SuperFoods is a word we hear alot forcertain nutritional powerhouse foods. The fact is, the word “superfood” is more of a marketing tool most of the time, to tout certain vegetables, fruits, herbs or spices, for their special health properties. Sometimes the claims are real and true, sometimes the claims are exaggerated or based on loose truths. But I’ve never seen a “superfood” that’s not good for you, so for the most part, you can’t go wrong by including superfoods in your life. (You do want to watch out for superfood supplements and powders, however).
It can be tempting to think we need to eat a superfood, like blueberries or flax, every single day. Just not true. Then we miss alot in the other good foods we’re Not eating. The idea is variety, not a one-sided diet of a few things. All colorful plant foods are superfoods. So are many herbs and spices. Here we’ve highlighted a few SuperFoods that are the real deal, along with suggestions of how to get them into your life in easy ways. Let’s talk about Garlic, Ginger, and Turmeric.
Ginger root is a true superfood. It can treat nausea, has antibacterial properties (never a substitute if you need antibiotics), is used for bowel conditions like irritable bowel. It gets saliva going and helps with digestion. It’s been used as a sleep aid and for seasickness or car sickness. Ginger is an antiinflammatory, and since every condition from cancer to heart disease are inflammatory diseases, getting ginger regularly is a super move for health. In terms of bariatric surgery, ginger is recommended in powdered supplement form for postoperative nausea (1000 mg/day).
Here’s some ways to get ginger into your life:
*Buy it in the produce section when you shop. Keep it around. Peel it, dice it, add it in cooking to grains (oatmeal? yes. quinoa). Add it when roasting or sauteing vegetables. Add it to your meat and chicken dishes. *Pickled ginger (you’ve seen it served with your sushi) is tasty. Just eat a little on a regular basis. Find it in the ethnic aisle of the grocery store. *Make tea or add fresh, diced ginger or powdered ginger to hot water, or steep it in your tea with the tea bag. Hot water with ginger and lemon settles your stomach.
Tumeric is one of those superfoods that has some real evidence behind it. It’s a spice used in Middle Eastern and South Asian foods. It’s in curry powder. It’s powerful ingredient is curcumin, which may discourage certain cancers, may aid in arthritis, diabetes, IBS control, may discourage Alzheimers and the common cold. It has antibacterial properties and is good for digestion and soothing indigestion. Buy tumeric in the spice aisle, or at the health food store. Just 1/4 tsp has the antioxidant score of a full serving of vegetables. Here’s how you can get some tumeric in your life:
*drop a pinch in when you’re making your smoothie. * add 1-2 tsp to any soup *use it, with a little oil, when roasting vegetables *add 1-2 tsp when cooking grains *add it to hot water with lemon and a touch of honey or Stevia to make tea. It will color foods bright orange/yellow; it’s taste isn’t strong at all like curry.
We’ve all heard garlic is good stuff, and it is. Prevents flus and colds, keeps blood thin, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic. It’s just plain good to eat garlic. Here’s some ways other than added to your cooking, to get garlic in your life:
*during cold/flu season, dice a garlic clove and eat a tiny bit regularly, raw if you’re up to it. That little bit won’t ruin your breath. It’s medicinal properties are even better when it’s raw. * Buy it! Use it in cooking!
The list is long! Here’s some other foods that brag some great nutritional properties. When you can’t eat much, gotta make it count!
Sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin
Kale, spinach, mustard greens, chard