The new list of Superfoods

MSN recently featured a new list of superfoods from the writers of Woman's Day. Sorta like the modern wonders of the world, as new foods emerge on our palette there needs to be a new list of superfoods to go along with it.

We'll go through the 8 new superfoods they've touted as being important and we'll add a couple of our own.


#1 Kefir

Kefir's been around a long time. In fact yogurt of some sort shows up among most people's super foods.

Health.com, Parenting.com and Prevention magazine all list Greek Yogurt in their top 10. Dr. Perricone lists Kefir, specifically and WebMD, TLC and Self all have lowfat yogurt on their list of superfoods. While MSN suggests it should be on the new list, I'd argue that yogurt in one form or another has been there since the beginning.

Kefir does offer more protein and less sugar than most yogurts. And has all the helpful probiotics that yogurt does. But what really makes yogurt good is that it is a fermented food. Every society has used fermentation in their popular diets. It's the bacteria created from the process that aids our tummies.


See what everyone else has on their super foods list


#2 Jicama

Jicama is pronounced {hick uh muh} and is often seen on vegetable trays. Many eat it raw, others cooked with chili powder - it's quite a versatile root vegetable. Jicama is a low calorie food all while maintaining the antioxidants and nutrients that allow it to grace this list. It's also a fantastic source of good fiber for the body. It's also a good source of vitamin c, manganese, iron and copper. There's not really a downside to jicama and am surprised that this is the only list of superfoods I've seen it on.

Outside the U.S. jicama is a pretty common food source.


#3 Chia

One tbsp of chia seeds has as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal. And on top of that they are packed with heart-healthy omega-3, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. Honestly, I was glad to MSN put Chia on this list because it really is foreign to our American palette.Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, even more so than flax seeds, which has been featured on other superfoods lists.

Remember why grapes manufacture resveratrol? It's because the resveratrol helps to battle disease, chemicals, harsh conditions and predators. Resveratrol, an antioxidant, keeps grapes young.

Well chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without spoiling. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.


#4 Sprouts

Hmm. . . sprouts have had so many problems with e-coli, I'm not sure it's wise to put sprouts on the list. It seems horrible to buying something for the health benefits only to get sick. Sprouts like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover, wheat grass and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compound antioxidants) that can protect us against disease.

But the best part about plants is that they grow anytime of the year and require virtually no space. (a wet paper towel in the closet would be just fine). Not only that but when you grow them yourself there aren't any chemicals whatsoever put on them. And they mature in 3 - 5 days having grown 400% of their size.

It's the sprouting process that provides the great benefits. Minerals chelate with proteins, starches get converted to simple sugars and proteins create amino acids. All very valuable transformations.


#5 Black Garlic

I'll be honest with you. I had never heard of this prior to reading it on the list. I've never tasted it and am not sure what to think of it. The idea that it is on the new list of superfoods is great because there's nothing "old" about this food. The first thing I found out about Black Garlic is that it is the result of fermentation. Yay!

According to the folks over there at BlackGarlic.com, it takes about 4 weeks to perfect the process. The first three weeks the garlic is put into a machine that regulates heat and temperature to start the fermentation process, then once completed it rests for another week.

I couldn't find any published studies on black garlic, but did read that the fermentation process "super charges" the antioxidants and nutrients in the garlic.

Honestly, for me, the jury is still out on this one.


#6 Kelp

Like #1, Kelp is no surprise. We recently listed sea vegetables on our 10 Healthiest Foods list, of which Kelp is just one.

I think Woman's Health should not have made Kelp #6, but instead included all the sea vegetables like Wakame. Vitamin K, calcium, iodine and many other nutrients are what makes Kelp great.


#7 Nutritional Yeast

I believe Brewer's Yeast is our #1 Healthiest Food option. Being that no one includes things like yeast, flax or chia on their list of superfoods, I agree with it being on this "New List". Unfortunately, there's nothing really new about these great foods.

Read more about Kelp and Brewer's Yeast on our 10 healthiest Foods list.


#8 Barley

Dr. Perricone and Women's Fitness list Barley among their top healthy foods. Almost every other list includes "whole grains". Woman's Health was remiss listing this as something "new". Whole grains should be a big part of your daily diet. Since your body runs on proteins, carbs and fat - you really should be choosy when it comes to each source you ingest.

In the carbohydrate realm, while veggies are a good source they don't provide the volume your body needs for muscle repair, energy and growth. Whole grains, like barley, are the next best thing.

One of the reasons this list of superfoods is such a big deal is because it affords you the knowledge you need to make good choices.

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