You wouldn’t think you could get direction on nutrition from a website called PopSugar. But once you know it has articles on everything from travel (“16 Essentials For A Long Car Ride”) to news (“Trump Wants to Regulate Bump Stocks – But Will That Help Control Guns?”), it kind of makes sense.
I was drawn to an article entitled, “These Are The 15 Superfoods Your Kitchen Needs in 2018”. The dictionary defines superfoods as nutrient rich and especially beneficial for health and well- being. For those of you who are content with food that is merely average or good, and not into health, read no further.
I won’t delve into the whole list. Some items (switchel, ashwagandha) would be right at home in a Harry Potter novel. Don’t drink that switchel, Ron, it will turn you into a mongoose! Others (cassava, baobab, camu camu) sound like they come from a surfing guide. Peas and mushrooms, I think, made the list by accident.
In one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory, tea made from elderflower is a great treatment for sore throats, colds, and the flu. It also works against coughs, arthritis, and nasal swelling.
The vegan spouse is a big fan of pineapples, but she has never had pink pineapples. Genetically modified and over ten years in development, pink pineapples debuted in 2017. Lycopene, the same thing that gives tomatoes and watermelon their color, accounts for their pinkness.
And, speaking of watermelon, how long have we been eating it in seedless form? It seems like forever. We’ve been missing the effects of watermelon seeds. According to livestrong.com, dried and roasted watermelon seeds are high in protein, fats, minerals, and b vitamins.
Avocados have had a great run of popularity, but avocado oil is a versatile new addition to the superfood list. You can cook with it, use it as a marinade, or pour it over cooked foods and salads. It is even used in skin care products. According to healthline.com, it benefits your eyes, gums, cholesterol, and joints.
Moringa, a plant whose leaves, fruit, bark, roots, flowers, and seeds are used in medicine, is one of the most talked about new superfoods. It might be easier to list the things that moringa doesn’t help with, but here goes: anemia, arthritis, asthma, kidney stones, headache, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It works on diarrhea and constipation, but how does it know which problem you have? And, did I mention snakebites? This one is already on an upcoming grocery list. I will report back in a future blog.
I wasn’t going to go all ashwagandha on you, but you’re probably dying to find out what it is. Turning to healthline.com once again, it is a medicinal herb native to India that has been used against depression and anxiety for 3,000 years. Like most of the superfoods on this year’s list, it can be used to fight inflammation. How, as a society, did we become so inflamed?
You should probably take this year’s superfood list with a grain of, well, baobab. Everything on the list requires more research to determine its long term effects. Not every item will work for every person. But keep an open mind. I’m willing to try anything once.
But, seriously, peas?
Are there superfoods missing from this list? Please leave a comment….