Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SuperFoods: I'm a slacker...

So I haven't been blogging the health benefits of the SuperFoods I've cooked for the last week. I've just been so busy! I'm going to try to catch up in this post though, because SuperFoods are just that important :)

SuperFood: Cinnamon!

Cinnamon is an excellent SuperFood because of its effects on blood glucose levels and triglyceride and cholestrol levels. These qualities are most beneficial to those suffering from Type II Diabetes.
Some other spices that show similar results are: Cloves, Bay and Turmeric
To showcase Cinnamon, I made Garden Harvest Muffins.
To incorporate Cinnamon into my daily life, I sprinkle it into my oatmeal every morning!

SuperFood: Avocados!

Avocados are an excellent souce of
  • Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Polyphenols
  • Lutein
  • Vitamin E

The monounsaturated fats in avocados are what help bring them to SuperFood status. They contain oelic acide, which helps reduce cholesterol. Avocados are considered a nutrient-booster because it improves the body's ability to absorb other nutrients.

It's important to remember that Haas avocados, the most common variety in America, is still rather high in calories, so eat them multiple times weekly, but remember to count the calories - 145 calories for half.

Usually I just chop it up and top salads, or make guacamole with avocados, but I did something a little different to showcase avocados: Sweet Potato Fries with Avocado Dipping Sauce

SuperFood: Red Bell Peppers!

Red Bell Peppers are an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Carotene
  • Vitamin E

Red Peppers are a superfood because they contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants found in vegetables. Research shows that they lower levels of many kinds of cacner, heart disease, stroke and cataracts. One quarter of a red bell pepper contains more than twice the recommended daily value of Vitamin C! All peppers are high in Vitamin C, however red bell peppers are the ones rich in beta-carotenes.

I absolutely love red bell peppers. They're by far one of my favorite vegetables. The downside is they can be expensive, especially when you buy them organic, however it's best to buy them organic because you eat the skin. They're also much sweeter! Jarred roasted red bell peppers are much cheaper to buy, though I don't find they taste quite as good, they're a great substitute in the winter or when organic bell peppers are unavilable.

To showcase red bell peppers, I made one of my favorite dishes, Fajita Pasta!

SuperFood: Carrots!

Carrots are an excellent source of:

  • Carotenes
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C

Carrots have been shown to protect against lung cancer, lower blood pressure, guard against food poisioning, and they contain the most beta-carotene of any common food. It's also important to buy organic carrots.

One of my favorite ways to eat carrots are in cabbage and carrot slaw. Almost every day, Pumpkin and I snack on some organic baby carrot sticks! Here's a delicious way to enjoy carrots - Carrot and Raisin Salad

SuperFood: Shiitake Mushrooms!

Shiitakes are an excellent source of:

  • Potassium
  • Niacin
  • Iron
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Fiber
  • Protein

Mushrooms, and specifically Shiitakes, have been shown to keep the immune system healthy and strong, improve eyesight, hearing, circulation, impotency, stop migraine headaches, tumors, and cancer. Shiitakes have also been shown to help lower cholestrol.

I love mushrooms, I especially utilized them when I was a vegetarian as they are a great textural substitute for meat. To showcase Shiitakes, I made Shiitake Marsala Burgers!

SuperFood: Artichokes!

Artichokes are an excellent source of:

  • Folic Acid
  • Potassium
  • Inulin

Artichokes have been shown to assist in liver function, aid digestion and help gallbladder problems, lower cholesterol, reduce fluid retention, and stabilize blood sugar levels.

I absolutely love artichokes, they're so delicious and perfect for bulking up pasta dishes. Tonight I showcased them in a pizza - Beckon Desire!


  1. Thanks for mentioning avocados, now I feel much better about all the guacamole I consume.

  2. Another great way to use cinnamon is to sprinkle some in your coffee filter/grounds before brewing!

  3. I just recently started following your blog and you are such an inspiration in both the kitchen and fitness area! I saw in an earlier post a really cute grocery list/dinner planner type of thing you had. Mind sharing where you got that? It's too cute! Have a fabulous Wednesday!

  4. I also sprinkle cinnamon in my oatmeal in the morning. I've heard it's good for digestion.
    Also I wanted to tell you that I made the Garden Harvest Muffins. I can't have dairy or a lot of oil so I substituted soy milk for the buttermilk and pumpkin for the oil. I have to say they were still fabulous and I may have made them more healthy (although I'm sure they taste better with oil, but I haven't had them yet so I don't know what I'm missing). Thanks for posting such yummy recipes! Congrats on the amazing 5k time last weekend!

  5. Oh how I love cinnamon. Cinnamon
    and pumpkin are two of my
    favorite things!


  6. Ash your background makes it hard to read your blog!

  7. I LOVE plain ole avocado.

    eaten by the slice.