There sure is a great deal of talk these days about the mighty "superfood," and, at this point, it can seem like nothing but noise. After all, there's something good for you in nearly every fruit or vegetable out there! When everything under the sun is touted as the key to eternal life, it can all just make you want to turn off. And rightly so—no one food alone is the answer to eating healthy.
Yet the fact remains that some foods simply pack a lot more nutritional punch than others, and it would be silly to ignore them. Of course, just knowing which foods are loaded with antioxidants and micronutrients doesn't do any good if you aren't going to put them on your plate on a regular basis.
That's why some of the most prominent superfoods don't make much sense to me. Take acai berries, for example.
Acai berries are really good for you because they're packed with antioxidants, which rid the body of destructive chemicals that can cause cancer. But when was the last time you saw one? The only time I see an acai berry is in that $5 drink near the check-out line in the supermarket. And then what's for lunch and dinner? What good are all those healthy antioxidants if you're just going to go home and put horrible, processed, sodium-packed meals on top of it anyway?
That's why, in my mind, the only superfoods worth talking about are the ones that you can actually incorporate into your daily eating routine in an easy and accessible way.
That's what The 10 Things You Need to Eat is all about. My friend Anahad O'Connor, who is a health reporter at The New York Times, and I were getting quite frustrated with the superfood noise because we saw the truly good foods getting lost amid all the silly hype.
While people were loading their shopping carts with expensive juice concoctions, they were missing out on cheap, delicious and easy-to-prepare foods that can offer a much wider array of health benefits. Wouldn't people be a lot better off taking those items home with them instead?
So, we got on the case. Anahad came up with a short list of incredibly healthy foods that anyone can find and afford and love eating all at the same time, while I came up with more than 100 different ways to prepare them easily and deliciously.
Over the next several months, let's really delve into these 10 foods. Let's look at what they are, where they come from, how to buy them and, of course, how to cook them. We'll even talk about ways to get your kids to love them, even if they're the most finicky of eaters.
What I discovered in working on this project was that there's really no need to compromise when you're cooking with these 10 foods. In fact, most of the time it seems a lot like indulgence.
Keep checking back every two weeks for more info and recipes from these amazing superfoods!
Published on February 16, 2010