Superfood 101

March 22, 2011 10:20:49 AM PDT
What should you be eating daily? Six lesser known superfoods are now showing up on shelves at regular grocery stores.

We've all heard the same old grocery list of items that women should be eating on a daily basis: wild salmon for omega, blueberries for antioxidant, Greek yogurt for probiotics. However, some new ingredients are reaching beyond the shelves of specialty health food stores and are now available at everyday grocery store aisles and online retailers.

These foods are like the supermodels and super athletes for the food world - giving the biggest bang for your buck and delivering a powerful punch of important nutrients helping everyone to maintain optimal health for the new year, according to Dr. Robert Wildman.

The Six Superfoods mentioned on ABC7:


Genesis Today Resveratrol Juice, bunches of Japanese Knotweed in natural form and bunches of grapes

Place of origin: Resveratrol can be found in the skin of grapes -- therefore, present in any of the vineyards of the world: from Italy, France, Spain, Chile, etc. to the vineyards of California. French women have been touting the benefits of Resveratrol for decades with a diet rich with red wine.

Japanese Knotweed: Is one of the most potent forms of Resveratrol. It is a natural growing weed that is prevalent in Asia

What it is: Resveratrol is a potent, protective antioxidant found naturally in the skin of grapes, red wine, blueberries, cranberries, pomegrantes and a few other natural sources such as Japanese knotweed.

What are the benefits: Resveratrol helps support cardiovascular health, a youthful appearance and antioxidant levels.

Why it's important for women: Worldwide, 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year. Heart disease is one of the biggest killers of women, and as women age, their heart health declines; especially after menopause.

Supports Heart Health: Resveratrol is the number one natural compound that works to supports heart health. Resveratrol is chock-full of antioxidants that help fight free radical damage, support healthy arteries, veins, and blood flow, which help support a healthy heart from the inside out.

How to incorporate into diet: I wouldn't recommend getting your resveratrol by drinking countless glasses or bottles of red wine. A high quality resveratrol juice or 100 percent liquid supplement can contain more resveratrol than 50 to 100 glasses of red wine. I'd recommend resveratrol in juice form or liquid supplement. Many grocery stores and big box retailers offer Resveratrol juices right in the refrigerated section.

You can also consume fruits like grapes, cranberries, pomegranates and blueberries to get a more mild dose of Resveratrol.


Genesis Today Goji Juice, Dried Goji Berries and Goji Gourmet Goji Cookie Variety Pack

Goji Gourmet Goji Cookie Variety Pack
Price: $21.99 for 16 cookies

Place of origin: Goji berries come from the valleys of the Himalayan mountain region of China, Mongolia and Tibet.

What it is: Goji berries are small reddish orange berries that look kind of like a tiny chili pepper that grow on bushes.

What are the benefits: In Asia, goji is known as the "happy berry" for its ability to support positive moods, as well as a sharp mind and memory and eye health.

Why it's important for women: Hormones affect women's health, and as they age their health and mood-supporting hormones decrease.

Hormone Help: Goji acts as a secretagogue (a substance that stimulates secretion) and help the glands of the endocrine system stimulate the release of necessary hormones such as human growth hormone from the pituitary gland. Goji berries naturally contain unique polysaccharides that help support a healthy immune system.

Eye Health: Goji berries are rich in beta carotene; lutein and zeaxanthin which all support eye health.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: Since dried goji berries can be found at places like Whole Foods, it's easy to incorporate this superfruit into an everyday routine/diet.

Sprinkle goji berries on your food such as oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, on salads, or even bake them into side dishes or desserts. Here is a sample of my favorite Goji cookies:


Raw Mangosteen Fruit and Bossa Nova Mangosteen Juice with Dragonfruit

Bossa Nova Juice
Price: $3.99
Availability: Specialty grocers and health food stores nationwide

Place of origin: Mangosteen grows in the jungles of Thailand.

What it is: Mangosteen is a small white-fleshed fruit with a dark purple rind that tastes sweet--like a cross between a strawberry and a peach.

What are the benefits: Mangosteen contains over 40 xanthones (super-potent antioxidants) that help fight free radical damage, and keep your bodies inflammatory responses in check.

Why it's important for women: As you age, risk of inflammatory health concerns rise. Plus, it's no secret that with age comes weaker joints.

Aids in anti-inflammatory responses: Mangosteen is rich in xanthones which help fight free radicals and support your bodies' inflammatory response.

Supports healthy joints: Since your joints also tend to deteriorate with age, mangosteen helps support healthy joints and flexibility. Mangosteen helps support healthy inflammatory responses, healthy joints and antioxidant levels.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: You'd have to fly all the way to Thailand to actually get fresh mangosteen. Luckily, Mangosteen juice are popping up at specialty grocery stores across the country. You can also make smoothies with these juices with a combination of fiber, yogurt. My favorite mangosteen juice:


Seabuckthorn berries and New Chapter Supercritical Omega 7 Softgel Capsules

Softgel Capsules
Price: $20.77 for 30 capsules

Place of origin: Sea buckthorn hails from some of the harshest environments of Eastern Asia, Mongolia and the Himalayan Mountain regions.

What it is: A tiny, sour and pungent orange berry that's no larger than a pea, but packed with vitamin C and other powerful nutrients.

What are the benefits: Sea buckthorn supports healthy skin, hair and nails, healthy energy and immune support.

Why it's important for women: Antioxidants are even more important for women as they age.

Omega-rich resource for heart health: Sea buckthorn is a rich source of the full spectrum of heart-healthy omega fatty acids: omegas 3, 6, 9 and the rare omega 7.

Beautifying benefits: Omega fatty acids provide heart health support, as well as supporting healthy hair, skin and nails; omegas keep yoru skin lubricated and wrinkle-free, and are a natural source of energy.

Vitamin C -- Rich for immune system support: Sea Buckthorn is a vitamin C powerhouse, and we all know that antioxidant vitamin C not only fights free radicals but also supports a healthy immune system.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: Sea Buckthorn in natural form (ie: the berries) is not typically found at local grocery stores. However, liquid supplements and softgel capsules are becoming increasingly available at stores and online. Just a note - It's a very tart, pungent you might light to mix or chase this with a juice or tea.


Bowl of dried Acai berries and Genesis Today Acai Juice

Place of origin: Acai berries grow in the Amazon rainforest region of Brazil.

What it is: Acai is a tiny purple berry (and powerful superfruit) that grows on palm trees in the Amazon.

What are the benefits: Acai berries help suport natural energy; healthy hair, skin and nails, and antioxidant levels.

Why it's important for women: Women need protein, fiber, omega fatty acids and antioxidants.

Protein rich: Acai berries are naturally rich in protein; in fact, they have the protein profile of an egg but are much easier to digest.

Aids in digestion and weight control: Acai berries also are naturally rich in fiber which supports a healthy digestive system and healthy weight control. As a bonus: the omega fatty acids in acai can help make you fell full longer, which may help reduce the urge to binge between meals.

Heart healthy: These tiny berries also contain heart-healthy omega fatty acids, which supply your body with natural energy, and support a healthy heart. Acai berries also contain powerful polyphenol antioxidants that help fight free radicals and oxidative stress, and can even slow down the aging process.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: With a variety of acai products available in the market, incorporating acai into your daily diet/everyday routine is pretty easy. One easy and popular way to get your daily dose of Acai is in a delicious chew form -- they're about the size of a postage stamp, but can pack some nutritional punch.


Zico Coconut Water
Price: $2.99 for 16oz bottle
Availability: at most fine grocers, drug stores, and health food stores

Place of origin: Thailand and other tropical regions.

What it is: The liquid extracted from a young, green coconut.

What are the benefits: Coconut water supports the balancing of your body's electrolytes, natural energy and healthy hydration.

Why it's important for women: Lack of energy is a common complaint of women, often times due to dehydration.

Hydration help and energy booster: Coconut water is rich in potassium and other important electyrolytes which are important for proper hydration. When you are hydrated, and your electrolytes are balance, you also have more energy. Coconut water is a great fitness drink after a workout, or to hydrate you in warm weather.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: Coconut water is in liquid form in and easy to drink. You can feel the hydration almost instantly when drinking coconut water: It's Nature's hydration drink, which hydrates without the sugar and calories of most sports/fitness drinks. I'd suggest making coconut water part of your daily regimen: it tastes great and hydrates better than water.


Dr. Robert Wildman has dedicated his life to helping people learn how to eat and to live their lives longer and healthier. Dr Wildman is the creator of as well as on the faculty in the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University. Educated in some of the nation's leading nutrition programs, Dr. Wildman has authored several nutrition books including The Nutritionist: Food, Nutrition and Optimal Health, Sport & Fitness Nutrition and The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods which are used by health professionals and students around the world.

Dr. Wildman is a registered and licensed dietitian with the American Dietetics Association and has a PhD from The Ohio State University in Human Nutrition. He received his MS from The Florida State University in Foods and Nutrition and a BS from the University of Pittsburgh in Dietetics and Nutrition.