Monday, March 4, 2013

Super Foods

I recently attended a "Super foods for super health" class at work, as part of our wellness program. It was taught by a Registered Dietitian who mainly teaches corporate wellness classes. Listening to her made me wish I could go back in time and study Nutrition in college instead of History. I honestly got so excited learning about all of these foods and how they positively affect our bodies.

Because of their disease fighting abilities, she considered the following all super foods and I am sure you can think of many more: avocados, blueberries, brazil nuts, broccoli, butternut squash and cantaloupe, edamame, flaxseed, kale and spinach, kiwifruit, lentils, onions, quinoa, sardines, tomatoes and yogurt.

We learned more in depth information about the foods, like that blueberries have the highest nutritional profile of any fruit. They boost brain health, are high in fiber, prevent urinary tract infections, improve the effect of radiation therapy and are the best bang for your buck in terms of fruits.

The RD said that the goal was to get 5 servings per day. I didn't realize it, but something like one small clementine counts as one serving. To fight cancer, it is recommended to get 10 servings per day. Sadly, the average American only eats 3 servings per day.

I went to Trader Joe's this afternoon and picked up 7 foods off of the list (I forgot to add the tomatoes I purchased to the photo below). Before my trip to the store, I did write down a few of the foods I wanted to try that I wasn't sure I had before, like brazil nuts.

On our way into class, we tried cashew and almond butters with crackers and a Black Bean salsa, all of which were delicious.

One of the other big takeaways was the following: if you hate something like broccoli, unless you can only eat it with cheese sauce on top, eat it anyway. It's better to eat that food with something not so ideal on top rather than not eat it at all. If you don't currently eat any fruit, canned is better than none at all, but fresh is obviously ideal.

I already ate a lot of the super foods we learned about. I will still remember the list every time I go to the grocery store or make a meal and will try to incorporate as many super foods into my diet as possible.

What is your favorite super food? The only item I didn't like from the list was sardines. I had sardines when I lived in Switzerland, but I didn't care for them.


  1. Great post! Right now I'm loving butternut squash, avocados and spinach. But of course I love them all. So filling and delicious.

  2. I just bought my first avocados from Trader Joe's this weekend because everyone and their mother seems to love them, so I figured I'd try them in something other than guacamole :) Oh, and the best butternut squash pasta I've had is from Glorioso's. That and their asparagus ravioli are my two favorite frozen pastas that they sell.

  3. I like most of these foods! Tried to eat a sardine & avocado sandwich which Alton Brown claimed was the best diet food. Alas, that isn't going to happen again ;-)

  4. I am a huge fan of blueberries. When they are in season I buy a 10# box at Brennans and that box only lasts a little over a week!
    I'm trying to be less afraid of healthy fats and incorporating more into my eating...first up, avocados!

  5. Rethinking what you liked to learn in college, I think we've all been there. Here's something a friend of mine turned me on to 3 years ago.

    Take it and see what your strengths are. If you nuture those strengths, it will help bring you more joy. You might also want to read Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman.

  6. Good to know about blueberries because I can't get enough of them! By the handful, in baked goods, I'll eat them :)