The Superfoods

Island Epicure

338

Americans seen to have become much more conscientious about choosing foods for nutritive value as well as flavor whether eating out or at home. Even fast food places like McDonalds have added some genuinely healthy foods.

Here are some that I consider superfoods. They’re wonderfully delicious, easily prepared, and tops for nutrition.
1. Strawberries and raspberries for reds and blueberries and blackberries for deep color. The more color, the more generous they are with  plant nutrients. Try them on cereal for breakfast, or topped with whipped cream for dinner dessert.

2. Nuts and Seeds. Walnut seeds for omega-3 fats, magnesium, and proteins.  Almonds for calcium, magnesium and protein. Chia seeds, tiny as they are, give you all those nutrients. They yield antioxidants that counteract toxins, and lignans that help balance hormones and enhance your immune system. Top cookies with chia seeds. Stir some into biscuit or dumpling dough.

3. Dark green leafy vegetables: Kale, spinach, collards, chard, and turnip greens, which are low in calories but rich in Vitamin A, iron and folate. Also they benefit our eyes with their lutein and zeaxanthin, preserving clear vision. Sauté them in a little olive oil with sliced fresh garlic.

4. Fatty fish, i.e. wild salmon and herring. Salmon is a terrific source of omega-3 fats, which help heart disease and relieve depression, even lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research. Salmon is an especially good protein source and gives us selenium, zinc, iron, and is a primo food source of Vitamin D, as well as selenium, zinc, iron and Vitamins A, B6, and E. Besides, it tastes so good sprinkled with dillweed and cooked covered on medium low heat just until it flakes easily, about ten minutes for each inch of thickness. Squeeze fresh lemon over it. Pickled herring is good on vegetable salad.

5. Mushrooms: The sole produce section source of Vitamin D. It’s Vitamin D2, which is said to convert in the body into Vitamin d 2. They enhance immune function and nourish our thyroid. The best immunes system enhancers are shiitake, and reishi. Another kind called turkey tail is said to strengthen the immune system, too, but I’ve never seen it for sale. Maybe it doesn’t grow in the northwest, and doesn’t travel well? None of the mushrooms are long keepers, unless you pickle them.

PICKLED MUSHROOMS. Fill a glass jar with thinly sliced mushrooms, cremini, button, shiitake, or other. Pour in enough olive oil to come halfway up the jar. Pour in enough vinegar to bring the liquid to three-fourths of the way up. Salt and pepper, are optional, and to taste. Cap the car, tightly but not too tightly. Shake. Refrigerate. Let marinate for at least an hour, better yet several hours, shaking occasionally so both vinegar and oil will penetrate the mushrooms. Delicious on salads, or as an appetizer to be eaten with tiny forks if you have them.

6. Yellow and orange squashes: Pumpkin—classed as a variety of squash like acorn, butternut, and hubbard squashes. They’re all full of Vitamins A and C, which are good for our immune systems, and they support the health of bones, eyes, hair and skin.

7. Avocados: Excellent source of potassium, fiber, and Vitamin E and B vitamins. Their fat helps your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from the rest of the vegetables and fruits you eat. Try mashed or sliced avocado on whole-grain bread or toast. Dice for either vegetable or fruit salad.