I’ll be the first to admit I’m cheap. I take pride in keeping a $200 grocery budget every month for my husband and I. And although it can be difficult at times, I love knowing that I’m saving us money that can be spent elsewhere. It’s almost a little game to see if I can make it to the end without going over.
In addition to being cheap, I also like things simple. So when I come across stories like these from The Today Show about super foods that I likely already have on hand, I get all sorts of elated. Eating healthier without spending more money? Sign me up.
With the help of registered nutritionist Kari Glassman, we can easily determine what super foods are likely lying around our kitchen and why they’re so exceptionally healthy for us.
Starting with apples. Apples contain fiber and Vitamin C, but they’re also high in flavonoids – the compounds that give fruits and vegetables their color. One of those compounds is quercetin, which is especially high in apples. Quercetin helps control our blood sugar level, acts as an antihistamine, and can even help prevent heart disease. Enjoying apples raw is enjoyable. But baking and topping them with ice cream is even better. Try this Apple-Whatever Cobbler for a quick and satisfying 400-calorie fix.
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By Alison Lewis
I am so excited to write this article about a few of the top super foods for 2012. If you’re asking yourself, “What exactly are Super Foods?”, let me explain. Super foods are those with high nutrients and antioxidants with proven health benefits. When I asked Carolyn O’ Neil, dietitian and co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous, about her take on health trends this year, she said, “The worlds of nutrition and cuisine continue to collide in 2012. And that’s a good thing for diners who want great tasting, healthy food choices including more interesting vegetable side dishes and use of flavorful spices instead of relying on salt and fat.”
Even this morning on Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer was sharing her picks for this year’s super foods, which matched many of our choices. Joy’s list included seeds, and we mention hemp and chia, and she also included pumpkin seeds. She named Brussels sprouts as the “food of the year,” and said mini desserts and protein powders will also be quite popular.
Below are some of our picks for the top 10 super foods of 2012.
10 Sensational Spring Super Foods
No Bake Cookie Chia Bar Recipe
The Best Diet Tips You’ve Never Heard
By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com
I, for one, love the idea that there are superfoods–certain edibles that go the extra mile in terms of nutritional chutzpah. They may not leap tall buildings, but superfoods are purported to fight the evil villains of heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer and a host of other diseases. Blueberries, for example, have become a superfood darling for their powerful punch of antoxidants–and I have to say, they do seem pretty mighty to me.
That said, I think some of the trendy superfoods are stealing the spotlight from the true heart of the matter–from the everyday heroes. It seems to me that almost any grain or produce that is grown organically, unprocessed and prepared gently has much to offer. Aside from just a listing of antioxidant values, I can’t see a list of ten superfoods that earn obvious rank. In fact, if you look at 10 “Top 10 Superfoods” lists, you will see that they vary widely.
The truth is, most good food from nature is pretty super. So with that in mind, I like taking a seasonal approach. Rather than debating the merits of acai berries over goji berries, I prefer to look at what’s in season, and work with the nutritional workhorses that I can get here and now. These are my favorites for fall, based primarily on nutritional variety and strength, but that also give me that primal, sensuous satisfaction that comes with eating what’s in season:
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Inca peanuts, also called sacha inchi nuts, are cultivated in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Loved for centuries by the Incas, Inca peanuts have recently been plugged by Dr. Oz as a superfood.
Historians believe that the sacha inchi plant (which produces the seeds we know as Inca peanuts) has been used by the natives of Peru for over 3,000 years. Images of the sacha inchi plant in Incan tombs are thought to be proof of this long-ago cultivation. The seeds are shelled and eaten raw, roasted, with sugar on top, or as an oil in traditional recipes. It’s also used as a cosmetic facial cream in some areas.
For those of us who live far from the Andes, Inca peanuts remain elusive. It can be hard to find them and the high cost of special ordering deters a lot of people so don’t be afraid to start off with a small order. Hopefully, availability will increase as time goes on and more people show an interest in the new health food- although there’s really nothing new about a centuries-old Amazonian plant.
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Tune in this Thursday, December 2 to the Dr. Oz Show to learn what foods will make you look beautiful on the inside and outside.
Dr. Oz will reveal what five super foods you need to eat for super beauty. You don’t need to look any further than the produce section of your grocery store or local farmer’s market to find natural ways to get rid of acne, erase wrinkles and undo sun damage.
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