Pumpkin – No longer just a decorative Halloween porch item—but a food proven rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant responsible for reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Pumpkin also contains beta-cryptoxanthin, which may decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers. The pumpkin is a classic American treat that lends itself well to a variety of cakes, pies, and dessert dishes.
Onions – Onions contain high levels of quercetin. Quercetin’s anti-histamine action may help to relieve both allergic and asthmatic symptoms. Quercetin may also help to reduce fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Onions can be enjoyed every day with meals. Although your partner might complain about the slightly pungent aroma—he’ll be glad that you are sneezing less and have a little more pep in your step.
Kale – Kale is a leafy green Superfood. Since it has a slightly bitter taste, it is best to flavor it with spices. A horizontally challenged friend of mine even puts it in her lasagna and swears that she has grown 2 inches since she began adding kale to her favorite Italian dish. Due to the presence of certain carotenoids—Kale lowers the risk of cataracts. Due to its high amount of organosulfur—Kale is also a particular standout in warding off cancer. If that’s not reason enough to add kale to your diet—kale is loaded with additional nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, E, and B, as well as manganese, copper, calcium, and iron.
Herring – Herring, a staple food in Scandinavia since ancient times, is one of the greatest sources of fish oil. An impressive list of health benefits provided by fish oil include its ability to aid in heart diseases, high cholesterol, weight loss, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, eye disorders, macular degeneration, ulcers, and a host of psycho-somatic symptoms. Either by salting, smoking, or marinating usually prepares herring, like many other traditional Scandinavian foods.
Red Bell Peppers – Though any color of bell pepper contains important antioxidants that help to ward off many illnesses, red bell peppers in particular may actually reduce the risk of lung cancer. Red bell peppers contain an orange-red carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin. A study conducted in China showed that smokers who consumed a beta-crytpoxanthin-rich diet had a 37% lower risk of lunch cancer. Red bell peppers definitely have their advantages. Not only are red bell peppers more nutritious than bell peppers of other colors (we won’t name names) but they’re also sweeter in flavor.
Seaweed (sea vegetables) – Although seaweed has been a staple of the Japanese diet for centuries—western cultures have only recently begun to enjoy this low-calorie Superfood. Sea vegetables reportedly reduce the risk of heart disease, alleviate symptoms of stress, and assist in thyroid regulation. Dehydrated sea vegetables can be found in most health food and specialty stores and are frequently used in salads, soups, stews, or stir-fries. There is even a new faux-caviar gourmet product on the market that looks and tastes just like caviar but is made entirely from seaweed.
Oats – A bowl of oatmeal can offer you much more than just a warm start to your day. Oats are some of the best sources of soluble fiber, which help to reduce total low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. A high level of LDL greatly increases the chance of heart disease. Oats can also help control blood sugar and digestion. Adding oats to muffins, cereals, and desserts is a delicious step in the right direction.