Top 5 foods for health: Finding nutrition from around the world www.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=7
Good things come in small packages. Superfoods are foods that offer the consumer the highest amount of nutrients in a small quantity.
Each year, experts comb the globe looking for the best of the best. When they look at a region, they see what people who feel the best and live the longest have to say about their diets.
Some of the foods on this year's list of additions may come as a surprise -- a rare Tibetan berry and a weed.
The bright red hue of beets is about more than just visual appeal. The betacyanins that give the root vegetable its color may also combat the growth of cancer cells. Recent laboratory tests have also proven than the beets help to regulate blood sugar levels, making them a perfect pick for people who are in the early stages of diabetes.
Tip: If you make a trip to the grocer for beets, buy them fresh and eat them raw. Beets that have been cooked are still good for the body, but they lose a portion of their beneficial properties when cooked.
Cabbage is sometimes a dreaded sight, but the people of China have eaten the cruciferous vegetable on a daily basis for centuries. All types of cabbage -- from the ornamental Napa cabbage to kimchee (Korean pickled cabbage) -- have great health benefits.
The greatest attribute of cabbage is that it is packed with vitamins, but not with calories. A great way to incorporate the eastern classic into the western diet is to toss shredded bits of it into a salad.
Blueberries are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world. Just a handful of blueberries each day over time can help you reduce your cholesterol, build new cells and have more energy. You might be surprised to know that a new berry is in the spotlight this year -- the goji berry. The Tibetan favorite that is just beginning to circle the globe has the highest level of antioxidants of any fruit out there. The downside -- they are hard to locate and once they are found they may have a high price tag pinned to them.
4. Swiss chard
The Mediterranean green, with an earthy flavor is an iron-rich vegetable with a wealth of nutrients including the ever-important, ample supply of lutein. Lutein is a plant chemical that helps restore deteriorating vision by helping to protect the retinas.
If you're thinking Swiss chard is new to your menu, you may have eaten it without knowing as it is a staple at Greek restaurants.
In Mexico, purslane is considered to be an herb, but really it's a weed. It has the highest omega-3 fat content of any plant around. Omega-3 fatty acids -- the healthy fats -- are usually found in fish.
Recent studies have also shown that there is a substantial amount of melatonin found in purslane. Unfortunately, like the goji berries, purslane is sometimes hard to find in the American marketplace.
(My note: I am very drawn to multi-culturalism in my musical tastes...why not with foods as well...? :-) Don)
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