Super food finds from the market

By Justinne Lou Go

THE grocery or supermarket is one of the first places we visit in life and grow to have as part of our routine. But, growing up to eventually do our own groceries, what do we really know about it in terms of getting not only our money’s worth but more importantly, our health’s worth?

Getting the most out of your market purchases is not so much the price deals but essentially about choosing the kind of food you will benefit from most. An important thing to remember is that our health is an investment. Whatever we put into our bodies have lasting effects more than you think. Would you fuel a Ferrari with cheap gas? Let’s learn to treat our bodies right.

One of the best ways to treat our bodies right is to choose the kind of food that can keep us in optimal condition. Superman needs his super food! Here are just some of the super foods you can easily find in your local market. Make sure to include them in your market list!

Fruits

Guava

This is one local fruit we should all learn to value. Loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin A, and even the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene, you wouldn’t want to miss it on your next grocery or local market visit. For those who can’t take citrus fruits, this is the perfect Vitamin C source as it has twice more of the vitamin than the popular orange. This fruit also takes care of the heart and muscles by regulating blood pressure because of its double dose of potassium than your average banana. The fiber helps with weight management and regulating blood sugar levels by regulating appetite, the release of insulin, and lowering cholesterol. So, this is a diabetic’s best friend, too! If that’s not enough, the lycopene and beta-carotene in pink guava are cancer fighters. Go guava!

Pomelo

If you’re interested to know, pomelo also goes by the names pumelo, pamplemousse, and shaddock. You can probably add “pamplemousse” to your collection of names of endearment for your partner. Corny jokes aside, this fruit is among the most recommended “diet” fruits because of its numerous benefits, too. The fiber in pomelo is what makes this your diet buddy. It curbs your appetite, lowers blood cholesterol and prevents constipation. Being a citrus fruit, it is one of the highest sources of Vitamin C, providing nearly 200 percent of our daily needs in one serving. Something you should know about Vitamin C is that it’s not only known for its immune benefits and wound healing capacity. It is also needed for the absorption of iron and calcium so it has a role in preventing anemia and osteoporosis.

Apple

The most popular fruit — probably the first fruit most of us learned to pronounce — though so ubiquitous is not to be taken for granted. The apple is a staple for a reason — actually, several reasons. Aside from fiber, apples are a good source of Vitamin C and potassium, too. Don’t let the sweetness fool you, this is one of the most recommended fruits for diabetics. And the best part, it contains phytonutrients (plant compounds) such as quercetin and catechins that support brain and immune health.

Vegetables

We all know that vegetables are good for us although many of us can’t bring ourselves to eat them, mostly because of the “grassy” taste. However, vegetables aren’t all just green. In fact, eating vegetables in all colors of the rainbow is highly encouraged and this is what makes it fun. Preparing vegetables using the right cooking methods — of which, steaming is the best for most types

Bellpeppers

— preserves most of its nutrients and vibrant color. Always choose the brightest, most vibrant and shiny-looking vegetables.

Market List Must-Haves:

Romaine Lettuce
Not all lettuce are created equal. The darker the color, the better. This is a rich source of Vitamin A, which is the anti-aging vitamin, as well as Vitamin K, folate and potassium, which are essential for bone and heart health.

Bellpeppers
This vegetable is one of the most common ingredients that add color to your salads and dishes. Interestingly, it is a rich source of Vitamin C, greater than orange, as well as beta-carotene, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K and folate.

Japanese sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato
This common and inexpensive local vegetable is actually one of the best choices of starchy carbohydrates. It is packed with minerals, the antioxidant beta-carotene, a great source of fiber and is a versatile ingredient as well! It can be used both as dessert and as a starch dish. Filling, nutritious, delicious!

Kimchi
The reason kimchi should be a regular item in your fridge is because it is a probiotic food, which means that it supplies good bacteria in your gut. Having more good bacteria in the gut supports our immune system and even helps manage weight by controlling the appetite and regulating blood sugar levels. It is also a rich source of minerals such as calcium, iron and selenium. Koreans got this right!

Herbs
Cutting back on salt or sodium in the diet is not the end of the world. Aside from our taste buds that can naturally “acclimate” and decrease its tolerance to salty food, using a range of herbs does just the trick to make up for the “lost flavor.” This was the natural way of flavoring food and this is among the indispensable ingredients in Mediterranean Cuisine — the only science-based diet recommended by journals.

Many herbs are known to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and that’s what makes them an even more important addition to our food. Examples of these are rosemary, oregano, and turmeric.

Rosemary is a good source of calcium, iron and Vitamin B6.

Oregano is well-known to be anti-bacterial and is also used to treat skin conditions such as acne and dandruff.

Turmeric has become popular as an anti-cancer ingredient mainly because of the compound called curcumin. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer. Not only that, it also works as an anti-depressant, one of the best natural pain-killers and, works better than cholesterol-regulating drugs and steroids. Natural is always best because all medications have side effects. How about trying turmeric in chicken tinola instead of your usual ginger?

Get to know many other different kinds of herbs, learn how to use them and soon you’ll find yourself having fun seasoning your food in them. Start collecting those herbs!

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