Monday, November 12, 2007

Wham: Add some superfoods to this year's Thanksgiving feast!

Are you tired of spinach, bored with broccoli? If so, read further for some new tips for Thanksgiving from the Baylor Health System. These experts say there’s a new generation of superfoods that promise to do double or triple-duty when it comes to preventing illness. Now is the time to think about how you can integrate some of these new superfoods into your Thanksgiving meal planning.

At the top of the list is Kiwi fruit, a wonderful addition to a fruit salad. “In a recent study, kiwi was found to be one of the most nutritionally dense fruits out of 27 fruits,” says Stephanie Dean, R.D., dietitian with Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Kiwis are full of antioxidants, vitamin E and lutein. They ward off vision problems, blood clots, and even lower cholesterol—almost as effectively as the second new superfood on the list, barley.

“The USDA found that barley specifically could lower your LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol by 17.4 percent which is a phenomenal percentage,” adds Dean. Barley, a type of wheat, can be added to soups or even eaten instead of oatmeal for breakfast.

Next on the list is a traditional Thanksgiving favorite, cranberries, which continue to receive lots of attention in the medical press for their health benefits.

“The crimson color of cranberries signal that they are full of flavonoids,” explains Dean. Flavonoids are high in antioxidants and they help prevent everything from infections to strokes and cancer.

Next, the Baylor doctors recommend a different type of drink for Thanksgiving day, Kefir.

“Kefir is a wonderful source of calcium. Every eight ounce glass has about 300 milligrams which is a little less than one-third of the recommended daily intake for adults,” says Dean. Kefir not only contains just as much calcium as milk, but also a huge serving of beneficial probiotic bacteria. More so than yogurt!

Lastly, the final superfood recommendation is a cousin to an old healthy food we've all eaten at Thanksgiving. This time, make it broccoli sprouts.

“Broccoli sprouts have been shown to actually contain 20 percent more anti-cancer agents than regular broccoli,” says Dean. These sprouts are sold by the package and can be thrown on top of salads or can be a great addition to leftover Turkey sandwiches after the holiday.


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