BY MARISSA CUDDY
Superfoods may not wear a cape but they could be the hero you need in your life.
Jane Dummer, a registered dietitian and author of Need for Seeds, identifies a superfood as having specific health-promoting qualities that have been sustained by scientific research.
There are many different foods that have been classified as superfoods. More common ones include blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit, apples, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chia seeds and salmon. Some lesser known ones are acai berries, spirulina, chlorella, chaga mushroom and golden berries.
Dummer said more research is being done on the benefits of herbs and spices. So far it has been found that cinnamon regulates blood glucose and ginger can be used as an anti-inflammatory.
“Kale is probably the best known superfood right now. It’s very popular and can be found everywhere,” said Meghan Scott, a registered dietitian and owner of MLS Nutrition in Cambridge.
Dummer said when she talks to her clients she tells them about having an overall dietary pattern. They must be eating right, working out and getting enough sleep to have a healthy lifestyle.
“Superfoods are not a silver bullet to fix an unhealthy diet,” she said. “Misconceptions most people have is they can eat junk all week then eat seaweed and think it will be all good, but that isn’t how it works.”
Dummer said we need to be eating about 80 per cent healthy foods and the other 20 per cent can be indulging in other foods.
“The foundation for good health is good nutrition. Instead of waiting until we experience a major health crisis, we can be more proactive towards protecting our health,” said Chantale Michaud, a holistic nutritionist and well-being counsellor at the Northfield Sobeys in Waterloo.
Some of the benefits these foods can have are for digestive health, heart health, bone health, brain health and reducing the risk of disease.
“Many superfoods are also high in cancer-fighting nutrients and phytochemicals, which have been found to reduce the risk of several types of cancer. To truly attain and maintain the best health possible, we must nourish ourselves on a cellular level with nutrient rich foods,” Michaud said.
The Northfield Sobeys in Waterloo will be holding a workshop about superfoods today from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The workshop will offer information on superfoods with a more in-depth look at what each food’s benefits are and how they can be used, recipes using superfoods and a take home superfood trail mix, energy bars and smoothies.
The cost for the workshop is $10 plus tax per person. This fee covers the cost of food, beverage and samples.
To register you can use the sign-up sheet in the store or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Superfoods Workshop.”