October, 20th 2018 – Superfoods

Annie, one of our dietitians, did a presentation on “Superfoods,” which are foods that are extra healthy for us to eat. Some examples of superfoods are:

  • Tumeric
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Green tea
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Eggs (with bright yolks)
  • Garlic
  •  Salmon
  • Ginger
  • Acai

1. Superfoods are those that are high in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories.
2. They also contain beneficial compounds that are called antioxidants. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals to prevent cell damage and inflammation
3. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause cell damage, which cause disease and inflammation
4. They also strengthen the immune system by protecting white blood cells from damage

The superfood Annie brought was Pitaya, or Dragon Fruit. It contains prebiotics, which feed the probiotics or good bacteria in your gut. The two main types of healthy bacteria it feeds are lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. These bacteria limit the risk of intestinal infection and diarrhea, improve digestion of lactose (the sugar in dairy products) and helps control serum cholesterol levels.

It also contains 8% of the recommended daily intake of iron per cup. We use iron to transport oxygen and break food down into energy. Pitaya is also a good source of Vitamin C, which helps the body to absorb iron. And it contains 18% of the recommended daily intake of Magnesium, which is involved in metabolism, muscle contraction and bone formation.

Annie showed how to pitaya into a high protein smoothie bowl. Here’s the recipe:

Mix together:

• 8 oz light coconut milk
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 packet of pitaya plus (pureed pitaya fruit)
• ½ scoop protein powder
• 2 packets of Splenda
• Ice and chia seeds as desired
• Top with blueberries or blackberries and coconut flakes as desired

Nutrition information:
250 calories
10 gm protein
17 gm carbs
16 gms fat