By now you have heard of the health benefits of blueberries and the powerful antioxidants in pomegranates. You know to eat dark leafy greens to protect your brain and whole-wheat grains to balance your system.
But here are some super foods that you may not have heard of yet- or at least may not know how ‘super’ they are indeed!
PEAS: Powerhouses of Fiber and Protein
The humble green pea might remind you of the bland canned version served up on your lunch tray again and again as a child. But peas have over 1/6 of the recommended daily value of protein and plenty of fiber as well. Low in calories, peas also provide vitamins B, C and K1 and minerals manganese, potassium and iron. Try the frozen kind for a bright green punch on your plate, and toss them into salads for a little variety.
POTATOES: Comfortably Nutritious
Potatoes are by far the most consumed vegetable in America, and they are usually served deep-fried, in chip form, or drenched in butter and sour cream. However the noble potato on its own is highly nutritious and contains phytonutrients as well as vitamins B6 and C, potassium and of course, fiber. Add this to the fact that potatoes rank tops on the list of comfort foods, and you’ve got an all-star spud on your hands.
MUSHROOMS: Fight Disease
Whether you like white button mushrooms, shitakes, maitakes or chanterelles, these fun guys provide a super-slam of phytonutrients that fight all kinds of disease. Mushrooms are loaded with nutrition and are also great sources of potassium, zinc, vitamin D and the B vitamins, making them sturdy guardians of your bone, heart, and overall health.
CORN: An Earful of Antioxidants
High-fructose corn syrup is a horrible derivation of corn that is deservedly in the doghouse of nutrition these days. Corn, however, has double the level of antioxidants of spinach and broccoli as well as high amounts of lutein and B vitamins. Even better, corn’s high-fiber kernels are slow to digest, which makes you feel fuller longer and keeps the sugar from being absorbed too quickly and resulting in an energy spike- then crash.
APPLES: An Apple a Day
Apples have not one but two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. These two fibers pack a double punch that can knock down cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and stroke. Adding just one large apple to the daily diet has been shown to decrease bad cholesterol, and the natural pectin in apples grabs toxins and heavy metals like lead and mercury and ushers them out of the body. An apple a day truly can keep the doctor away.
Shilo Urban is a freelance writer who has just relocated to Los Angeles after her previous homes of Seattle, New Zealand, Paris, Maine, and Austin. She is an active member of the West Coast electronic music community and lives to promote the art that she loves and the people who create it.