For several years now, the Internet has been abuzz with the news of Dr. Perricone's 10 superfoods. According to the buzz, eating these superfoods has a huge nutritional payoff, especially in terms of beauty, brain power and anti-aging properties. Can incorporating these superfoods into your diet help you?
The Beginning of the Buzz
It all started on a 2005 episode of the television show, Oprah. On the show, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, an M.D. known for his high profile career selling anti-aging skin products and promoting healthy eating in the media, gave out a list of his top 10 superfoods that were said to help promote healthy cognitive function and have a big payoff in terms of beauty. Suddenly the world was abuzz with Dr. Perricone's 10 superfoods as consumers flocked to grocery and health food stores in an attempt to incorporate these foods into their diet.
Dr. Perricone's 10 Superfoods
The foods listed by Dr. Perricone are relatively easy to find and incorporate into your diet. Included on the list are:
- Açai berries - These berries from the Brazilian rain forest are extremely high in antioxidants and taste delicious. You will most likely find açai berries in juice form in the produce or juice section of your local grocer or health food store.
- Alliums - This group of foods includes some favorite cooking flavoring agents including garlic, onions, shallots, leeks and chives. Alliums contain flavanoids that stimulate the production of a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, which aids in the elimination of toxins and carcinogens. Cooked and raw alliums can easily be incorporated into your foods.
- Barley - This grain is a low-glycemic grain high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. This promotes the metabolism of fats, prevents disease and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon. Barley can be found in the grains section of your grocery store, and is also available in supplement form at the health food store.
- Beans and lentils - These superfoods supply the body with protein and fiber. They are also a good source of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and are low glycemic foods that have a minimal impact on blood sugar.
- Buckwheat - This seed is a low glycemic grain alternative that packs a powerful nutritional punch. It is relatively high in protein and the amino acids lysine and arginine. Buckwheat is also a great food for stabilizing blood sugar. You can find buckwheat at the grocery or health food store.
- Green foods - The term "green foods" doesn't refer to green vegetables. Instead, it refers to bright green young grasses such as wheat grass and barley grass and blue green algae. These bright green foods are high in nutritional content, antioxidants and other free-radical scavengers. Green foods can be purchased in powdered or tablet form at your local health food store.
- Hot peppers - Peppers of all different heat are high in capsicum, which is a natural cancer-fighter and anti-inflammatory. Peppers are also high in flavonoids, carotene and vitamin C, which are all powerful antioxidants.
- Nuts and Seeds - Nuts are high in protein and fiber. They are also a good source of essential fatty acids. Nuts are a great food for weight control, blood sugar control and are low glycemic foods. Eating a few nuts can also help to control appetite. While nuts are good for you, they are high in calories and fat, so moderation is recommended.
- Sprouts - High in vitamin C, sprouts are also a good source of the enzymes our bodies need. Sprouts can be grown at home from starter kits found in health food stores or purchased at your local grocery store or farmers' market.
- Yogurt and kefir - These two fermented dairy products contain the good bacteria (probiotics) necessary for gut health. You can find yogurt and kefir in the dairy section of your local grocery or health food store. Opt for low-sugar or sugar-free products.
A healthy diet is one that draws on a variety of brightly colored natural foods and is relatively free of processed foods, chemicals and sugar. It's easy to make Dr. Perricone's 10 superfoods a regular part of your diet. Toss sprouts on salads, drink açai juice with breakfast, snack on nuts, seeds and yogurt, and toss some barley and beans into soup for dinner. You don't need to eat every single superfood each day, but if you make these foods a regular part of your diet, you just may experience a payoff in good health.