Like many of you, I am a big fan of Thanksgiving. This holiday is largely family and food based and I am lucky enough to be surrounded by both in high quality.
With the passing of time and my obvious interest in healthy nutrition, I find myself cooking more and more often. I really have come to enjoy it. For this week’s main blog, I want to focus on food, but take it a step up and look at the trendy term called “Superfoods”.
I came across an excellent article detailing foods that fight for our body by combating certain deficiencies and providing certain nutrients. This particular summary lists foods by the percentage of their calories that do just that as compiled by researchers at William Paterson University.
Starting with #1 and going through #10, here is the list of 10 Superfoods to working into your holiday meals.
- Watercress: Score – 100%! Watercress is loaded with vitamin K and has been shown to prevent hardening of the arteries.
- Chinese cabbage: Score – 91.99%. High in calcium for strong bones and teeth as well as important at keeping the heart and nerves working
- Chard: Score – 89.27%. Another leafy veggie with a high amount of vitamin K which helps blood clot and boosts brain function.
- Beet Green: Score – 87.08%. This one is loaded with vitamin C to help us fight infection and assists in the production of white blood cells.
- Spinach: Score – 86.43%. You knew this one had to be here! Correctly, spinach is known for its high iron content; vital in the transport of oxygen.
- Chicory: Score – 73.36%. I will admit to now knowing a lot about this entry, but apparently, chicory contains inulin, which is a soluble fiber and provides food for “digestive flora” also known as ‘good bacteria’ in the intestines.
Our remaining 4 entries are ALL green, leafy vegetables. In fact, I hope you see a pattern here. While not all out entries are green leafy veggies, 8 out of 10 fall into this category!
- Leaf Lettuce: Score – 70.73%. This guy is loaded with vitamin A which covers your immune system, vision, skin and bones.
- Parsley: Score – 65.59%. While normally considered little more than a garnish, it is loaded with nutrients such as folic acid.
- Romaine Lettuce: Score – 63.48%. Romaine lettuce is one of the few plant sources for Omega 3’s, a personal favorite of mine and since it is largely water Romaine can help with hydration as well.
- Collard Greens: Score – 62.49%. Another entry high in fiber with is great for heart health.
So there you have it. Notice two things: No fruit in the Top Ten. In fact, on the list I had, you must go all the way down to number 28 to find lemon as the first fruit on the list. There is a lesson to learn there.
I will now use this time to repeat one of my favorite expressions.
“If it runs, flies or is green, eat it!”