The 11 Best Superfoods

Wondering which foods give you the most nutritional bang for your buck and therefore qualify as Superfoods? Pack your diet full of these powerhouse foods for their multitude of health benefits.

Superfood: Pomegranate

Did you know that it may have been a pomegranate – not an apple – that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden? Pomegranate fruit has been revered since ancient times and has featured prominently in history and mythology. The culinary traditions, art, and literature of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India all hold this jewel in high esteem.

Discover the nutrients and health benefits contained in this exotic fruit below!

Nutrients in 1 Pomegranate:

11.3 g Dietary Fiber (45% DV)
223 mg Omega-6 fatty acids
4.7 g Protein (9% DV)
28.8 mg Vitamin C (48% DV)
1.7 mg Vitamin E (8% DV)
46.2 mcg Vitamin K (58% DV)
0.2 mg Thiamin (13% DV)
0.1 mg Riboflavin (9% DV)
0.2 mg Vitamin B6 (11% DV)
107 mcg Folate (27% DV)
1.1 mg Pantothenic Acid (11% DV)
33.8 mg Magnesium (8% DV)
102 mg Phosphorus (10% DV)
666 mg Potassium (19% DV)
1.0 mg Zinc (7% DV)
0.4 mg Copper (22% DV)
0.3 mg Manganese (17% DV)

The Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Pomegranate:

A Healthy Heart

Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols – plant compounds that help reduce the inflammation associated with heart disease. Polyphenols have been shown to reduce the thickness of arterial walls, allowing your blood to move through more easily.

Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that daily intake of pomegranate juice can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke.

Get Rid of Unhealthy Bacteria

A recent study discovered that pomegranate extracts may be helpful in killing several harmful bacteria strains, including E. coli and Staphylococcus.

Strengthen Bones

When estrogen levels drop, many women lose bone density. Pomegranates can help keep bones strong as they contain phytoestrogen in their seeds.

Slow Aging

Polyphenols, strong antioxidants, in pomegranate may slow down the aging process.

Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Supplementation with pomegranate juice in mice with Alzheimer’s disease has shown improved behaviour, ability to learn new tasks more quickly and swim faster than mice given placebo.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Pomegranate juice may slow the build-up of ‘bad’ cholesterol in those who have risk factors associated with heart disease.

Tips for Eating More Pomegranate:

  • Add them to salads. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds over your salad to enjoy the tasty health benefits.
  • Breakfast. Pomegranate seeds can be added to yogurt, hot millet or oatmeal, smoothies or consumed in juice form!
  • Don’t be afraid to mix savoury with sweet. Initially, it may seem odd to add fruit to savoury dishes but give it a try and see what you think!

Superfood: The Awesome Artichoke

The globe artichoke – the green-purple petalled variety that we usually eat and see in the grocery store – is actually an immature flower of a thistle plant. They are thought to be one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in the world. Artichokes are found in ancient Egyptian writings as a symbol of sacrifice and fertility.

Artichokes are deliciously healthy vegetables that have been featured in many cuisines, using both the heart and the leaves. However, often the most daunting aspect of the artichoke is figuring out how to clean and prep them properly. Artichoke hearts can be purchased already prepped in a can, but sometimes the sodium content of canned goods outweighs the potential health benefits. Check out these health benefits below as well as some tips on proper prep and cooking of artichokes!

The Health Benefits of Eating Artichokes

Improve Energy Levels

The high magnesium content in artichokes helps the body generate energy. When the body doesn’t have enough magnesium, the muscles have to work harder to react and they become tired more quickly.

Cancer & Heart Disease Prevention

One cup of cooked artichoke has an antioxidant capacity of 7904! These antioxidants may help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Lower Cholesterol

A German study from 2000 shows the possibility that artichokes may help lower cholesterol while balancing blood glucose levels. Certain ingredients in the leaves of artichokes have been found to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

Improve High Blood Pressure

Artichokes contain high levels of potassium. Potassium helps the body handle excess sodium which in turn helps with hypertension.

Help Fight Disease

Artichokes contain high numbers of polyphenols, disease-fighting compounds. Polyphenols have chemopreventive qualities, which means they can slow down, stop or even reserve the effects of cancer or other diseases.

Relieve Gastrointestinal Problems

Artichokes, especially the leaf extract, has been shown to help relieve gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, constipation, IBS, and diarrhea. They are also a rich source of dietary fiber, which in itself can improve the health and functionality of your digestive system.

Reduce Risk of Birth Defects

Amongst all their other beneficial qualities, artichokes can even help pregnant women reduce the risk of birth defects. The high levels of folate in artichokes can prevent neural tube defects in newborns.

Healthy Bones

The high magnesium, phosphorous and manganese content in artichokes means they help increase bone health and density, thereby reducing the risk of conditions like osteoporosis.

Better Brain Function

Artichokes possess vasodilator qualities, meaning they allow more oxygen to reach the brain for elevated cognitive function. Furthermore, their phosphorus content improves brain health, as phosphorus deficiencies have been linked to serious declines in cognitive ability.

Significant Nutrients in 1 medium cooked Artichoke:

10.3 g Dietary Fiber (41% DV)
45.6 mg Omega-3 fatty acids
126 mg Omega-6 fatty acids
3.5 g Protein (7% DV)
8.9 mg Vitamin C (15% DV)
17.8 mcg Vitamin K (22% DV)
1.3 mg Niacin (7% DV)
107 mcg Folate (27% DV)
50.4 mg Magnesium (13% DV)
87.6 mg Phosphorus (9% DV)
343 mg Potassium (10% DV)
0.2 mg Copper (8% DV)
0.3 mg Manganese (13% DV)

Tips to Eat More Artichokes

  • Buy them at the right time. From March to May is the best time to buy fresh artichokes. Good ones will be heavy and firm, with compact, bright green leaves. Make sure there are no signs of dryness.
  • Keep them fresh! Keep that artichoke you just bought in tip-top shape by slicing a dime width off the artichoke stem and sprinkle the raw vegetable with water. Refrigerate in an airtight plastic bag and use within 5-7 days.
  • Clean and prep correctly. This is the intimidating part! Rinse and gently scrub the artichoke with water. Cut off the bottom stem about 1/2 an inch from the top. If using the whole vegetable: cut the tips of the leaves to get rid of the thorns. Rub cut portions with lemon to keep it from browning. If using only the heart: Cut off the top and the sides (petals). Cut down from the top until the middle is mostly white. Then scoop out the small purple parts in the center and cut the rest of the green off of the sides on the stem.
  • Cook them! Steaming whole prepped artichokes for 30-40 minutes is the easiest way to cook them. But techniques like roasting them in the oven for 1-1.5 hours with seasonings can impart a lot of flavour

Superfood: Tomatoes

Although tomatoes are often closely associated with Italian cuisine, they are originally native to the western side of South America. They were introduced to the rest of the world in the 1500s but did not enjoy full popularity at that time. This was due to the fact that tomatoes are actually part of the nightshade family, and were therefore thought to possess poisonous qualities. It is true that the leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain the toxic alkaloids tomatine and solanine, however, the concentrations are usually too small to cause any damage.

Today, we recognize the healthy and beneficial antioxidants that tomatoes contain, namely lycopene. This “miracle” antioxidant has been proven to reduce the risk of numerous diseases and well as boost health. Learn about the nutrients and health benefits of tomatoes and lycopene below.

Nutrients in 100 g of tomatoes:

Only 18 calories!
3.0 mg Omega-3 fatty acids
80.0 mg Omega-6 fatty acids
833 IU Vitamin A (17% DV)
12.7 mg Vitamin C (21% DV)
7.9 mcg Vitamin K (10% DV)
15.0 mcg folate (4% DV)
237 mg Potassium (7% DV)
0.1 mg Manganese (6% DV)

The Surprising Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Healthy Skin

Lycopene in tomatoes boosts pro-collagen, the building block for collagen that keeps your skin firm and youthful.

Prevent Sunburn

Lycopene also helps to prevent sunburn. A study showed that women who ate 55 g of tomato paste each day had a 33% increase in skin protection against UV exposure.

Reduce Stroke Risk

A Finnish study found that men with higher serum levels of lycopene had a 55-59% reduced risk of stroke.

Lower Heart Attack Risk

A tomato-rich Mediterranean diet combined with extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts lowers the risk of major cardiovascular events (including heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes) by 30%.

Boost Bone Health

A review article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found a link between tomato consumption and a lower risk of osteoporosis.

Protect Against Cancer

Studies show a reduced risk of cancers affecting the prostate, lung, stomach, mouth, breast, pancreas, cervix, colon, and rectum in participants with higher levels of lycopene in their blood.

Reduced Risk of Parkinson’s disease

Early research has indicated that foods that contain small amounts of dietary nicotine, including tomatoes and peppers, may help prevent Parkinson’s disease. Interestingly, the protective effect appeared to be stronger in those who had little or no prior use of nicotine in the form of tobacco.

Improved Sleep

New research shows that the healthiest sleepers consume more lycopene, compared to the people who get too little or too much sleep.

Tips to Eat More Tomatoes

  • Incorporate them! Tomatoes are one of the most versatile foods. From soups, stews, sauces, salads, salsas and more, tomatoes can easily be added to your daily meals.
  • Try something new. One of the less common ways of eating tomatoes is stuffing them.
  • Bought tomatoes but they’re just not ripe? Try placing them in a brown paper bag with bananas or apples. The two fruits emit ethylene gas that will facilitate the ripening of tomatoes.

Superfood: Beets

Beetroot, or Beta vulgaris, evolved from the wild seabeet. Seabeets are native to coastlines from India to Britain. They are the ancestor of all cultivated forms of beets.

Today, beets are often a forgotten root and only utilized in certain cuisines. However, they were definitely more appreciated in ancient times. Beetroot is said to have been offered to Apollo in the temple at Delphi, where it was reckoned to be worth its own weight in silver!

Additionally, the medicinal properties of the root were more important than its culinary applications in early times. It was used to treat a variety of ailments including fevers, constipation, wounds and various skin problems.

Discover the Superfood qualities of beetroot and beet greens

Nutrients in 100 grams of cooked beets (2 beets with 2” diameter):

44 Calories
2.0 g Dietary Fiber (8% DV)
3.6 mg Vitamin C (6% DV)
80.0 mcg Folate (20% DV)
23.0 mg Magnesium (6% DV)
305 mg Potassium (9% DV)
0.3 mg Manganese (16% DV)

Nutrients in 100 grams of raw beet greens:

22 Calories
2.9 g Dietary Fiber (12% DV)
6326 IU Vitamin A (127% DV)
30.0 mg Vitamin C (50% DV)
1.5 mg Vitamin E (7% DV)
400 mcg Vitamin K (500% DV)
0.1 mg Thiamin (7% DV)
0.2 mg Riboflavin (13% DV)
117 mg Calcium (12% DV)
2.6 mg Iron (14% DV)
70.0 mg Magnesium (17% DV)
762 mg Potassium (22% DV)
0.2 mg Copper (10% DV)
0.4 mg Manganese (20% DV)

The Extraordinary Health Benefits of Eating Beets

Help Cleanse Your Body

Beets are a good tonic for your liver and they work as a purifier for your blood.

Improved Mental Health

Beets contain betaine, the same substance used in certain treatments of depression. They also contain tryptophan, which relaxes your mind and creates a sense of well-being.

Lower Blood Pressure

Beets have been shown to lower blood pressure.

Aphrodisiac

One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of hormones and also benefits your bones.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Beets contain betaines, which may function to reduce homocysteine levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Help Fight Cancer

The plant pigment that gives beets it rich crimson-purple colour is called betacyanin. It is a powerful agent thought to suppress the development of some types of cancers.

Improved Immune System and Protection from Oxidative Damage

Beetroot fiber increases levels of antioxidant enzymes in the body (particularly glutathione peroxidase) as well as increasing the number of white blood cells.

Reduce Inflammation

The betalains in beets have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation.

Tips for Eating More Beets:

  • Beet Juice! Beet juice will give you all the health benefits of eating the vegetable but can be conveniently added to smoothies or drank alone without the hassle of roasting them.
  • Add to salads. Beets do not have an aggressive flavour so they can be easily incorporated into your normal salads. Just grate one over your favourite salad.
  • Don’t forget the greens! Beet greens are extremely rich in important vitamins and minerals but are often overlooked. They can be used like spinach in a salad or cooked.

Superfood: Broccoli

Broccoli seems to be one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. Common complaints from broccoli-haters are its strong flavour and aroma. These qualities likely come from its ancestry in the cabbage family. But like other Brassica vegetables – cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale – broccoli is packed with health benefits, granting it a position in the Superfood category.

Its English name, broccoli, is derived from the Italian brocco and the Latin brachium meaning arm, branch or sprout. A fitting name as broccoli usually looks like a mini-tree.

Like the artichoke, broccoli is essentially a large edible flower. The stalks and broccoli florets are both edible in raw form as well as cooked. The stalks can be eaten as is or peeled to remove some of the tough fibrous exterior. Broccoli also has small leaves that are very bitter. These are usually discarded except in the most adventurous kitchens.

Nutrients in 1 stalk of cooked broccoli:

9.2 g dietary fiber (37% DV)
333 mg Omega-3 fatty acids
143 mg Omega-6 fatty acids
6.7 g protein (13% DV)
4334 IU vitamin A (87% DV)
182 mg vitamin C (303% DV)
4.1 mg vitamin E (20% DV)
395 mcg vitamin K (494% DV)
0.2 mg thiamin (12% DV)
0.3 mg riboflavin (20% DV)
1.5 mg niacin (8% DV)
0.6 mg vitamin B6 (28% DV)
302 mcg folate (76% DV)
1.7 mg pantothenic acid (17% DV)
112 mg calcium (11% DV)
1.9 mg iron (10% DV)
58.5 mg magnesium (15% DV)
188 mg phosphorus (19% DV)
820 mg potassium (23% DV)
1.3 mg zinc (8% DV)
0.2 mg copper (9% DV)
0.5 mg manganese (27% DV)
4.5 mcg selenium (6% DV)

The Bountiful Health Benefits of Broccoli

Helps Prevent Cancer

Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which is processed in your body to create sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound. Sulforaphane rids your body of H. pylori, a strain of bacteria known to increase the risk of gastric cancer. Also, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant, and anti-carcinogen that is known to reduce the growth of breast, cervical, and prostate cancer as well as boost healthy liver function.

Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that helps to carry cholesterol out of your body.

Regulate Blood Pressure

Broccoli has high amounts of potassium, magnesium, and calcium which all help to regulate blood pressure.

Reduce Allergic Reactions and Inflammation

Broccoli is a rich source of kaempferol and Isothiocyanates, which are anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Research has shown that kaempferol has the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on your body. Kaempferol also moderates the effects of progesterone and may help fibroids. Additionally, broccoli has significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, a known anti-inflammatory.

Prevent Osteoporosis

Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, two nutrients that are necessary for healthy bones and the prevention of osteoporosis.

Healthy Heart

The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane may be able to prevent or reverse damage to blood vessel linings caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.

Detoxifying Properties

Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin are all special phytonutrients in broccoli that support the steps of liver detoxification. These include activation, neutralization, and elimination of toxins and contaminants.

Prevent Digestive Issues

Broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.

Alkalizes Your Body

Broccoli helps keep your whole body less acidic, leading to numerous other health benefits.

Healthy Brain

Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps to maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function.

Tips for Eating More Broccoli

  • Steam. Lightly steam broccoli until it is bright green and still has some firmness for the best nutrient retention (other than raw!).
  • 4 cups per week. Eating 1/2 cup of broccoli per day or two 2-cup servings per week is sufficient to produce cancer prevention benefits.
  • Purée. You can purée cooked broccoli with its “sister vegetable,” cauliflower and add some seasonings for an easy, healthy soup.

Superfood: Cauliflower

Vegetables that are not dark green in colour are often mistakenly identified as void of all important nutrients. This is precisely the case when it comes to the wrongfully accused humble cauliflower. This vegetable gets a Superfood label because of its zero fat, low-carbs, and notable fiber, as well as vitamin C content that can rival an orange. Not bad for a vegetable that writer Mark Twain once described as “cabbage with a college education.”

Twain’s connection of cauliflower with cabbage is a clever reference to their common ancestry. They are both parts of the Brassica family – which also includes Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and collard greens. Cauliflower’s ancestry has been traced to the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in ancient Asia Minor.

But how did cauliflower become a rich man’s cabbage? With its introduction in France, it was granted upmarket status on the tables of French monarchs Louis XIV and XV. In fact, Louis XV liked cauliflower and his mistress Madame du Barry so much that numerous cauliflower dishes in French cuisine still bear her name.

Nutrients in 1 cup raw cauliflower:

2.5 g dietary fiber (10% DV)
37.0 mg omega-3 fatty acids
11.0 mg omega-6 fatty acids
46.4 mg vitamin C (77% DV)
16.0 mcg vitamin K (20% DV)
0.2 mg vitamin B6 (11% DV)
57.0 mcg folate (14% DV)
303 mg potassium (9% DV)
0.2 mg manganese (8% DV)
Also, 1 cup of raw cauliflower is only 25 calories!

The Remarkable Health Benefits of Eating Cauliflower

Protection from free radical damage

Cauliflower contains carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, and phytonutrients that include kaempferol, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid, and caffeic acid. All of these antioxidants help protect you from free radical damage and reduce the risk for diseases caused by oxidative stress, like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Improved detoxification

Cauliflower contains glucosinolates and thiocyanates which increase your liver’s ability to neutralize potentially toxic substances that could lead to cancer. Also, cauliflower’s antioxidant nutrients help boost Phase 1 detoxification, and its sulphur-containing nutrients enhance Phase 2 detox.

Cancer Prevention

There are numerous studies linking cauliflower-containing diets to cancer prevention, especially bladder, breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Cauliflower contains several anti-cancer phytochemicals like sulforaphane and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Regular cauliflower consumption may decrease the risk of inflammation-mediated diseases such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcerative colitis. Additionally, its vitamin K and omega-3 content help prevent chronic inflammation that leads to conditions like arthritis.

Digestive system support

The fiber in cauliflower cleans out your digestive system and gets rid of unhealthy substances. Also, a substance in cauliflower called glucoraphin appears to have a protective effect on the stomach lining. With glucoraphin, the stomach is not prone to Helicobacter pylori bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of stomach ulcers and cancer.

Protection from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cauliflower make it protective against cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Inflammation particularly plays a significant role in many cardiovascular problems such as atherosclerosis.

Weight loss/management

Cauliflower has no fat, is high in vitamin C, low in carbohydrates and has a noteworthy fiber content.

Tips for Getting More Cauliflower in Your Diet

  • Forget mashed potatoes! Try a healthy cauliflower puree instead.
  • Raw raw raw. Cauliflower maintains more of its nutrients in its raw form so try dipping in hummus for a light snack.
  • Try roasting. Roasting cauliflower is so easy – just throw it in the oven – and it doesn’t lose as many nutrients in the cooking process compared to boiling or steaming.

Superfood: Avocado

Also called alligator pear, avocados grow on trees native to Mexico and Central America. Although often confused as a vegetable, this fatty fruit is full of nutrients bringing it up to the Superfood category.

Avocados originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The oldest evidence of avocado use dates to about 10,000 BC in a cave in Coxcatlán. It has been suggested that avocados may be an example of an ‘evolutionary anachronism’. That is, a fruit adapted to an ecological relationship with now-extinct large mammals. Most large fleshy fruits rely on seed dispersal by animals for propagation. Therefore there are reasons to believe avocados, with their mildly toxic pit, may have co-evolved with giant animals that lived during the Pleistocene period. These huge mammals would swallow an avocado whole and the large seed would have been dispersed through their stool. Today, there is no native animal that is large enough to effectively disperse avocado seeds in this manner.

Nutrients in 1 cup of avocado:

10.1 g dietary fiber (40% DV)
165 mg omega-3 fatty acids
2534 mg omega-6 fatty acids
15.0 mg vitamin C (25% DV)
3.1 mg vitamin E (16% DV)
31.5 mcg vitamin K (39% DV)
0.2 mg riboflavin (11% DV)
2.6 mg niacin (13% DV)
0.4 mg vitamin B6 (19% DV)
122 mcg folate (30% DV)
2.1 mg pantothenic acid (21% DV)
43.5 mg magnesium (11% DV)
727 mg potassium (21% DV)
0.3 mg copper (14% DV)
0.2 mg manganese (11% DV)

The Astounding Health Benefits of Avocado

Protection against eye diseases

Avocados are a great source of lutein, a carotenoid and antioxidant that helps protect against eye diseases. It also contains related carotenoids zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, as well as tocopherol.

Helps the body absorb more nutrients

Carotenoids are lipophilic (soluble in fat), so eating avocado that is carotenoid and monounsaturated-fat-rich helps the body absorb more of the carotenoids.

Weight loss

The high levels of insoluble and soluble fiber in avocados help the digestive system run smoothly and slow the breakdown of carbohydrates respectively. Slowing the breakdown of carbs keeps you feeling fuller longer. Avocados also contain oleic acid, a fat that activates the part of the brain that makes you feel full.

Stabilize blood sugar

The monounsaturated fat in avocados slows digestion and helps keep blood sugar from spiking after a meal.

Lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks

Avocados contain a significant amount of folate, and high folate intake has been linked with a lower risk of heart attacks and heart disease.

Lower cholesterol

The oleic acid in avocados also helps reduce cholesterol levels.

Improve skin

The monounsaturated fats in avocado are also beneficial for improving your skin tone. These healthy fats are vital for maintaining good moisture levels in the epidermal layer of the skin. They help reduce skin redness, irritation, and signs of aging such as wrinkles.

Reduce arthritic pain

Avocados contain anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to reduce arthritic pain.

Reduce blood pressure

The combination of avocado’s high potassium content with omega-3 and oleic acid are beneficial toward reducing blood pressure.

Help prevent Alzheimer’s disease

The folate in avocado helps to prevent the formation of brain tangles that are considered a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Also, the combination of omega-3 fatty acids with natural vitamin E found in avocados has been clinically proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from progressing and even reversing it in its earliest stages.

Tips for Eating More Avocados:

  • Spread it! Try putting mashed avocado on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise or on bread instead of butter.
  • Chop it! Chop the avocado and add it to a salad, or use it as a topping or side garnish for soup.
  • Blend it! Adding avocado to a fruit smoothie can add amazing health benefits and doesn’t compromise flavour.

Superfood: Kiwi

Kiwifruit was named after the New Zealand Kiwi bird – an unusual flightless bird – because they are both small, brown and furry. But, not all kiwi is fuzzy! The species we generally see in the grocery store is appropriately called Fuzzy Kiwifruit. But, there is also the Golden Kiwi that has smooth bronze skin and has a sweeter taste.

Most of us would associate Kiwis with New Zealand; however, Kiwis have been native to China for centuries. Interestingly, people in North America didn’t even know what kiwifruit was until about 50 years ago. They were first brought over to Canada in 1963. Now we know that kiwis can grow in any temperate climate so most of the world’s kiwis are grown in New Zealand, Italy and Chile.

Nutrients in 1 cup of Kiwi:

5.3 g Dietary Fiber (21% DV)
74.3 mg Omega-3 fatty acids
435 mg Omega-6 fatty acids
164 mg Vitamin C (273% DV)
2.6 mg Vitamin E (13% DV)
71.3 mcg Vitamin K (89% DV)
44.2 mcg Folate (11% DV)
552 mg Potassium (16% DV)
0.2 mg Copper (12% DV)

The Considerable Benefits of Consuming Kiwi

Weight Loss

With only about 50 calories per kiwi, this fruit packs in a lot of nutrients in a healthy low-calorie bundle. It is also low in sugar and high in fiber!

Boost Immune System

With such high vitamin C content comes increased iron absorption, wound healing and an immune system boost.

Helps Digestion

Kiwi contains actinidain, a protein-dissolving enzyme that can help digest a meal.

Helps Control Blood Pressure

The high potassium level in kiwi helps the body keep electrolytes in balance by counteracting the effects of sodium.

Protects Your from DNA Damage

A 2011 study in Nutrition Journal showed that the unique combination of antioxidants in Kiwi fruit helps protect the cell’s DNA from oxidative damage. This process may also help prevent cancer.

Clean Out Toxins

The fiber in Kiwi helps bind and move toxins from your intestinal tract.

Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Eating 2-3 kiwis per day has been shown to reduce the risk of a blood clot by 18% and reduce triglyceride levels by 15%.

Protect Against Macular Degeneration

A 2004 study on over 110,000 individuals showed that eating 3 or more servings of this fruit decreased macular degeneration by 36%. This is thought to be associated with the Kiwi’s high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin – natural chemicals found in the human eye.

Create Alkaline Balance

Kiwi is in the most alkaline category for fruits, meaning it contains a rich supply of minerals to replace the excessively acidic foods most people consume.

Healthy Skin

Kiwis are a good source of vitamin E, which is known to protect the skin from degeneration.

Tips to Get Enough Kiwi:

  • Blend kiwi in a smoothie.
  • Kiwi vinaigrette for your salad! Kiwi + vinegar + oil + bit of honey (optional) + salt & pepper = one great salad dressing.
  • Pack a Kiwi as a mid-day snack. Also, pack a spoon and eat the fruity flesh right out of its fuzzy exterior.

Superfood: Pumpkin

Most of us think of pumpkins as a decorative accent to our Halloween festivities or a humble Thanksgiving pie. But, pumpkins actually carry an abundance of healthy nutrients. High in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin is full of disease-fighting nutrients including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C and E. But the key nutrient that gives pumpkin its Superfood label is the synergistic combination of alpha and beta carotene – it contains one of the richest supplies of bioavailable carotenoids!

Significant nutrients in 1 cup of mashed pumpkin:

2.7 g Dietary Fiber (11% DV)
12231 IU Vitamin A (245% DV)
11.5 mg Vitamin C (19% DV)
1.0 mg Vitamin E (10% DV)
0.2 mcg Riboflavin (11% DV)
564 mg Potassium (16% DV)
0.2 mg Copper (11% DV)
0.2 mg Manganese (11% DV)

Pumpkin seeds are also chock full of nutrients. They are high in protein and are a great source of magnesium, manganese, iron, and zinc.

Significant nutrients in 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds:

5605 mg Omega-6 fatty acids
49.3 mg Omega-3 fatty acids
11.9 g Protein (24% DV)
2.1 mg Iron (12% DV)
168 mg Magnesium (42% DV)
588 mg Potassium (17% DV)
6.6 mg Zinc (44% DV)
0.4 mg Copper (22% DV)
0.3 mg Manganese (16% DV)

The Pumped Up Benefits of Eating Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds

Improve Eye Health

Pumpkin’s high provitamin A content is great for eye health and immune-boosting.

Prevent coronary heart disease

Its high provitamin A content has also been linked to coronary heart disease prevention.

Reduce cholesterol

High levels of phytosterols in pumpkin seeds have been linked with reduced cholesterol levels as well as preventing some types of cancers!

Studies have shown a link between eating pumpkin seeds and lowering your risk of bladder stones, blocking enlargement of the prostate gland, and helping to prevent depression.

Tips for enjoying the health benefits of pumpkin:

  • Don’t be afraid of the canned stuff! One cup of canned pumpkin has 7 g of fiber and 3 g of protein – more than fresh pumpkin! Also, it contains over 50% DV of vitamin K which may reduce the risk for some types of cancer. You can easily add canned pumpkin to smoothies, baking, and even your morning latte!
  • Snack on the seeds. Pumpkin flesh may not be so easy to incorporate in your diet regularly, but the seeds are so versatile and make a great snack, topping for salads, or ground up in a vinaigrette or pesto.
  • Sneak some pumpkin seeds into your smoothie. Adding a tablespoon or two of freshly ground pumpkin seeds to a smoothie adds a healthful boost without changing the flavour much.

Superfood: Adzuki Beans

Revered in Japanese cooking, adzuki beans, also called azuki beans, are russet-coloured beans with a strong, nutty, yet sweet flavour. Adzuki beans are high in protein and dietary fiber but their true Superfood label comes from their high antioxidant rating. They have a higher antioxidant or ORAC value than cranberries or blueberries! These beans are also lower in calories than other beans such as black beans, garbanzos, kidney beans, pinto beans, and white beans.

Adzuki beans contain the following nutrients in 1 cup:

16.8 g Dietary Fiber (67% DV)
17.3 g Protein (35% DV)
48.3 mg Omega-6 fatty acids
0.3 mg Thiamin (18% DV)
0.1 mg Riboflavin (9% DV)
1.6 mg Niacin (8% DV)
0.2 mg Vitamin B6 (11%DV)
278 mcg Folate (70% DV)
1.0 mg Pantothenic Acid (10% DV)
64.6 mg Calcium (6% DV)
4.6 mg Iron (26% DV)
120 mg Magnesium (30% DV)
386 mg Phosphorus (39% DV)
1224 mg Potassium (35% DV)
4.1 mg Zinc (27% DV)
0.7 mg Copper (34% DV)
1.3 mg Manganese (66% DV)
2.8 mcg Selenium (4% DV)

Given the important nutrients that they contain, adzuki beans can help:

  • Lower “bad” cholesterol levels
  • Boost digestion
  • Improve heart health.
  • Support the immune system through their B vitamin content
  • Support the reproductive system with their very high folate content.
  • May reduce the risk of breast cancer, due to a high level of saponins.
  • In Traditional Chinese Medicine, adzuki beans are called Chi Xiao Dou and are used to cure urinary tract infections by supporting kidney health and reducing edema. They have also been used to purify the blood, remove toxins, and drain “dampness” from the body.

Tips to Eat More Adzuki Beans:

  • Add them to salads. Putting cooked adzuki beans on top of your salad makes a great healthy and tasty addition.
  • Veggie burgers anyone? Try incorporating adzuki beans to your recipe for veggie burgers, or experiment with a new one! No reason why you can’t add cooked adzuki beans to regular burgers too!
  • As a dip for veggies. Make an adzuki bean dip to dunk fresh veggies into, or make your own baked veggie chips.

Superfood: Quinoa

Get your grain on! Err…or not. Once regarded as a sacred food by the Incas, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is chock full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Most people think quinoa is some type of cereal grain, but in reality, quinoa isn’t a grain at all. It’s a seed, and it’s also gluten-free!

In just one cup of cooked quinoa, your body will enjoy numerous nutrients including:

5.2 g of dietary fiber (21% DV)
8.1 g of protein (16% DV)
0.2 mg thiamin (13% DV)
0.2 mg riboflavin (12% DV)
0.2 mg vitamin B6 (11% DV)
77.7 mcg folate (19% DV)
2.8 mg iron (15% DV)
118 mg magnesium (30% DV)
281 mg phosphorus (28% DV)
2.0 mg zinc (13% DV)
0.4 mg copper (18% DV)
1.2 mg manganese (58% DV)
…as well as smaller amounts of vitamin E, niacin, calcium, potassium, and selenium.

Recognized as a Superfood and a recent food craze, quinoa has earned these titles because of its high protein, low fat and low sodium content! In addition to the aforementioned nutrients, studies have shown that quinoa can help with several health conditions, weight loss, and anti-aging.

The Compelling Health Benefits of Quinoa

High protein grain alternative

A 2009 study a the University of Chile found that 15% of the total content of quinoa is protein, which is more than double the amount found in most grains. The study also found that quinoa has a complete amino acid profile, meaning that each serving contains all the key building blocks for making proteins.

Lower blood sugar

A study performed at the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil in 2009 found that quinoa has the ability to lower blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes.

Reduce blood pressure

The same study as above also discovered that consuming quinoa on a regular basis helps to lower blood pressure levels in those with hypertension.

Natural appetite suppressant

A 2005 study at the University of Milan found that quinoa was effective at controlling appetite and study participants consumed less food throughout the day.

Lower cholesterol

The high fiber content in quinoa can help to reduce total cholesterol and the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Anti-aging

A 2012 study from the University degli Studi di Foggia in Italy investigated the antioxidant properties in quinoa. They concluded that quinoa is an excellent source of free phenols, which destroy free radicals in the bloodstream. The result can be a slower aging process including delaying the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Reduce cancer risk

The same study as above discovered that quinoa’s antioxidant properties help to reduce cancer risk.

Tips to Eat More Quinoa!

  • Sprinkle a bit of cooked quinoa over your salad. You don’t always have to eat a whole bowl of quinoa to get its benefits. Try sprinkling a bit over your greens at lunch for a protein boost!
  • Quinoa instead of oatmeal. Trade-in your breakfast oatmeal for quinoa. Quinoa can make a great hot cereal and will keep you feeling full. Top with some fresh fruit for a great start to the day.
  • Add quinoa to your soup. Add some quinoa to your favourite soup recipes for added texture as well as a health boost.
  • Quinoa flour. Use quinoa flour in your recipes instead of regular wheat flour.
  • Blend cooked quinoa into your smoothie. Quinoa can be blended into smoothies and shakes to take advantage of its health benefits (and you won’t even taste it)!

Superfood: Wild Salmon

Revered for its high omega-3 content, wild salmon has been recognized as one of the top Superfoods.

Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been proven in numerous studies to help with various health conditions including:

  • Lower triglyceride levels
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Depression
  • Prenatal health
  • Asthma
  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Prevent breast and colon cancer
  • Prevent age-related macular degeneration
  • Mitigate autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Raynaud’s disease
  • Relieve various mental health problems
  • Lower risk for coronary heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack
  • In addition to omega-3s, wild salmon contains many other health-boosting nutrients. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant phytonutrient naturally produced in specific algae. Wild salmon feed on red algae and accumulate astaxanthin in their muscle tissue, which gives them their pink colour. Interesting fact: Astaxanthin is credited for giving salmon the ability to generate the strength needed to swim up rivers and waterfalls.

Eating just half a fillet of wild salmon (154 g) is comparable to taking a multivitamin in some respects! You can get more than your day’s quota of some nutrients:

Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 3982 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 339 mg
Thiamin: 0.4 mg (28% DV)
Riboflavin: 0.7 mg (44%)
Niacin: 15.5 mg (78% DV)
Vitamin B6: 1.5 mg (73% DV)
Vitamin B12: 4.7 ug (78% DV)
Pantothenic acid: 3.0 mg (30% DV)
Magnesium: 57.0 mg (14% DV)
Phosphorous: 394 mg (39% DV)
Potassium: 967 mg (28% DV)
Copper: 0.5 mg (25% DV)
Selenium: 72.1 ug (103% DV)

So you might be wondering what about the regular farm-raised salmon? Farm-raised salmon are fed genetically modified grains and dead animal parts. This is an unnatural diet for this fish. The result is greyish-white salmon deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin. In order to get the pink colour, farmed salmon are fed synthetic astaxanthin that is produced from toxic petrochemical sources. Research produced by the Environmental Working Group in 2003 showed that farmed salmon were contaminated with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl’s (PCB’s). The data indicated that farmed salmon has over 16 times the amount of carcinogenic chemicals than wild salmon.

Tips to eating more wild salmon:

  • Salmon burgers. Swap out those beef, chicken or turkey burgers for some wild salmon burgers! You can get canned wild salmon that is much cheaper.
  • Salmon salad nicoise. Leftover salmon from last night’s dinner? Make a healthier rendition of the traditional salad nicoise adding salmon instead of tuna. You could also use smoked salmon.
  • Shake things up. There’s more than one way to cook that piece of salmon. Try it on the BBQ, cedar plank, baked in parchment or crusted in gluten-free bread crumbs.

Superfood: Blueberries

Most people see blueberries as a generic fruit. Because it’s not some exotic fruit from Tahiti they don’t realize the numerous health benefits of consuming these little blue-purple-coloured berries. We’re told the darker the fruit the more antioxidants it contains. In the case of blueberries, that’s true as this little fruit is chock-full of phytonutrients. What are phytonutrients? Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals called phytonutrients. Unlike vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients are not essential to the body but they can help prevent diseases and improve your overall health.

Phytonutrients contained in blueberries:

  • anthocyanins
  • malvidins
  • delphinidins
  • pelargonidins
  • cyanidins
  • peonidins
  • hydroxycinnamic acids
  • caffeic acids
  • ferulic acids
  • coumaric acids
  • hydroxybenzoic acids
  • gallic acids
  • procatchuic acids
  • flavonols
  • kaempferol
  • quercetin
  • myricetin
  • other phenol-related phytonutrients
  • pterostilbene
  • resveratrol

Blueberries also contain significant levels of more familiar nutrients:

% Daily value in 1 cup (148 g) of blueberries:

  • 35.7% vitamin K
  • 25% manganese
  • 23.9% vitamin C
  • 14.2% fiber

Because of their many phytonutrients, blueberries have many health benefits including:

  • Disease prevention
  • Reduce abdominal fat
  • Reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Prevent hypertension
  • Can reduce signs of aging (wrinkles!)
  • Protect the brain from environmental toxins
  • Reverse age-related memory loss and motor skill decline
  • Help prevent cancer
  • Can reduce the frequency and severity of allergies
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduce pain
  • Increase production of the neurotransmitter dopamine

Tips to get more Blueberries in your diet!

  • Make a quick smoothie with blueberries for breakfast.
  • Sprinkle fresh blueberries over your salad.
  • Eat blueberries in your yogurt in the morning or for a snack.
  • Eat dried blueberries with nuts as a healthy snack. Did you know that you absorb the nutrients from dried blueberries better than from fresh?

Needing more information about how to improve your diet and incorporate more superfoods? Talk to one of our Naturopaths or our Registered Dietitian. Call 416-481-0222 to book or book online here any time.

Authored by Dr Pamela Frank, BSc (Hons), ND

Superfood Recipes:

Pomegranate-Braised Short Ribs

2 pounds beef short ribs, about 6-7 ribs (preferably grass-fed beef)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped into wedges
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 carrots, cut into large pieces
5 springs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large dutch oven or stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan; season short ribs with salt and pepper. Brown short ribs on all sides until crusted.

Remove short ribs from pan. Pour off oil and remove any loose bits from the pan. Add remaining olive oil and cook onion, carrots, garlic, and thyme for 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pot and stir to coat. Deglaze pan with red wine and pomegranate juice, bring to a boil stirring frequently. Return short ribs to pot, cover, and transfer to oven.

Cook for about 3 hours in the oven, turning a few times, or until the meat is fork-tender. Remove short ribs from the pot with a slotted spoon onto a platter. Strain the pot juices and skim the fat off the top or use a fat separator. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, and cook until reduced to a sauce consistency; about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the short ribs. Top with pomegranate seeds.

Recipe: Spinach and Artichoke Dip (Dairy- and Gluten-free)

NOTE: If you’re going to use canned artichoke hearts, be aware of the sodium content. Be sure to choose a low-sodium option.

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can white kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
2 cups fresh artichoke hearts, quartered; OR 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (extra for cooking)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat pan on medium heat. Cook garlic and spinach for only 2 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Remove garlic and spinach and put beans in the pan just to warm them up.

Place the garlic, spinach, beans and everything else into a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined. Do NOT puree – should still be able to see artichoke pieces. Enjoy warm or room temperature.

Serve with fresh vegetables or homemade vegetable chips.

Recipe: Quinoa and Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

*NOTE: Spinach contains a high amount of iron, but did you know it also contains a high amount of oxalic acid which prevents iron absorption? Eating tomatoes, or other food sources of vitamin C, with your spinach will aid in the absorption of iron.

Ingredients:

4 large ripe but firm tomatoes
Salt
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup quinoa
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups fresh spinach
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Bring vegetable stock and quinoa to boil in a medium saucepan. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender; 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the top off of each tomato. Spoon out the insides to create a hollow cavity. Sprinkle salt into the hollow cavity of each tomato and rest upside down on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack to extract juice, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add onion, cook for about 3 minutes. Then add spinach and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add the quinoa to the spinach and add parsley. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Evenly divide the filling among the tomatoes. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until tomatoes are soft and filling is just browned on top, about 15-20 minutes.

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and Crispy Kale

Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bunches kale

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 shallots, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

In a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind fennel seeds.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, paprika, salt, and fennel seeds. Roast on parchment paper-lined baking sheet in the top third of the oven at 400 degrees F until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; let cool.

Roughly tear leaves from kale stems; reserve stems for another use. Toss leaves with remaining oil. Spread on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets; roast in the top and bottom thirds of the oven at 400 degrees F, switching and rotating pans halfway through, until wilted and slightly crisp around edges, about 20 minutes. Toss with remaining lemon juice.

Vinaigrette: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, horseradish, and mustard; stir in shallots, salt, and pepper. Add to the cauliflower mixture along with kale; gently toss to combine.

Recipe: Southwest Salad with Avocado and Corn

Ingredients:

2 small heads romaine lettuce, chopped in bite-size pieces
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 ears of corn
1 large or 2 smaller avocados, chopped
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
Organic gluten-free corn tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:

Steam ears of corn. Let cool and cut off kernels.

Combine lettuce, pinto beans, corn, avocado, red onion and cilantro in a large bowl.

Whisk together oil, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad and toss. Serve with corn tortilla chips if desired.

Recipe: Kiwi Sorbet

8 kiwis, peeled
4 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Peel kiwis and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse until well blended into a thick puree. Add honey and lemon juice. Blend.
Pour into a shallow container and freeze. Or use an ice cream maker.
Serve when sorbet is frozen.
From: http://www.superhealthykids.com/healthy-kids-recipes/kiwi-sorbet.php

Recipe: Pork Chops and Roasted Pumpkin with Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2-3 pounds pumpkin, (1 small pumpkin) halved, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (from pumpkin)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 1-inch-thick bone-in pork chops
½ small garlic clove, finely grated
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro plus leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread out pumpkin seeds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing once, until just beginning to darken, about 4 minutes. Let cool. Coarsely chop; set aside.

Toss pumpkin wedges with 1 tablespoon oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast pumpkin turning occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 30-40 minutes.

When pumpkin wedges have been in for about 25 minutes, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and cook until brown, 5-8 minutes. Turn over and cook until pork is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

Whisk garlic, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, reserved toasted pumpkin seeds, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl to combine. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper, and more lime juice if desired.

Divide squash and pork among plates; spoon vinaigrette over. Top with cilantro leaves.

Adzuki Bean Pancakes

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
1 tablespoon coconut water
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup cooked, mashed adzuki beans
Coconut oil

Directions:

Whisk together eggs, coconut water, and honey in a large bowl.

Add almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined. Stir in mashed adzuki beans.

Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a small amount of coconut oil to the pan so pancakes don’t stick.

Use a ladle (or pour all the batter into a container with a spout) to pour enough batter into skillet for 1 pancake.

Once a crisp edge has formed, flip the pancake and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes.

Repeat with the rest of the batter and serve immediately.

Recipe: Chicken & Quinoa Paella

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
Dash cayenne
2-3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 lemon, zested
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, half of the paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
Rinse quinoa well in a bowl or through a fine strainer.
Sauté garlic in a deep non-stick skillet with a little olive oil for a minute. Add quinoa and saffron and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Add rest of paprika, cayenne, tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon zest, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper; cook another 5 minutes.
If more broth is needed in quinoa, add more. Cook until quinoa is done, then remove the cover, stir in peas, and cook uncovered until peas are warm and all the stock is absorbed.
Spread quinoa onto serving tray. Top with cooked chicken and peppers mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Almond & Lemon Crusted Salmon with Caramelized Onions and Basil

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
4 (4-6 oz) wild salmon fillets, skin removed
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
Lemon zest from 1 lemon, cut into small fragments
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and caramelized, 30-45 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and keep warm.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease the bottom of a large baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Put almond meal and lemon zest together in a wide shallow dish.

Rub remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on salmon fillets, season with salt and pepper, and press each fillet into the almond meal-lemon zest mixture until coated. Arrange salmon fillets in a baking dish in a single layer and bake until just cooked through and flakey, about 15 mins.

Transfer salmon to plates, top with caramelized onions, garnish with green onions and basil and serve.

Quick and Healthy Blueberry Smoothie

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 ripe banana
1 cup plain yogurt, coconut yogurt or almond yogurt
Dash of honey (optional)
Ice cubes (optional)
Directions:

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Superfood Research:

Pomegranate Juice & Endothelial function: Long-term consumption of grape and pomegranate juices were found to improve endothelial function in adolescents with metabolic syndrome.

Source: Cardiol Young, 2010; 20(1): 73-7.

Pomegranate & Diabetes: Consumption of either pomegranate juice or extract was found to benefit subjects with type 2 diabetes by improving paraoxonase 1, thereby slowing the development of atherosclerosis.

Source: J Agric Food Chem, 2008; 56(18): 8704-13.

Pomegranate extract & Cell Damage: Pomegranate fruit extract may exert a protective effect against UVA- and UVB-induced cell damage in human skin fibroblasts.

Source: J Agric Food Chem, 2008; 56(18): 8434-41.

Artichoke leaf extract & Cholesterol: Artichoke leaf extract can decrease total cholesterol and LDL while increasing HDL.

Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.

Artichoke leaf extract & Oxidation: Artichoke leaf extract has been found to prevent oxidation of LDL and VLDL, and decrease triglyceride levels.

Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.

Artichoke leaf extract & Biliary obstruction: Supplementation with artichoke leaf extract and milk thistle extract was found to help with bile duct obstructions.

Source: Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, Massachusetts: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.

Lycopene & Stroke: High serum levels of lycopene, a phytochemical found in red fruits and vegetables, are associated with a lower risk of stroke.

Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.

Lycopene & Bone health: Supplementation with lycopene-rich tomato juice or tomato Lyc-O-Mato lycopene capsules was found to significantly reduce oxidative stress and improve bone health in post-menopausal women.

Source: Osteoporos Int, 2010 June 15; [Epub ahead of print].

Lycopene & Blood Pressure: Lycopene supplementation greater than 12 mg/day were found to significantly reduce systolic blood pressure.

Source: Nutrients, 2013 Sept 18; 5(9): 3696-712.

Lycopene & OSMF: 8 mg of lycopene, an antioxidant, was found to significantly improve signs and symptoms of oral submucous fibrosis.

Source: Indian J Dent Res. 2012 Jul;23(4):524-8.

Beetroot & Blood Pressure: Low dose (100g) beetroot juice supplementation was found to reduce blood pressure.

Source: Br J Nutr, 2012 Mar 14:1-9.

Beetroot & Plasma Nitrite: Consumption of beetroot juice was found to increase mean power output in cyclists and elevate plasma nitrite levels.

Source: Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2011 June; 43(6): 1125-31.

Broccoli & Bladder Cancer: Intake of raw broccoli was found to reduce risk of mortality by 43% in bladder cancer patients.

Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2010 Jun 15; [Epub ahead of print].

Broccoli & Cholesterol: This study found that glucoraphanin, found in broccoli, has a marked effect on cholesterol homeostasis in hamsters with dietary-induced hypercholesterolemia.

Source: J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 23;59(4):1095-103.

Isothiocyanates & Cancer: Isothiocyanates in cauliflower were found to restore normal function of gene p53 in blocking cancer cell growth.

Source: J Med Chem. 2011 Jan;54(3): 809-16.

Sulforaphane & Cancer: Sulforaphane, found in cauliflower, was found to induce Phase II liver enzymes, which detoxify and neutralize cancer causing agents.

Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Sept;10(9):949-54.

Cauliflower & Lung Cancer: Consuming more than 1 serving of cauliflower a day was found to reduce lung cancer risk by 61%.

Source: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000; 92(22):1812-23.

Cauliflower & Bladder Cancer: One serving of cauliflower a week was found to be associated with a 27% lower risk of bladder cancer.

Source: J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999;91(7):605-13.

Vitamin E & Diet: Vitamin E can be found in leafy greens, almonds, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and avocado.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Omega-3s & Alzheimer’s: Higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids may be associated with and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slower cognitive decline.

Source: Neurology, 2012 May 2.

Fiber & Coronary Heart Disease: The highest quintile in a study of fiber intake found a 52% reduced risk of mortality from coronary heart disease.

Source: J Nutr, 2010 Jun 23; [Epub ahead of print].

Vitamin C & Asthma: An Italian study found that ingestion of fruit high in vitamin C may reduce wheezing symptoms in children.

Source: Thorax. 2000 April; 55(4): 283–288.

Fruit & Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Eating 3 or more servings of fruit was found to decrease macular degeneration by 36%.

Source: Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(6):883-892.

Golden Kiwi & Oxidative Damage: Golden kiwifruit consumption was found to strengthen resistance towards endogenous oxidative damage.

Source: Nutr J. 2011; 10: 54.

Vitamin A & Vision Problems: Oral supplementation with vitamin A was found to reduce all-cause mortality and vision problems in children ages 6 months to 5 years.

Source: BMJ, 2011 Aug 25; 343: d5094.

Pumpkin Seeds & Bladder Stones: A study found that pumpkin seed snacks in Thai adolescents led to a reduced risk of bladder stone disease.

Source: J Med Assoc Thai. 1993 Sep;76(9):487-93.

Phytosterols & Cholesterol: Phytosterols (Plant sterols) inhibit the absorption of cholesterol and were found to improve circulating lipid profiles to reduce risk of coronary heart disease.

Source: Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997 Mar;75(3):217-27.

Adzuki beans & Triglycerides: Supplementation with adzuki bean juice was found to be beneficial in preventing hypertriglyceridemia in Japanese women.

Source: J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008 July; 43(1): 19–25.

Adzuki beans & Cholesterol: Adzuki bean resistant starch was found to lower serum cholesterol via enhancement of the hepatic LDL-receptor mRNA.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 94 / Issue 06 / December 2005, pp 902-908

Adzuki beans & Lipid Concentrations: Adzuki beans were found to be effective in lowering serum and liver lipid concentration, which may be a result of decreasing liver G6PD activity.

Source: Kawasaki Journal of Medical Welfare, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2002: 49-55.

Protein & Blood Pressure: Increased protein intake was found to reduce blood pressure in overweight adults with hypertension.

Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Apr; 95(4):966-71.

Protein & Blood Glucose: A high protein diet was found to lower blood glucose postprandially in persons with type 2 diabetes and improve overall glucose control.

Source: Am J Clin Nutr October 2003 vol. 78 no. 4 734-741

Omega-3s & Atrial Fibrillation: Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heart beat.

Source: Circulation, Volume 125, pages 1084-1093, January 2012.

Omega-3s & Lung Cancer: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation was found to improve quality of life, performance status, and physical activity in stage III non-small cell lung cancer patients.

Source:Eur J Clin Nutr, 2012 Mar; 66(3):399-404.

Omega-3s & Depression: Intake of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA were found to be associated with fewer depressive symptoms.

Source: Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2012 April 1

Omega-3s & Cognitive Function: Omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) does not increase cognitive function, but was found to increase visual acuity after treatment.

Source: Neurobiol Aging, 2012 Apr; 33(4): 824.e1-3.

Blueberries & Cardiovascular risk: Blueberries were found to improve selected features of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors in men and women with metabolic syndrome.

Source: J. Nutr. September 1, 2010 vol. 140 no. 9 1582-1587.

Anthocyanin & Diabetes: A higher intake of anthocyanin-rich foods (blue-purple coloured vegetables and fruits like blueberries and red cabbage) is associated with a lower risk of type II diabetes.

Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Apr; 95(4):925-33.

Resveratrol & Cardiovascular Disease: Resveratrol-rich grape supplements were found to improve the inflammatory and fibrinolytic status of patents at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

Source: Am J Cardiol. 2012 Aug 1;110(3):356-63. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Resveratrol & Hormone Secretion: Resveratrol, a potent antioxidant, was found to moderate hormone secretion from fat cells.

Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

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