The Superfoods Hot List

Health food is trendy too. Like the ultimate bag, or a killer pair of shoes, foods take turns being on the must-eat list. Andrew Weil, the bearded superstar of healthy living and aging, identifies the six foods that are not to be missed.

Berries Loaded with antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and oxidative damage to the eyes, brain, heart and joints, berries are also low in calories and brimming with fiber and phytonutrients and they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar, either. [Note: you do not have to consume fresh blueberries to receive their benefits — top your toast with blueberry jam or treat yourself to blueberry pie].

Black cod Also called butterfish or sablefish black cod is a velvety and mild-flavored fish that has more omega-3 fats than salmon and is also low in mercury and PCB contaminants. The smoked sable found at Jewish or Russian delis is black cod [Who knew? Now I’ve got another reason to brunch with my Jewish relatives — thanks Dr. Weil!]. Black cod can also be broiled, steamed, or grilled in miso (soybean paste) [Do not miss the black cod with miso at your local Japanese restaurant — it is dazzlingly delicious].

Buckwheat A bit of a misnomer, buckwheat is a actually a relative of rhubarb and contains no wheat. A slowly digested carbohydrate that’s filled with fiber, buckwheat has an earthy taste. People with wheat allergies or celiac disease can eat buckwheat grits, groats, and kernels (known as kasha) because they lack gluten. (But products made with buckwheat flour including breads and Japanese soba noodles may also contain wheat flour unless they’re labeled gluten free). [The complex, hearty flavor of buckwheat pancakes puts regular flapjacks to shame].

Sweet potatoes Let these Thanksgiving favorites grace your table year-round. These yellow- and orange-fleshed vegetables earn praise as excellent sources of vitamins A (as carotenoids that preserve eye health) and C, and for their fiber if you eat the skin. A baked one has about 100 calories. Okinawans regularly enjoy purple-fleshed sweet potatoes [and they age remarkably gracefully, we know].

Turmeric The color and flavor of curries and American mustard come from this yellow-orange spice that’s a staple in Indian and Asian cooking. Turmeric is being intensely studied for its anti-inflammatory and cancer-protective effects [guys, order curried cauliflower at your local Indian restaurant and you may also be fighting prostate cancer].

Walnuts These plant-based powerhouses of alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and vitamin E can also supply a sweet and crunchy source of protein and fiber. Whether you munch on a handful, mix into salads and main dishes, or chop them into baked goods, walnuts are versatile and rank as one of the most popular nuts in the world. [I carry walnuts and dried cranberries with me for an instant snack].

 

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