“Superfoods” Aren’t Super. They Should Be Your Normal Foods

Asian Sweet Potato Salad

It’s easy to pat yourself on the back for the one vegetable you ate today—and if you normally eat zero, by all means celebrate that healthy eating victory. But singling out foods as “super” or healthy may backfire.

Instead, we should think of healthy foods as normal, and eating that veggie should be a non-event. Jonathan Ross explains at Greatist:

Yes, kale is healthy, but it is healthy in the standard ways our bodies expect and it’s always been healthy. It hasn’t become “Kale the Superfood” in the last decade. Healthy food should be our normal. It’s not super; it is what is expected.

If you feel like eating something healthy is an accomplishment, you’re likely to think it’s fine to have some junk food later—after all, you did a healthy thing and an unhealthy thing, so on average you’re doing fine. Instead, we should recalibrate our expectations: see the less-optimal choices for what they are, and make healthy the new normal.

Do Microgreens Have More Nutrition?

From NutrionFacts.org

USDA researchers recently published a study assessing the nutrition content of 25 commercially available microgreens, seedlings of vegetables and herbs that have gained popularity in upscale markets and restaurants. Just a few inches tall, they boast intense flavors and vivid colors, but what about their nutritional content? No one knew until this new study came out.

We’ve known that baby spinach, for example, have higher levels of phytonutrients than mature spinach leaves, but what about really baby spinach, just a week or two old?

Microgreens won hands down (leaves down?), possessing significantly higher nutrient densities than mature leaves. For example, red cabbage microgreens have a 6-fold higher vitamin C concentration than mature red cabbage, and 69 times the vitamin K.

Microgreens are definitively more nutrient dense, but are often eaten in small quantities. Even the healthiest garnish isn’t going to make much of a difference to one’s health. And microgreens may go for $30 a pound! But BYOM—birth your own! You can have rotating trays of salad you can snip off with scissors. It’s like gardening for the impatient—fully grown in just 7 to 14 days! If that’s too long, what about sprouting? See my video Antioxidants Sprouting Up.

Homemade sprouts are probably the most nutrition-per-unit-cost we can get for our money. See Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck, where they beat out the previous champ, purple cabbage (Superfood Bargains). Broccoli sprouts are probably the best.

Berries with Orange Sabayon

Berries with Orange Sabayon

Berries with Orange Sabayon

Serving Size  : 4    

Mixed berries- I use blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

  3        tablespoons  sugar
  7         whole  egg yolks
  2        tablespoons  orange juice
  1        teaspoon  lemon juice
  1        teaspoon  orange zest
  1        teaspoon  lemon zest
  2        tablespoons  orange liqueur — such as Grand Marnier OR a few drops of orange extract

Whisk the sugar and egg yolks in a large metal mixing bowl until frothy.  Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (to create a double-boiler) and whisk until the yolks become pale yellow in color.

Continue to whisk over low to medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Add the juices and zests and continue to whisk so the sauce thickens back up again. Add the liqueur and whisk until incorporated and the sabayon is light, fluffy and has good volume, 2 minutes longer.