Archive for the tag - superfood

These REAL Superfoods Will Shock You.

main_dandelion_thWhen you think of superfoods, do you think of… watercress?

Probably not. But maybe you should.

We hear the term superfood a lot. We generally think of superfoods as those foods with a higher density of critical nutrients like vitamins and minerals. But as it turns out, no federal agency has defined the term superfood. In other words, marketers are free to use it on product packaging at their own discretion.

Marketers have successfully positioned chia, blueberries, kale, acia berries and the like as superfoods. But are they really the most deserving of that title?

A study by William Paterson University sought to shed some light on the situation. Using a 100-point scale, researchers evaluated fruits and vegetables based on their content of 17 nutrients including fiber, zinc, folate, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.

Their findings are quite surprising. At the top of the list was watercress, followed by Chinese cabbage, chard, beet green and spinach. Blueberries didn’t even meet the study’s criteria to qualify as a powerhouse fruit or vegetable.

Below are some of the fruits and veggies and their respective ratings.

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While you might not be tempted to snack on a bushel of parsley, the ratings provide an objective approach for scoring the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables. The finds can also serve as a reminder to favor science over clever marketing.

P.S. For a simple and science-based approach to healthy (but delicious!) eating, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!


Are Bananas a Superfood?

banana-A superfood is a term used to describe a food with a high nutritional content and associated health benefits. So do bananas make the cut?

When it comes to nutrition, bananas are packed with 400 - 600 milligrams of potassium. With just over thirty carbohydrates, a multitude of vitamins and minerals, about 120 calories and a few grams of both protein and fiber, bananas are certainly nutritionally-dense. In fact, because of the carbohydrates, bananas are a great pre-workout snack that will give you an extra boost at the gym.

But the benefits of bananas don’t stop there.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of health benefits and claims associated with bananas:

  1. Treat anemia
  2. Lower blood pressure
  3. Reduced risk of some cancers
  4. Alleviate bowel issues and constipation
  5. Increase energy levels
  6. Boost brain functioning
  7. Fight depression
  8. Relieve heartburn
  9. Lessen hangovers
  10. Decrease morning sickness
  11. Calm nerves
  12. Lessen seasonal affective disorder
  13. Reduce stress
  14. Prevents weakening of the bones

Beyond these benefits, many cultures hold bananas to be sacred. For some Hindus, the banana can be associated with fertility (maybe because they’re quite phallic?) and prosperity. In India, the banana flower is considered to be a sign of good luck - and it’s often tied to the head during important ceremonies.

For the rest of us, bananas are an inexpensive, portable and nutritious treat that’s widely available all year long. Spread on some peanut butter (or use them for a healthy cookie recipe base) and you’re good to good!

How to Eat Smarter with Google Recipe Search.

I’m always looking for fun and healthy ways to incorporate seasonal produce into my diet. And autumn in full swing, I’ve fallen in love with pumpkins. Not just to carve - but to eat. Loaded in carotenoids, fiber and tons of nutrients like potassium, magnesium and vitamins C and E, pumpkins are truly the superfood of the season.

Since healthy pumpkin recipes aren’t always easy to come by, I decided to do a search on Google. In doing my search, I noticed a “recipes” button along the left-hand sidebar. Upon clicking it, I was able to refine my recipe search by checking off or crossing out other ingredients. For example, I crossed off the related but unhealthy ingredients of “cream cheese,” “molasses,” “sugar” and “whipped cream.”

The search can further be refined not just by cooking time, but also but the amount of calories in a serving. For individuals monitoring their caloric intake, this can be a huge benefit.

Of course, the recipe search can be used for any ingredient. Have extra bell peppers in your fridge? Type it in. Pick too many apples at the orchard? Nothing to fear. It’s easy to find simple, creative and healthy recipes for pretty much any ingredient.

Ultimately, thanks to my narrowed search results, I decided to try the pumpkin hummus recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, enjoy watching this video which explains the Google Recipe Search features. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this sooner!