CHICAGO (CBS) — There are foods that we know are really good for us, but now it turns out there are “super foods” that are even better.
They range from your basic vegetables to exotic fruits. And as CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports, they can do remarkable things.
Selena Cate knows about super foods and includes them in her diet every day.
Super foods contain “super” amounts of nutrients. Experts say they can do things like reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and even ward off cancer. Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone is considered an expert in the anti-aging properties of super foods.
“Very small amounts can affect the body profoundly. You’re going to feel a lot better and you’re going to look a lot better in a very short period of time,” he said.
Some are old favorites, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and even cinnamon. These all contain something called flavanols.
Registered dietitian Jenny Schwartz of Galter LifeCenter described a flavanol this way: “It’s an anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties, which is all something you want to look for to prevent cancer.”
Watercress is something women should know about. Two studies have found that this leafy green may help stop breast cancer from starting or spreading.
And we’re learning more about the benefits of fruits and vegetables that are new to us. For example, mangosteen; its fruit or juice can also help prevent cancer.
As for sea buckthorn, “It’s one of the only foods on the planet that has the fatty acid omega 7 … it’s incredible for the skin, the hair,” nutritionist Lindsey Duncan said.
For heart health, lychee fruit packs a punch of anti-oxidants as do goji berries. Raw cacao beans are also heart healthy, but you might enjoy eating dark chocolate more. But choose 70 percent or higher.
“The less sugar you have and the more actual chocolate you have, the more you’re going to get those beneficial properties,” dietitian Jenny Schwartz said.
Many super foods are also sold in juice form, such as pomegranate. You can also find super food supplements.
“All of these supplements are safe. … Obviously, follow the dosage,” Jenny Schwartz said.
Selena prefers buying her super foods fresh and says they’ve made a difference for her.
“I just feel all around mentally happier and healthier,” she said.
Resveratrol, found in red wine and grape juice, is also a super food that may prevent heart disease.
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