The Healing Powers of Superfoods

The Healing Powers of Superfoods

by Cal Orey


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Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?
Apples, leafy greens, shellfish, yogurt—even ice cream and pasta. The latest scientific studies reveal that many of the classic foods you’ve always loved are superfoods that can supercharge your health! Not only are they delicious, they’re affordable—plus these essential farm-to-table favorites can work with any diet plan, from the balanced Mediterranean Diet to the hunter-gatherer Paleo plan.
With over 50 recipes for both cooked and raw dishes, including smoothies and soups, a detox juice fast and a jump-start pounds-off diet, this down-to-earth guide will show you how to get healthy and stay healthy with body-friendly superfoods.
*Boost your immune system with citrus and nutrient-dense berries, including fresh, frozen, and dried.
*Enjoy the healthy fats in eggs and nuts, including nut butters, to fight inflammation, slow the aging process, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
*Trade white sugar for antioxidant-rich sweeteners like maple syrup, the newest superfood!
*Create home remedies designed to ease anxiety, improve sleep, boost brainpower and enhance energy.
*Keep your home spotless for kids and pets using eco-friendly superfood-rich formulas.
*Pamper your mind and body with the same food-based treatments that health spas use, including ingredients like seeds and seaweed.
Now you can indulge in a Pesto Pizza or Berry Basil Smoothie, a Chicken Bone Broth or dark chocolate gelato, while chilling with an ancient-oats facial or relaxing in a warm, herb-scented bath. Infused with heartwarming stories and inspiring legends, The Healing Powers of Superfoods will take you to a world of wellness that starts at home with our favorite foods from Mother Nature—enjoyed in a new way with an exciting twist!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806538983
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 12/18/2018
Series: Healing Powers Series , #7
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 654,836
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Cal Orey, M.A., is an accomplished author and journalist. She has a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University, and for three decades has written hundreds of articles for national and international magazines. She specializes in topics such as health, beauty, nutrition, relationships, science, and pets. Her books include The Healing Powers of Vinegar, The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, The Healing Powers of Coffee, The Healing Powers of Honey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate, The Healing Powers of Tea202 Pets’ Peeves, and Doctors’ Orders. She lives in northern California. Readers are invited to visit her website at, read her blog The Writing Gourmet at, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.  

Read an Excerpt


The Power of Superfoods

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. — HIPPOCRATES

In my imagination, every weekend morning in our farmhouse in the middle of Central California, surrounded by orchards and groves, I'd sit at a rustic wooden kitchen table. My mother scooped a spoonful of hot oatmeal into my bowl and topped it with fresh raspberries, paired with a side of scrambled eggs and diced tomatoes off the vine. As we ate, she'd dished out daily chores: picking apples and making batches of berry jam for the autumn harvest. Reaping the rewards of nature's finest food was normal to me, a kid at a farmhouse. I often gazed out the kitchen window to hear and see neighbors' roosters and cows roaming on dairy farms. Those were typical days, sort of.

I can almost remember when my leisure-loving grandmother, who traveled the world, visited. During the warm Indian summer night we sat on the porch swing. Nibbling on homemade almond butter cookies and drinking cold lemonade under the harvest moon, she read to me my favorite book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, beginning with Aunt Polly searching for Tom, discovering the boy had been sneaking jam. This rural paradise slice of life takes me back in time, back to nature, but it's an exaggerated tale.

Truth be told, my real life was a bit of a bore. I could see the Los Gatos foothills from our sofa next to the living room window — a safe place I'd go and imagine the world I had not experienced. I was raised in an agricultural hub, full of plum and apricot orchards, a place where the scent of fruit filled the air when I took walks to the mall with my friends. But there were no eggs to fetch; I just saw that on The Real McCoys, a TV show about a family who came out West to become farmers.

But the truth is, I really did eat and enjoy superfoods in my youth. I was homegrown in San Jose, California, a place once dubbed "the Valley of Heart's Delight," and I still have images of its natural, whole foods. We'd pick fresh fruits and vegetables from neighbors' yards and nearby orchards, and both lettuce and strawberry fields were thirty miles away from our home. But I was not raised as a farmer's daughter, nor did I raise chickens or collect eggs at the crack of dawn.

Now, as a Golden State — grown health-nut foodie, I can look back at my life growing up, decade by decade, and understand how superfoods played a big role in my real world. I got a feel for farm-to-table meals and the trend of health food store superfoods (avoiding fast food and frozen boxed dinners) with their healing powers throughout my wonder years of growing up in the suburbs.

A Time for Superfoods

Today, after more than a half century of living, I sit here writing in a rustic mountain cabin amid pine trees (minus a dozen due to gentrification). True, I'm not on farmland, but I feel a healthy vibe, surrounded by nature that keeps on giving both beauty and nourishment as I write The Healing Powers of Superfoods.

For countless people — and perhaps for you, too — the healing powers of superfoods are no secret. Like me, people use superfoods not only as home cures but also as a weight-loss, heart-healthy, and antiaging prescription, where they give a health boost by teaming up with herbs and spices.

If you haven't heard by now, listen up. Your health — mind, body, and spirit — may depend on it. Chances are, you, like me, already have superfoods in your kitchen fridge, cupboards, and on the countertops. I'm talking about whole foods — good, clean, edible fare — not processed junk with ingredients you can't pronounce or define. There is a lot to discover about superfoods that is super and that you need to know about.

The Super Term for Superfood

Superfood: A food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions. — The Macmillan Dictionary

Medical doctors and even superfood researchers continue to make new findings about superfoods. It's not just about acai and noni. In mainstream America and around the globe, people are discovering just what folk herbalists have been saying throughout history, that nature's finest foods have remarkable healing powers.

Superfood Smoothies author Julie Morris points out that superfood "essentials" in smoothies are chock-full of vitamins and minerals, providing more benefits than other foods and earning their tag "nutritional superheroes."

David Wolfe, author of Superfoods: The Food of Medicine of the Future and a raw food guru, also notes, like other clean-food advocates, that superfoods have a baker's dozen of super "unique properties," including being sources of antiaging and immune-boosting antioxidants. These are super substances, such as vitamins, that can prevent chemical reactions that may cause cell damage.

Not to forget SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods that Will Change Your Life coauthor Steven G. Pratt, M.D., one of the pioneers who has revolutionized superfoods by educating mainstream Americans in the twentieth century. He explains that the right foods can help you "feel better, have more energy, look better" and halt changes in your body that may lead to disease.

The verdict is in, and it has been evident since the ancient caveman and hunter-gatherer days. Eating a whole foods, natural, plant-based diet is the path to good health and well-being. The best superfoods can and do vary, but despite controversy between the food of the week in the media and scientific nutritional studies backing them, superfoods are functional foods — not a gimmick to sell products or a brand despite what some medical doctors believe. Yes, superfoods are real food with super nutrients that provide super healing powers.

Meet the Favorite Superfoods

Today, we know more about the natural goodness behind superfoods — must-have foods to include in your diet. Superfoods — including eggs and Greek yogurt — are considered super medicine that can help your body and mind keep a healthy balance. And this eating-style trend is not a fad, because superfoods can and do help you feel and look better, as well as add super quality years to your life.

Medical researchers believe some antioxidants that act like pharmaceuticals (which are substances that have been manufactured for use as medical drugs while currently being researched for their potential to treat diseases and stall aging) are in superfoods. What's more, superfoods may be super for you and stave off health ailments and diseases. In fact, superfoods have been called "functional foods." And it's no surprise some superfoods are considered super because they are connected with resisting the development of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and much more.

Ever hear the adage "You are what you eat?" Truth is, you aren't that hot dog and the onion rings you ate at that fast-food drive-thru, but rather what you digest day after day. I learned decades ago that if you eat mid-twentieth-century- style three square meals daily, you still may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals — especially if your dishes are full of processed food that is high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. And food researchers will tell you their take on how antioxidant-rich superfoods are superior.

Five Questions For Joe Vinson, Ph.D. — An Antioxidant Authority

Meet Joe A. Vinson, Ph.D., from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, researcher and author of stacks of studies, including some on the healing compounds in superfoods. While he does say the superfoods term sometimes is not science based, he acknowledges the nutrient-dense, wholesome foods that are believed to be healthy choices. And, if he was marooned on an island, can you guess what superfoods he'd choose for survival? Read on — you may be pleasantly surprised!

Q: Ancient grains such as oats are known to be healthful. Why do ancient grains make the typical superfoods list?

A: Oats are highest in polyphenols [plant-based micronutrients that might help lower your odds of developing cancer or heart disease] and antioxidants among all the flours and also the highest on the ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.

Q: Potatoes (especially fast-food-chain fried ones) have been given a bad rap. Why do you feel we should include them in moderation in our diet?

A: Potatoes eaten with the skin will provide the most fiber, nutrients, and polyphenols. Purple potatoes have significantly more polyphenols than white potatoes. [These little super potatoes come from South America. Available year- round, they contain a four-fold amount of antioxidants compared with Russet potatoes. Golf ball — size, they're used in salads and soups, and available in supermarkets.]

Q: Berries (such as blueberries) get a lot of credit in superfood literature. But what about cranberries and strawberries? Please tell me why these other berries are nutritious, too. Aren't cranberries as rich in antioxidants as blueberries?

A: Each berry has a different spectrum of polyphenols, and we need to get as many and as much polyphenols in our diet as possible for maximum health benefits.

Q: Spinach and kale — two touted health foods. Mixing the two make our food more flavorful. Are these leafy greens (washed to rid of pesticides) rich in antioxidants? Do you consider them important in a healthiest foods list?

A: Leafy vegetables are not particularly high in polyphenols and antioxidants, but again, we need a spectrum of polyphenols in our diet and as much fiber as possible.

Q: If you were stranded on an island and could have five foods to eat for two weeks (you get water), what would you eat, and briefly share why these are your choices.

A: Nuts, peanut butter, orange juice, wine, and whole-grain crackers (to put the peanut butter on). The solid foods are filling and tasty. The liquids contain polyphenols and taste good, too, and the orange juice provides vitamin C.

Superfoods Tidbits to Chew On

As medical researchers continue to make breakthrough discoveries about disease-fighting antioxidants, research and marketing companies keep track of food trends, year after year. Also, projections are doled out on how long which superfoods will stay in demand or if they're just a whim that'll fade. Here, take a look at the consensus, and you can make your own forecast for the growth of superfoods in the future.

• The term superfood has become a buzzword in the language of food and health. Some nutritionists and medical doctors shun the word because they claim there is lack of scientific evidence to back the praise for some foods.

• Producers and marketers of superfoods highlight this term to add extra value in order to sell their products. Foods that are often sold as superfoods include ancient grains, salad mixes, seeds, and seaweeds.

• Nutritionists point out a trend of "mindful eating," a slower and more thoughtful approach to eating.

• More than half of consumers in a poll will choose to "eat clean" by looking to eat foods that are less processed and more whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and ancient grains, as well as plant-based proteins like nuts and seeds.

• Top superfoods have included ancient grains, avocados, coconut products, exotic fruits, green tea, kale, nuts, seeds, salmon, and fermented foods like yogurt.

My goal includes focusing on common superfoods that may not surprise you, but adding new findings, twists, and turns for each one that will open your eyes. I'm also combining twentieth-century favorite comfort dishes with new superfoods. Read: You'll be discovering unprocessed superfoods that have super flavor and versatility — and are easy to find at the local supermarket. That means no treks to find obscure foods. It's time. It's time to get real food without bells and whistles.

What's So Super About Superfoods?

Enter superfoods. The thing is (despite skeptical doctors and nutritionists who insist superfoods are a marketing tool to lure consumers to buy an item, like the aphrodisiac maca or bottled green drinks) some down-to-earth foods are nutrient dense and super! And there is a new school of food wizards who will tell you superfoods are real, with an abundance of nutrients and can be combined in a balanced diet regime and/or used topically for beauty.

Yes, eating superfoods can be super. I'm dishing up good, clean eating — whole, natural foods, low in sugar, salt, and fat, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts, fish, and whole grains. Also, the superfoods in this book are not just about clean foods, but also your enjoyment of both the taste and benefits of "semiclean" functional foods, such as the "new" superfoods gelato and shellfish, which are healthiest when eaten in moderation.

The majority of the doctors I've interviewed during the past three decades praised the healing powers of nutrient-dense "power foods" (such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish and poultry). Both conventional and holistic medical experts shared personal experiences about how exactly these foods helped them and/or their patients lose unwanted weight and fight chronic ailments, even heart disease.

But back in those days we didn't say "superfood"; instead, phrases to describe the healthiest foods included healing,cancer-fighting,pound-pairing,miracle, and wonder foods. And wonderful they can be, so wonderful the term superfoods is now a household word and not just jargon for health nuts. In fact, while supplements played a big role in the early twentieth century, a nutrient-dense diet seems to be more in demand unless there is a lack of a certain mineral or vitamin in an individual's diet.

Here, take a look at some of the good-for-you antioxidants, polyphenols, minerals, and vitamins found in superfoods that may help stave off cellular damage, and you'll begin to get why the superfood craze is not just a fad — it is here to stay.

So, now that you understand my desire to dish up superfoods (especially favorite foods that you can find in your local supermarket), why not take a break and digest the premise of superfoods and how they can be healing. Go ahead — whip up a fruit juice beverage to get in the mood for discovering clean food that'll help you feel good and energized.

Super Detoxifying Pure Cleanse

* * *

It's time to enjoy a simple, natural beverage to savor while you indulge in the following pages about superfoods and how they can help you feel super! This recipe is health spa — inspired and served to spa goers.

1¾ cups green apples
1 cup guava (or use fresh berries)

Juice all of the ingredients, then pour into a glass and serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. (Courtesy: Chiva-Som International Health Resort)

In this book, I will show you how classic favorite foods can be the new superfoods and how adding them to your diet today can bring you brighter tomorrows. But many people, perhaps you, will not want to reap the benefits of all superfoods. So, if you don't like one or are allergic to it, there are substitutes. You can use superfoods in other amazing ways, too. I've included dozens of recipes for eating as well as some to use topically as household cleaners, beauty aids, and home cures.

But first, let's go way, way back into the past. Going back to basic superfoods feels like I'm a time traveler revisiting places I've been and places I've loved and places I aspire to go to in the future. And enjoying favorite functional foods is part of the package. Take a journey with me to discover the history of superfoods and how foods with healing powers are nature's medicine.

Super-ior Healing Superfoods for Thought

Research in the latter part of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century shows that nutrient-dense, functional foods, which come from nature, produce a diet that can protect your health — and may help you to:

[check] Enhance your immune system

[check] Fight fat

[check] Lower your blood pressure

[check] Lower the risk of heart disease

[check] Lower the risk of developing cancer

[check] Slow the aging process and add years to your life


Excerpted from "The Healing Powers of Superfoods"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Cal Orey.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword Will Clower, Ph.D. x

Introduction xiii

Acknowledgments xvi

Author's Note xvii

Part 1 Superfoods 1

1 The Power of Superfoods 3

2 History of Healing Foods 13

Part 2 Top 20 Favorite Superfoods 23

3 Apples 25

4 Berries (and Avocados) 31

5 Cheese 39

6 Crucifers (and Leafy Greens) 46

7 Eggs 53

8 Greek Yogurt (and Gelato) 58

9 Lemons 66

10 Maple Syrup 71

11 Nuts and Nutty Butters 77

12 Pasta (Whole Grain) 84

13 Pizza (with Toppings) 90

14 Poultry (Chicken/Turkey) 95

15 Potatoes (Russet/Sweet) 102

16 Seaweed 108

17 Seeds (Pumpkin/Sunflower) 115

18 Shellfish 120

19 Tomatoes 127

20 Water (Watermelon) and … 131

21 … Other Healthy Beverages 138

22 Whole Supergrains (Ancient Oats and Quinoa) 145

Part 3 The Superfoods of Youth 153

23 Age-Defying Superstuff 155

24 Skinny Superfoods 164

Part 4 Superfood Cures 177

25 Home Remedies from Your Kitchen 179

Part 5 Superfood Mania 217

26 Beautifying Superfoods 219

27 Superfoods for a Healthy Household 227

Part 6 Superfood Recipes 237

28 The Joy of Cooking with Superfoods 239

29 Superfoods Menu 250

Superfood Resources: Where Can You Buy Superfoods? 305

Notes 309

Selected Bibliography 315

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