Friday, March 20, 2009


Every week there seems to be some article online discussing superfoods, like this slide show or this one. It seems the answers that people are seeking from these articles are: is it good (or, is it as good as the claims) and should I use it? As with most nutritional questions, I don't think the answer is a simple one, but I would offer a quick rule of thumb:

If you can buy it in your produce department, eat it.

So many of the foods we call superfoods are produce, but we are suggested to buy them in pills, juices and powders. In some cases, I think this can be useful - I have a bottle of Veggie pills that I take with me when I'm traveling and won't be preparing my own food and I use a green powder from time to time. These products can also be useful for people suffering from extreme nutritional deficiencies or people who won't eat vegetables.

For most people, though, I think that increasing both the intake of fruits and vegetables and the diversity of fruits and vegetables will serve them well. Blueberries and spinach are amazing foods and I know a lot of people have started incorporating them into their diets and in fact, may eat these foods every day. I would encourage people to keep eating these great foods, but to also try raspberries, marionberries, blackberries, cherries and strawberries* as well as kale, chard, mustard greens, beet greens, dandelion greens and even different varieties of salad greens**.

Not only will your body have access to a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals from these plants, but your palate will thank you for it!

*Remember that berries and other soft skinned fruits are often grown using large amounts of chemical pesticides and consider buying organic to reduce your exposure.
**Please note that if you are taking blood thinning medications, you should speak to your doctor about increasing your intake of dark leafy greens as they are rich in Vitamin K and your medication may need to be adjusted.

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