SUPERFOODS

 Sun-Drenched Hills near Menton 1880 Jacquemart, Jules-Ferdinand French, 1837 - 1880


Sun-Drenched Hills near Menton
1880
Jacquemart, Jules-Ferdinand
French, 1837 – 1880


So-called superfoods owe their success to nutrition pundits, cooking gurus, curious consumers and food companies zealous to exploit the newest trends. Here are five in the pantheon.

9 JUL 2014 6:29PMBY Tony C. Dreibus WSJ

QUINOA, A PERUVIAN SEED

Quinoa (keen-WAH): Not technically a grain, the quinoa plant is closely related to beets, spinach and goosefoot. Its seeds are high in protein, antioxidants and vitamin E. But some people don’t like the taste or its sand-like texture. (Source: Whole Grains Council)

KALE, FROM A GOOD FAMILY

Kale, a member of the same species as broccoli, cauliflower and collard greens, stands out in antioxidant nutrients, anti-inflammatory nutrients and anti-cancer nutrients. But so do other members of the same species. (Source: Michigan State University)

AÇAÍ, A BERRY IMPORT

Açaí (ah-sigh-EE) berries: The reddish-purple fruit native to South America is said to contain more antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries, but actual health benefits beyond those of normal fruits haven’t been proven. (Source: Mayo Clinic)

CHIA, MORE THAN JUST A PET

Chia seeds, a cousin to mint, is usually added to foods to add fiber, protein and a form of omega-3 fatty acids, according to Tufts University. While the scientific jury is still out on the actual health benefits of the seed, chia has been put to good use as it forms a sticky, gelatinous coating when exposed to liquid, which account for the smelly green locks adorning Chia Pet, Chia Hello Kitty and Chia Obama. (Source: Tufts University)

FLAXSEED, FOR FIBER AND GOOD FAT

Flaxseed, whose fields resemble a body of water from a distance because of their bright blue hue, is high in fiber and effective in lowering cholesterol levels and improving kidney function, but likely ineffective for strengthening weak bones as some have claimed. (Source: National Institutes of Health)

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