Superfoods — Here’s Something To Chew On…

Chock-full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants or other metabolic enhancers, “superfoods” have supercharged anti-aging, health and beauty benefits. Whether you are ready for a diet overhaul or just looking to substitute some smart choices into meals, here’s the scoop on these edible superheroes–

The Ones You Know And (Should) Love…

Blueberries have long been considered the gold standard of superfoods, specifically for their flavonoids, which Scientific American states “may help slow the decline in mental facility.” We also know that whole grain oats can help lower cholesterol, that “kale is off the charts when it comes to nutrients,” and that three ounces of sardines provide more than 100% of your daily vitamin D.

Here are more anti-aging superfoods from Elle’s “7 Foods That Fight Aging.” Turmeric protects brain and skin cells from free radical damage, slowing the formation of wrinkles.  Its warm peppery flavor adds depth to smoothies. Arctic Char has the benefits of salmon, but is farmed in an environmentally sustainable manner. Serve it pan-seared over a watercress/pink grapefruit salad.

iVillage’s “Superfoods For Head-to-Toe Beauty, Anti-Aging & Health" takes a look at why certain body parts might benefit from indulging in these high-nutrient foods. While we’re pretty sure Popeye didn’t eat spinach for a better looking derrière, it “contains huge amounts of vitamin C and iron- two nutrients that are necessary for collagen metabolism, which helps to keep your skin tight and firm — resulting in a better-looking bottom.”  The biotin in peanuts is good for your hair, and cucumbers contain the trace mineral silica that may actually increase skin elasticity.

For a slimming effect, Black beans are high in protein and don’t contain saturated fats. And if you need another excuse to drink, wine’s antioxidant resveratrol, found in grape skin, stops fat storage.

Now, from “A-to-W” – almonds, avocado, bananas, black soybeans, broccoli, brown rice, cheese (look for cheeses labeled grass-fed), dark chocolate (rejoice!), eggs (yes, eggs are back in our good graces), garbanzo beans, grapefruit (remember the grapefruit diet?), green tea, lentils, low fat milk, oranges, pearl barley, pears, pine nuts, plantains, potatoes, quinoa, salmon and white beans.  If you already know this list by heart, add these recipes to your files: “Honey-Lime Plantains” and “Olive-Goat Cheese Bruschetta.”

Let Us Introduce You…

Registered dietician, and contributing Huffington Post columnist, Manuel Villacorta, recommends native Peruvian superfoods like maca, which is high in calcium, iron, vitamin C and essential amino acids, and according to the ancient Incas, increased male libido. Studies show that the gluten-free kiwicha may help lower “bad cholesterol.” There’s also the camu camu berry, which Dr. Oz says “packs the highest recorded amount of natural vitamin C on the planet, as well as other vitamins and minerals essential to keeping you looking and feeling young.” Also check out the recipes for “Dark Chocolate Covered Pichuberry” or “Purple Potato Andean Soup.”

Still Hungry For More?

From Joy Bauer – Life is Hard, Food Should Be Easy to Skinnyms, to Women’s Day, there is certainly no shortage of superfood information online.

Too Much Of A Good Thing…

We would be remiss if we didn’t include a link to information about the possible downside to some superfoods.  ABC News’ How 5 Superfoods Could Potentially Hurt You explores such areas as how the phytochemicals in grapefruit may prevent some drugs from being properly absorbed.

Are You A Superfood Superhero?

Take the Dr. Oz quiz to discover how much you know about the powerful superfoods that can nourish and heal. Let us know how you do!