If you’re like me, you’re interested in foods that can give you high-density nutrition, protect you from chronic disease, help reverse disease, and even defy the aging process. And what better time to focus your attention on these important qualities of food than the New Year!
Every New Year, I resolve to expand my knowledge of healthy, anti-aging foods and create new, easy, and delicious recipes to share with my family and friends. This year, a few unique and promising foods have already piqued my interest: goji berries, camu camu, spirulina, and mangosteen. All of them contain FoodTrients—my word for nutrients with anti-aging properties.
Goji berries, also called wolfberries, come from China, Mongolia, and the Himalayas. They have been used in Asian medicine for centuries to detoxify the blood and liver, improve vision, and help circulation. Orange-red in color, they are very small and tart, like cranberries. Goji berries have more antioxidant power than even prunes. They are high in vitamins B and C, calcium, and iron and they contain beta carotene and zeaxanthin, which protects the retinas for eye health. Fresh goji berries are unavailable in this country, but you can purchase the dried berries and use them instead of cranberries in drinks, desserts, salads, and rice.
Camu camu is a small, reddish-purple fruit from the Amazon rainforest. It contains the FoodTrients anthocyanins (which reduce the risk of cancer), catechins (which help protect the heart, among other benefits), and vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunity booster). Camu camu is best used in capsule or powder form. Sprinkle the powder in smoothies or on raspberries or citrus fruits.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae with an interesting history: it was once a food source for the ancient Aztecs. A protein-rich food, spirulina contains the FoodTrients vitamins C and E, potassium, selenium, and zinc and has many other powerful nutrients. It’s available as a supplement, a whole food, and in tablet, flake, and powder form.
The Southeast Asian mangosteen is an exotic tropical fruit with a pure white, segmented flesh and a hard, thick outer shell. Although research is ongoing, some claim that the rind of the fruit has medicinal value.
Stay tuned to FoodTrients.com for recipes resulting from my investigations with all these exciting new foods. I’ll post them after I’ve perfected them in my test kitchen. In the meantime, start your own New Year’s resolution toward better health the FoodTrients way. For example, want to incorporate more antioxidants in your diet? Try orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, or winter squash. Add spices such as curry powder and turmeric to rice, poultry, or vegetable dishes. Eat more leafy greens, such as kale and spinach. For an easy antioxidant FoodTrient start, see the recipes for Carrot Quiche, Turmeric Rice, Potato Kale Soup, and Spinach and Grapefruit Salad in my book FoodTrients: Age-Defying Recipes for a Sustainable Life and on the website.
FoodTrients: what a wonderful way to start off the New Year!