the mighty broccoli sprout.  Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable (just like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, and cabbage) and is thought to possibly help in preventing breast cancer because it limits excess estrogen.  It is a low-calorie, fiber-rich veggie that helps to make you feel full and stay feeling full which can help you lose weight.  And maintaining a healthy weight is an important component in the fight against cancer (and many other diseases).  The whole broccoli spear is healthy, but if you want to really get more bang for your bite, eat the broccoli sprout.  These little guys have – no lie – ten times the glucoraphanin (a cancer preventing compound) than the rest of the broccoli stalk.  I’m convinced – what about you?

This is just a preview of some of the impressive benefits of just four superfoods.  If you are interested in learning more about them, here are some additional resources:

What’s your favorite superfood?  Feel free to share a recipe if you have a great one.

♥ Rachel

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5 Responses to “What’s So Super About Superfoods?”

  1. Sarah Lawhorn April 12, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I have never liked salmon, but I found this pin on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/8092474300268530/) with simple directions to the PERFECT salmon. And it works EVERY TIME!! :) The key is starting with a cold oven. Let me know if you try it!

    P.S. See you Monday! :)

    • rachturner April 12, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      Interesting! Thanks for sharing the link – I think I’ll try this way.

  2. Susan April 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I like three out of four of your superfoods. Blueberries have not been a favorite of mine but I can eat them if mixed with other fruit. Salmon we have quite often, you can always slice in half a thick piece and open it up to make it thinner. We cook it several ways, but BBQ is the best. Broccoli is a standard in our house, boiled in hot water and taken out before it is soggy, quickly tossed in a fry pan with garlic and oyster sauce. Green tea has been a favorite of mine for a long time. So I think I am doing ok.:D Have a great day.

    • rachturner April 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      That’s a good idea about splitting the salmon, but I’m not sure I could do it. Just the idea of touching a fat piece of fish grosses me out! ha ha!

  3. m.c. April 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    one of our writers put together a list of 28 super foods! i think it’s pretty interesting. some ones on there that you wouldn’t think of like bok choy. http://www.chrisbyrnes.com/2012/04/13/the-28-healthiest-foods-on-earth/

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