Superfoods: What They Are and Why We Need to Eat Them

April 15, 2011

mango salsa

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for us and that we should limit our intake of sugary and high-fat foods. But what exactly are superfoods? Experts are saying these powerful foods can take our health to new heights.

Superfoods are wholesome foods that are nutrient-rich, low in calories and high in antioxidants. Studies now show that these foods can help control blood levels, reduce inflammation and can even help prevent some diseases.

Here's a list of these superfoods and how you can incorporate them into your healthy dietary routine:

Cruciferous Veggies (Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens...)

These vitamin-rich, high-fiber vegetables can provide some protection against diseases such as colon and breast cancer.

Try these delicious Kale Chips and this tasty Roasted Cauliflower (you can also add a bit of stock and puree it for a healthy soup!)

Tropical Fruits (Mango, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, guava, passion fruit...)

These fruits are high in fiber and phytochemicals (like beta-carotene) and are actually more potent and rich in nutrients that non-tropical fruits. For example, a guava has 5 times the vitamin C than an orange!

This Mango Salsa is excellent on grilled fish!

Bright Fruits and Vegetables (Sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, blueberries, spinach, carrots, red/yellow/orange peppers, beets...)

Foods that are deeply rich in color are high in antioxidants and nutrients. Are you a pepper fan? The red/yellow/orange ones have 10 times the vitamin C than their green sibling!

This Zesty Spinach Salad is packed with superfoods!

Herbs & Spices (Turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, cilantro, parsley...)
Many herbs and spices have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This Yogurt Herb Sauce is excellent on baked potatoes and grilled meat. It's great with any combination of herbs.

Other superfoods to incorporate into your diet:

Whole grains
Legumes (beans, lentils)
Olive Oil
Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel)