SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)


HOW TO SHOP FOR "SUPERFOODS"

Everything from granola bars to fruit juices boasts ingredients that can improve health and looks. Awesome? No doubt. Accurate? Not always. We bring the claims back down to earth.
  • Share
  • Print
super foods

1. FRESH PRODUCE

The super claim
Fresh produce is packed with nutrients that can protect your memory, vision and immune system.
The real deal
Fruits and vegetables in a range of dark hues are some of the best foods you can eat. But watch out for the old stuff: Spinach loses half of its vitamin C within two days of being picked. So if you tend to "forget" about your greens, buy them frozen. Freezing helps preserve the antioxidants.

2. OMEGA-3s

The super claim
Move over, fish! Get your omega-3s from packaged foods like orange juice, pasta or bagels that are enriched with these heart-healthy fatty acids.
The real deal You'd have to drink about thirty(!) 8-ounce glasses to match the omega-3 benefits of one 3-ounce piece of salmon. "Use packaged foods to help fill in gaps," says David Grotto, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life."But they shouldn?t be your main source."

3. CHOCOLATE, WINE AND COFFEE

The super claim
Chocolate! Wine! Coffee! OMG! They're superfoods!
The real deal
All of those exclamation points deserve a few asterisks. Go with dark instead of milk chocolate (darker and less processed equals more antioxidants); red wine instead of white (red is made with antioxidant-rich grape skins); and whole coffee beans instead of ground (and keep them away from light and air, which weaken antioxidants).

4. FORTIFIED SNACKS

The super claim
Fortified snacks like fruit cups and crackers pack the same amount of nutrients as fresh produce.
The real deal You can get superfoods on the go, but scan the label first. "At least 10 percent of the recommended daily value of at least one nutrient is a must," says David Wolfe, author of Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. And if fruits and veggies aren?t in the top three of the ingredients list, the snack's not worth your while.

5. JUICES

The super claim
Go ahead, drink your way to better health.
The real deal
Juices and smoothies made with antioxidant-rich fruits like pomegranate or ašai can help fight cancer-causing free radicals and reduce inflammation, but they're only as good as the containers that hold them. Look for opaque bottles or paper cartons that shield vitamin-destroying UV rays.

6. PROBIOTIC-BOOSTED YOGURT

The super claim
Probiotic-boosted yogurt will keep your digestive system healthy.
The real deal Probiotics can help you stay regular, but don't stick to one yogurt brand. Mixing up bacterial strains (look for them in the ingredients list) can up your body's resistance to colds and infections. Probiotic cheese and granola bars are now available; fermented foods like soy sauce naturally contain the "good" bacteria.

 

Comments