Superfoods You Aren't Hearing Enough About!
Superfoods are all the rage these days. They are finding their way into everything from smoothies to flavored vodkas. Magically, everything becomes a health food! There are some foods that do deserve the to wear the title of "super." Here are some of my top superfoods that you might want to add to your dinner tonight.
This Japanese delicacy of fermented soy beans is somewhat of an acquired taste. With it's many health benefits such as preventing mood disorders and blood clots, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, it's a taste worth acquiring. It's key nutrients are Vitamin K and nattokinase. Natto may even reduce bone loss after menopause as was shown in one cohort study. I often like to start my morning with natto on brown rice topped with kimchi and a fried egg.
Believe it or not the average Korean consumes about a ¼ lb of this spicy fermented cabbage dish a day. Whether they know it or not, kimchi is rich in vitamins A, B, and C, calcium and iron as well as the belly loving bacteria Lactobacillus. Eating kimchi is a great way to support a healthy immune system, aid detoxification, promote digestion and prevent yeast infections. That's not all! A recent study showed a reduction in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (or "bad" cholesterol), and fasting blood glucose levels after just one week of daily kimchi consumption. You should be able to find this condiment at most health food and Asian markets or you can useto make your own.
For vegetarians and vegans, seaweed is a must as it is a great source of minerals such as iron, calcium, iodine, and magnesium as well as protein. It is also the only vegan source of DHA. Besides this it supports thyroid and immune function, lowers cholesterol, and is anti-inflammatory. In addition, daily seaweed consumption has been considered a factor in the lower postmenopausal breast cancer rates in Japan. One study showed that this might be due to seaweed's ability to decrease a certain receptor which is high in breast cancer patients. Try experimenting with nori, wakame, arame, kelp, dulse, and hijiki adding them to soups, salads, pasta, anything. Crazy but I love it in my oatmeal.
Yeast? But I didn't I already do an anti-candida diet? Sometimes called "hippie dust," nutritional yeast is not active so it can't cause yeast infections. It is however loaded with B vitamins including B12, chromium and as much protein as an egg. Chromium is important in blood sugar regulation so it is an key nutrient for conditions such as diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It may also help with skin as high insulin levels play a role in hormonal acne. Nutritional yeast can be added to foods to give a cheesy taste and makes great sauces and gravies.