Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018


Superfoods to the Rescue

And Where to Find Them Locally
By Jennie McKeon

It’s a berry, it’s kale, no, it’s superfoods!

Among the many health-related buzzwords that get spread through the media, you might have heard or read about superfoods. What is a superfood, and what makes them so super?

“Superfoods is the big ‘buzz’ these days,” said Jennifer Duerr, Baptist Hospital Dietician. “A superfood by definition is a food that is rich in various nutrients, offers many health benefits and may prevent disease and keep immunity high.”

Just a Few Superfoods

The list of superfoods is long. You don’t have to venture to the grocery store every time you need a superfood fix. Most foods that are found in nature like leafy vegetable such as kale and spinach, which are antioxidant, vitamin C and A rich and low in calories, are quite super.

“There are many foods that can fall into this category and if you check out different superfoods lists, there are an overwhelming number of foods that are ‘super’ for your health,” Duerr said.

Jennifer Dutton, education director at Ever’man, took notice of the fast-growing trend and made a health note for shoppers about the benefits of superfoods available at the store, including which department you will find them.

“Superfoods can play a supporting role in a healthy diet—boasting high amounts of antioxidants and other vital nutrients,” she wrote. “Antioxidants are special nutrients that prevent and repair oxidation’s damaging effects. Beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E and the minerals zinc and selenium are the best-known of the antioxidant nutrients.”

At Ever’man, you can find açaí, goji, beans and legumes, the ever-delicious sounding wheatgrass, coconut oil and quinoa.

Starting with açaí, the tasty berry is packed with antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, which keep cell membranes flexible. The açaí berry tastes like a cross between a blueberry and dark chocolate, and it’s pretty, too. The rich purple pigment tells you it has a high antioxidant level. The other berry, goji, holds what Dutton calls “nutritional treasures.” The berry is high in antioxidants and amino acids and is available in juice or berry form.

Beans, Dutton noted, are the ultimate superfood. They’re inexpensive, filling and are a staple for vegetarians and vegans, as well as gluten-sensitive folks.

Unlike the visual appeal of the açaí berry, wheatgrass is high in chlorophyll, which is why it looks like something you should mow not ingest. But it does do wonders for your health by cleansing the lymph system, producing blood, removing toxic minerals from cells and it even prevents hair from going grey. You can buy wheatgrass in a powder, capsule or frozen.

“Our Ever’deli serves raw shots of wheatgrass, which can be ingested in its pure form or added to a variety of fruit smoothies,” Dutton said. “We have a very popular smoothie called the Grasshopper. It’s made with organic wheatgrass, apple juice and bananas. It’s awesome.”

Coconut oil has been getting buzz thanks to rumors that celebrities such as Madonna and Demi Moore drink it by the gallon. Shape magazine gives coconut oil a rave review saying the medium-chain triglycerides found in the oil are metabolized differently, meaning it can help with weight loss. Coconut oil also aids in boosting your immune system, can raise good cholesterol and helps control sugar levels. You can also use it topically to keep hair and skin healthy.

At Ever’man you can get coconut water, coffee creamers, milk alternatives, wraps, butter and vinegar.

Quinoa is a superior grain, having the highest protein content, which contains all nine essential amino acids. If that’s not enough, it’s also high in magnesium, manganese iron, copper, phosphorous and vitamin B2.

Duerr pointed out a few other foods such as salmon and sweet potatoes.

“Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acid—good for heart health and also an anti-inflammatory—and protein,” she said. “Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, fiber and beta carotene.”

Dutton also said to add flaxseed, oats, prunes, alternative milk—rice, almond, soy or hemp—kale, garlic, olive oil, pomegranate and nutritional yeast to your grocery list for complete balance.

One Stop Superfood Shop

Because of trends like buying natural and/or organic foods, you can find healthy options in many stores.

“The industry has been growing fast in the past five years,” said Dutton. “Everyone has jumped on the organic/natural foods bandwagon. I mean, even gas stations carry soy milk.”

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