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Power-Packed Foods to Eat Now
July 31, 2014
By: Dr. Beth Quintana, N.D.
If you’re on the lookout for fresh food that’s local and sustainable, there’s no better time than summertime in the Northwest. With the sunshine and warmer temperatures comes a cornucopia of nutrient-dense foods that are available in abundance at your neighborhood farmer’s market. Here are three to try for their health-promoting effects:
Blueberries: Native to North America, blueberries are in full swing this time of year here in the Pacific Northwest. Did you know part of the power of blueberries lies in their color? That dark-blue hue is due to the berry’s flavonoid content — a naturally-occurring compound that protects against damaging effects of oxidation and inflammation – and blueberries happen to be one of the best sources of flavonoids you can find. They also contain a number of vitamins, fiber, and like other berries, blueberries have a high water content, which makes them hydrating for your skin and other cells of your body.
Salmon: Wild salmon is packed with beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids to promote cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation. Throw in some vitamin D and selenium for healthy hair, skin, nails, bones, and glands. Wild salmon in particular has a smaller environmental impact and can be eaten with little fear of mercury or excess contaminants. It also tends to be richer in nutrients than farmed salmon—it pays to be selective.
Mushrooms: While there are number of different kinds of edible mushrooms, many of them share some of the same health promoting effects. One such effect is enhanced immune system function, thanks to the action of a beneficial type of dietary fiber called beta-glucan. A kind of long chain polysaccharide, it’s a fiber that’s found in the cell walls of many types of mushrooms. Recently, beta-glucans have been the subject of extensive studies examining their role in improving insulin resistance and cholesterol profiles, as well as lowering the risk of obesity. Some power-packed kinds to try include Shiitake, Maitake, and Lion’s Mane.
If you want to keep up with what’s ripe and ready at the Seattle area Farmer’s Markets, visit here.