10 Everyday Superfoods

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This was the headline on the front page of the search engine site I use. I couldn’t resist so I clicked on the link, and was ready to update my pantry if I was promised longevity, a slimmer waist line and good health. I was also curious to see what today’s superfoods were, because I am pretty sure that I read a similar list less than a month ago.

Here are the top 10 superfoods according to 50plus.com:

1. Quinoa: This is a grain. And I bet not a common everyday staple for most, however, it is a fantastic tasting food that you should try. Chock full of magnesium, vitamin E, fiber and essential amino acids, it can be added to salads, soups and stews and can be used in place of couscous.

2. Cranberries: Just the other day another study was published touting the prevention of urinary tract infections with the consumption of cranberry juice. Whether you drink the juice, eat the dried forms, or add them to baked goods, you can rest assure that you are getting lots of vitamins C and A, and fiber.

3. Pumpkin:  Its orange color is what makes this gourd an antioxidant powerhouse. Beta Carotene is just one of the antioxidants that it provides. Available frozen and in cans, it can be added to baked goods, stews and soups to up the nutritional value.

4. Legumes: These would be your peas, beans, lentils. Readily found in bulk, soak them overnight and add them to whatever you are making for a source of iron, fiber, omega 6 and lots of other vitamins. Short on time, look for canned varieties that are sodium free.

5. Kale:  This is one of my favorites. Read Ellen’s blog about this great veggie. There are many different varieties and they are great sources of iron, A, C and K. They also contain indoles, compounds that are known to fight cancer.

6. Garlic: I am surprised that this made the list with the popularity of vampires these last few years.  Surprised, but happy. Garlic, along with chives, onions and leeks all belong to the allium family of vegetables. Not only useful for repelling those pesky vampires, but long touted for their heart healthy benefits.

7. Prunes: This is my son’s favorite food.  Not only are they great for keeping one regular, they are packed with cancer fighting antioxidants and also help with iron absorption and glucose metabolism.

8. Beets:  Those potent pigments are thought to help ward off certain cancers like colon cancer. They’re also high in folate (an essential B-vitamin) and manganese, and the betaine found in beets can help fight inflammation in the body. Do you want to know how slow or fast you are digesting your foods?  Eat some beets. If your GI tract is working optimally, you should see them in 2 to 3 hours.

9. Dark Chocolate: Need I say more? An ounce a day has antioxidants which help decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s also a great way to give our mood a little boost.

10. Spices: What you put on your food can be just as important as what you cook. For example, one teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as a serving of blueberries — making it a superfood favourite. Hot peppers (think cayenne or ground red pepper) contain capsaicin, another antioxidant which is thought to boost the metabolism. Allspice, cloves, ginger, oregano and sage are also packed full of antioxidants.

If you want the benefits of many of these foods but have a hard time getting them in your diet, many of the beneficial compounds they offer are available as supplements.

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December 2022