By Cecil Estrada
Look, Up in the Tree, It’s a Superfood!
The term superfoods has become popular among health-conscious people. In fact, the superfood trend began with a small yellow fruit—the banana! During World War I, an American company went on an extensive marketing campaign for this major import. The marketing worked so well that bananas continue to be a top import until today.
Anyway, superfoods are so nutritious that they seem to have super healing abilities.
Scientists and dietitians, though, deny the existence of superfoods. Their reason? Because no single food contains all the nutrients and health benefits that people need. But when you combine them, you’ll get a super healthy diet.
Superfoods Grocery List
Blueberries are at the top of the list. But all kinds of edible berries are included. For example, strawberries and raspberries. They are naturally sweet. Plus they’re high in fiber and contain powerful antioxidants. These can lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and generative diseases.
Everyone knows fish is a great source of protein. They also have omega-3 fatty acids, which may help prevent heart disease. Superfood fish are fatty like salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
- Dark, leafy greens
Filipinos have always been blessed with a variety of dark, leafy greens. Pechay, malunggay, talbos ng kamote. These may seem like ordinary vegetables. But they are packed with vitamins, calcium, phytochemicals. We can now also buy Western leafy greens like kale and spinach.
Nuts are also a good source of protein. Many of them have monounsaturated fats, which help fight heart disease.
- Olive oil
There’s a reason why many love the Mediterranean diet. One of its main ingredients is olive oil. This oil is super flavorsome. It’s also packed with vitamin E, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fats. All of these benefit the heart.
- Whole grains
We Filipinos love our rice. White rice is not a whole grain, but the brown and other darker varieties are whole grains. You can also go for popular superfoods like quinoa and oatmeal.
These types of grains are wonderful sources of soluble and insoluble fiber. You also get vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. This makes them great at lowering cholesterol. They may also protect you against heart disease and diabetes.
When we talk about probiotics, many of us immediately think of Yakult. But yogurt is also a good source of these good bacteria. Plus, you get calcium and protein when you eat yogurt.
- Cruciferous vegetables
Here’s a term not many of us know. But it’s just vegetables like arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and turnips (singkamas). These contain fiber and vitamins. Plus, phytochemicals, which some experts believe may prevent some types of cancer.
Here’s another superfood category that we’re blessed with. We have a lot to choose from. Kidney beans, mung beans (munggo), black beans, red beans, garbanzos, soybeans, or peas. These have a lot of fiber, folate, and protein. Again, eating these could reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Allium vegetables
Onions and garlic are always present in every Filipino kitchen. We use these two vegetables in almost all of our recipes. What not many of us know is that these contain antibacterial and antiviral properties. Notably, garlic can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and benefit people with diabetes.
Again, no single food can provide all the nutrients you need. But when you mix and match them, you get the full benefits of their “superpowers.”
It’s easy to add these superfoods into your daily meals. For example, combine berries, oatmeal, nuts, and yogurt for a healthy breakfast. Beans, cruciferous, and allium vegetables with olive oil make for a tasty stir fry. Fish with leafy greens can be a hearty dinner.
What’s your favorite superfood? How do you add them into your recipes? Tell us about it. While you’re here, we have several superfoods ready to deliver to you.