The SuperfoodsNot all foods are created equal…especially these 7 superfoods (many people think are bad for them). “Superfoods” are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. From blueberries to spinach, salmon, tomatoes, acas, cherries, garlic, walnuts, Brussels sprouts and avocados, these foods get rants and raves for their antioxidants that ward off free radicals and stacked vitamin and mineral profiles.
The 7 Superfoods You Thought Were BadHowever, beyond “mainstream” superfoodism, there are several outcasts—other foods—that equally pack a power punch in their nutrient density, and, at one time or another, you’ve been told they are bad for you.
1. Potatoes (Cooked & Cooled)Potatoes—both white and sweet potatoes—are nutrient powerhouses first and foremost for the PRE-biotics (healthy fiber) and resistant starch found in them. Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, reaching the colon intact. Thus, it “resists” digestion, and does not “spike” blood sugar like some other carbohydrates do. In addition, pre-biotics are necessary to feed healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) in your gut. Without pre-biotics, our probiotics and gut flora will not remained healthy and balanced. Potatoes are one of a handful of pre-biotic foods that help promote healthy gut health—especially when they are cooked, then cooled.
2. BananasBananas have been referred to as the “fattening fruits” due to their higher sugar content than most other fruits. However, the fructose sugar in fruits, for one, is 100% different than high-fructose corn syrup and other sugar add-ins. And like cooked and cooled potatoes, green tipped bananas and plantains contain resistant starch that help build a healthy gut microbiome. This is one of the superfoods you should not miss.
3. White Rice“Clean eating tips” tell us that “brown is better,” however unlike brown rice, white rice does not contain the extra husk on its outer shell that’s linked to a higher amount of indigestible anti-nutrients (lectins/phytates) that actually bind to the minerals and vitamins in the foods you eat, inhibiting absorption in your gut. White rice on the other hand is straight up the rice grain in its rawest form, and in moderation, can also provide your body with some healthy natural pre-biotics without spending money on dance supplements. Soak your rice overnight before cooking to remove any residual unwanted toxins and anti-nutrients (lectins/phytates) from the outer shel prior to consumption. Whip up a batch of white parboiled rice—like Jasmine white rice—a couple times per week to pair alongside your chicken stir fry, baked salmon or other dinner delight. (Note: “Parboiled rice” means that the complete grain of rice is soaked, steamed and dried, then the hull is removed to make parboiled rice).
4. Full Fat DairyLactose and casein intolerance are two of the highest intolerances for people—ranked as part of the “great 8” (alongside foods like gluten, soy, peanuts and eggs). However, the more fat in the dairy (i.e. full-fat grass-fed dairy)—including grass-fed milk, yogurt and cheese—all contain less lactose if you buy them in the real deal form (i.e. not Yoplait yogurt). In addition, full fat dairy is actually associated with a boosted metabolism, healthy weight management and a decrease in inflammation. How can this be?! Full-fat, grass-fed dairy trumps any non-fat, low-fat or “light and fluffy” versions any time for a few reasons:
1.) Full-fat, grass-fed dairy is real food—milk in its truest form— (not processed like the low fat versions), and when we eat real food, our body (and digestion) knows what’s up;
2.) The fats in dairy help us DIGEST our food and absorb vitamins and minerals in the first place. In order to absorb calcium, for instance, we need Vitamin D—a fat soluble vitamin. Low-fat and fat-free versions miss this—making them MORE indigestible;
3.) Full-fat, grass-fed versions of yogurt and kefir contain natural probiotics. Low fat versions that are heated, processed and chemically treated do not (the probiotics are eradicated or made very little).
4.) Full-fat, grass-fed makes you more satiated. Fat=satisfaction. Without it, we want more or get hungry within an hour or two.Dairy may still not agree with you 100%, but experiment by trying the full-fat, grass-fed plain versions, or if anything, sister foods—like Goat’s Milk. My favorite as of late? Kefir—particularly Goat’s Milk Kefir (Bonus: It’s stacked with probiotics as well since it is a fermented food).