The Truth About Superfoods & Fad Diets

Episode 102

Video Transcript

Jackie Keller: Welcome to Food Exposed. I’m your host, Jackie Keller, and
I’m here today to share some exciting information with you about super
foods. But before we get to that topic, let’s spread some news.
There’s a lot of great stories out there. The first one I want to
share with you is from JAMA. It’s a study that was published in the
Journal of the American Medical Association, and it has to do with
pregnant moms and peanuts. Turns out that there’s no reason to fear
having peanuts while you’re pregnant. So if you’ve been avoiding those
peanuts which you know you love and you know are great for you because
you were concerned that you would pass an allergy onto your child,
research has now shown that by eating peanuts while you’re pregnant,
you actually help to insulate your baby against a peanut allergy. So
have that. Enjoy. They’re great for you, a super snack and good for
your baby as well.

Another good for you story coming out of Massachusetts. This one is
based on a study that was done at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
They designed a diet called the Traffic Light Diet. And that’s
relatively simple and straightforward. We all know what a traffic
signal looks like. It’s red, yellow, green . . . you know, green is
go, red, stop, yellow, slow . . . Well, what they did was, they took
the foods in the cafeteria and they color-coded them with either a
red, a yellow or a green. And for two years, they studied the buying
and eating habits of the employees in the hospital. Turns out that we
are really geared to those colors, because after two years, people
made better choices, eating more of the green foods, which are the go
foods: the fruits, the vegetables, the healthiest choices, less
of the yellow foods, the slow foods, things that you should really
think twice about eating before you do, and even less of the red
“stop, don’t eat me” foods, the highly-processed sugary, fatty,
unhealthy foods.

So good news is, if you color-code your kitchen, you will make better
choices about the foods that you eat, great study and interesting,
simple approach. And speaking of simple, the 2014 list of super foods
is out, and guess what’s at the top? One of my favorites, kale, and I
know that it’s something that we’ve been hearing a lot about this
year, last year . . . Kale is not a new food. It’s a member of the
cruciferous family, it’s one of the healthiest vegetables we know, and
today, I am going to share for you a nourishing recipe from the
NutriFit kitchen that features that wonderful super food , kale.
Here’s your nourishing recipe from the NutriFit kitchen featuring our
super food today, kale. And as we know, kale is just one of many
vegetables that have some fabulous health properties. But this is a
real superstar. First of all, kale is easy to grow. And I’m for
everything that’s easy to grow, because even house plants are not easy
for me. But you can grow kale in a little earth friendly pot. You can
grow kale in the ground.

There’s lots of different varieties, but it just needs good sun, lots
of water, good soil and you can produce your own kale. But if you’re
going to buy it, this is what you’re looking for. These dark, curly
leaves . . . and kale comes in different colors. It comes in dark
green, it comes in red, it comes in red, there’s blue kale now, a
Tuscan blue kale . . . Basically, they all have these very curly
leaves, and yes, this is what they put on the hamburger plates
underneath the slice of tomato and onion. If it looks like a garnish,
it’s because it’s often used that way. But it is so edible and so good
for you, and the best thing about it? Inexpensive and easy to make. So
what do you look for when you’re buying kale in the market? First,
this good texture. The leaves should have a little crunch to them.
They shouldn’t be wilted. They shouldn’t be yellow. That’s not one of
the colors of kale that nature made. That’s an old bunch of kale. So
you’re going to look for kale that is crisp and brightly colored.

And be aware that as it is with all of the dark, leafy greens, when
you’re cooking with kale, it’s going to shrink quite a bit. So you’re
going to start with what you think is more than you need to end up
with just the right amount. You chop the kale pretty finely. Kale does
take a little while to cook, so the smaller you make the leaves, the
faster it’s going to cook. And wash it really, really, really well,
because there is soil that gets in those little crinkly parts of the
leaves and you want to make sure you get everything out that doesn’t
look like kale, because trust me, if it looks like dirt, it is dirt.
So wash it, rinse it, and when you’re ready to go, you’re going to
heat a pan over medium to high heat. When the pan is hot and you can
feel the heat coming off of it, you’re going to add in a little bit of
extra virgin olive oil. Now it doesn’t matter whose brand of extra
virgin olive oil you use. We know that as long as it’s called “extra
virgin”, it’s going to be superior quality because the Italian
classification system for olive oil was based on “extras” and

Who knew that the Italians would put more “extras” and “virgins” in
the title to indicate a purer product? Makes sense? Yes. So extra is
more pure that just regular olive oil, and virgin is better than light
olive oil. And by the way, speaking of light olive oil, it’s not light
in fat. It’s not light in calories, it’s not light in flavor, and it’s
certainly not light in price. So if you’re going to invest in an olive
oil, invest in one that says “extra virgin.” Put a drop of it in your
pan. You don’t need much. And then immediately, your washed kale,
right into that pot pan. Wow. That is great. Give it a quick saute.
You may want to add a little bit of water to it. You don’t want to
have to use too much oil. And now it’s time for the seasoning. We’re
going to add into our kale, turmeric. This salt-and-sugar-free spice
blend, which is one of NutriFit’s signature blends, one that I
designed myself, has some of the best, healthiest seasonings in the
world, in the bottle, all mixed up for you, ready to go. It’s called
Rockin’ Moroccan.

It’s got cinnamon, which we know lowers blood pressure, it’s got
turmeric, which is an anti-septic, anti-bacterial powerhouse spice,
and about tell other herbs and spices, no salt, no sugar, lots and
lots of flavor and it’s based on the North African part of the world,
so it has a little clove, a little cumin, some of that going on in
there . . . So we put the seasoning in, and then it’s just a matter of
letting that kale cook until it is as wilted as you like it. Now, I
like my kale pretty tough. I mean, I like to get my teeth into it, you
know? I’m not looking for soft, wilted vegetable. If you like better
cooked, you just leave it in a little bit longer. You might even add a
little more water to it. That way, the pan doesn’t burn. But you let
that kale cook, season it, and when it’s ready to go . . . Here’s
another thing you want to remember about kale. That is that kale is
high in iron, as are many dark, leafy greens. Now, how do you deal
with the body not loving the iron that comes from plant foods? Because
we know the body loves meat iron, heme iron, and the iron that’s found
in kale is plant iron, so non-heme iron.

Well, we’re going to trick the body into absorbing all the iron in
that kale by adding in one food that is very high in vitamin C. And
there’s nothing that makes me happier than adding tomatoes into
anything, because I love tomatoes. So add in some tomatoes, and what
happens? Magic. The vitamin C in the tomatoes unlocks the iron in the
plant food and allows the body to take up three times more of the iron
than it would otherwise absorb, just by adding in that high-vitamin-C
ingredient. Now, if you’re one of those people for whom tomatoes are
like, ew, no thank you, she was until she went to the tomatoes, then
she kind of lost me, you can add strawberries, you can put a lot of
lemon juice in, you can add in oranges . . . There’s a lot of ways to
get vitamin C into this dish. Red bell peppers would be another good
choice, maybe some carrots . . . But you want to unlock the iron in
that plant food by adding in that high-vitamin-C ingredient. And it’s
a good tip to remember for all of your high-iron foods.

So that’s it for our kale. It’s a super-great ingredient, it’s part of
a whole family of dark, leafy greens that have wonderful fiber, that
have good vitamin A, vitamin C, good isoflavonoids and other
phytochemicals that help protect our bodies against certain of cancer,
it’s very helpful for heart disease . . . Truly, having a high-fiber
diet helps to regulate blood sugar, so it’s good for diabetes
management as well. You just can’t go wrong with kale. If you enjoy
that, just wait, because my next guest, Patricia Greenberg, is going
to be here with a whole tableful of super foods.

To help us really understand how super foods impact our health and can
be incorporated into our diets, I’ve brought a friend to help us out
today, Patricia Greenburg, the fitness gourmet. Patricia is the author
of two books; one, the whole soy cookbooks, and soy desserts. But she
has a breadth of experience in all aspects of food and health, she’s a
certified culinarian, she is a chef, a nutritionist and an avid
marathon runner, my friend, Patricia Greenburg. Welcome, Patricia.

Patricia Greenburg: Thank you, Jackie. Great to be here.

Jackie Keller: So glad you could join us. So tell me about these
wonderful super foods. I see we’ve got a whole tableful of health.

Patricia Greenburg: Super foods are the new catch-all term for foods
that are good for you, and essentially what is means is, foods that
are whole. It gets back to eating foods in nature, foods that are
healthy for you, without being tampered with. So we usually group them
more by categories. We say foods that do certain functions rather than
the food itself. But I narrowed it down to a handful that are really
fantastic, really easy to get.

Jackie Keller: So there really isn’t such a thing as a “super food “?
There’s a food that has super properties?

Patricia Greenburg: That’s exactly right. It’s the nutrients and the
chemicals that work together in foods. It’s not so much that just
eating walnuts is going to make you healthy.

Jackie Keller: Oh, darn. Because I know so many people who are looking
for that . . . “Okay, if it’s walnuts, and I don’t want the calories
from walnuts, I can just take a pill that’s a walnut pill, and I’m
going to get it. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

Patricia Greenburg: So what we’re trying to do here now is to group them
by the properties that have. So we look at certain fruits and
vegetables, say blueberries, for example. This is my best guideline.
Anything that’s purple or red is good for you in nature’s kingdom.

Jackie Keller: My favorite colors.

Patricia Greenburg: Mine too. So blueberries, black beans, even beets,
those that have that rich dark purple and red color, have compound
that, we’re finding now, reduce the risk of heart disease, certain
types of cancer, and one of the big things we’re looking at now is the
inflammatory response. Inflammatory response is often in response to
eating processed foods: foods that have a lot of artificial
ingredients and a lot of refined sugars and carbohydrates. So again,
getting back to those items that are in nature, starting with what I
call the purple category, the blueberries, anything that has that rich
color, is considered one of the best super foods right now.

Jackie Keller: Now, let me ask, what about something like eggplant?
Eggplant has a purple skin, but you don’t always eat the skin.

Patricia Greenburg: That’s my favorite vegetable. I can do anything with
an eggplant. I love the skin. Leave the skin on, bake it, saute it,
throw it in soup, it is fantastic. Remember when we were little,
people would say, “Take the skin off. It has no nutritional value”?
Now we know differently.

Jackie Keller: And that must be the same thing with those apples and the
other red things.

Patricia Greenburg: Exactly. The second category now, really big, is the
omega-3 fatty acids. We find that in fatty fish. People hear the term
“fatty fish” and they don’t want to eat it, but salmon, mackerel,
herring these are really good for you. Also, whole eggs. We’re back to
square one with the eggs. We want to have eggs that include the yolk.
It doesn’t seem to be too difficult in managing your cholesterol if
you eggs, because there’s other dietary and exercise techniques we can
do to keep the cholesterol down.

Jackie Keller: So all those fattier things that we though we shouldn’t
have, they’re all good for you.

Patricia Greenburg: They’re good fats. Again, it gets down to the
fattier fishes, and the wild-caught is preferable to farm-raised.

Jackie Keller: Now what about for salmon and mackerel and sardines, do
they have to be fresh, or is a can okay?

Patricia Greenburg: I will have canned sardines and herring in the house
because you get the whole fish. So you’re getting the benefit of the
entire fish. And salmon, I buy cured salmon. Low sodium, no nitrates
added to it and freshly prepared, caught in the while, and of course,
any which way you want to cook it, it’s fantastic. The other thing I’m
finding to be prevalent in the news now . . . And I find it confusing
for the consumer and that’s what I want to clarify, is again this idea
of one nutrient. So I like to take the super foods, which are fruit
and nuts and even some chocolate after dinner. Chocolate is very high
in antioxidants.

Jackie Keller: Yum. I love chocolate. It’s my favorite food.

Patricia Greenburg: For most people, it is.

Jackie Keller: I was so happy to know that it’s good for you.

Patricia Greenburg: Squash, pumpkins . . . I picked items today that are
easy to get. You can go to the supermarket and get them.

Jackie Keller: That’s very important. They need to be available anywhere.

Patricia Greenburg: Exactly. Mixed bag with certain foods: yogurt and
cheese are high in calcium, calcium has been shown to help reduce the
risk of certain cancers and heart disease, but too much can cause an
accumulation, so moderation on these . . .

Jackie Keller: And what about the fat in the yogurt and the cheese? I
thought that was really bad for you.

Patricia Greenburg: There’s a tendency towards lower fat. You don’t have
to get non-fat, you don’t have to get full-fat, I’m a mid-ranger when
it comes to that. This, I was so thrilled to find. It’s called a bag
of super food.

Jackie Keller: Oh. Well that takes all the mystery out of it. I don’t
have to think about what’s in it.

Patricia Greenburg: This is what I want to say for the consumer. It is
so easy to get these super foods. Cabbage, red cabbage, green cabbage,
cruciferous vegetable, broccoli, cauliflower, all mixed up, throw it
in a salad, throw it in your soup saute it with chicken, you’re all
set to go, really easy.

Jackie Keller: That’s great. So it’s got kale . . .

Patricia Greenburg: It’s got kale, cabbage . . .

Jackie Keller: Kale, cabbage . . .

Patricia Greenburg: Shredded Brussels sprouts . . .

Jackie Keller: Some radicchio . . . That’s that purple stuff, right?

Patricia Greenburg: And last, but not least, is the tea. Now, green tea
seems to have the highest level of cancer-fighting compounds. Nobody
really knows why, we just know that it does. How is this? The American
Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and all these
institutes of health have done studies on all these populations that
live the longest and seem to be the healthiest. And these foods all
fall in the categories of what they eat.

Jackie Keller: Well, I know the Chinese have great longevity and they
have very low incidence of heart disease and cancer, and they drink a
lot of green tea.

Patricia Greenburg: They drink a lot of tea.

Jackie Keller: Does it matter where it’s from?

Patricia Greenburg: Again, in the interest of our bodies and paying
attention, organic is always the best way to go, and if you can’t find
it then just stick with the pure single item and you should be OK.

Jackie Keller: OK. Now, how often do I have to have to have these foods?
Do I have to digest, have super foods or can I have, you know..?

Patricia Greenburg: I’m on the super foods bandwagon, I think we should
just eat super foods. There’s a few things floating out there that are
controversial, as you know, soy products have a mixed blessing.
They’re very, very good for you, they reduce the risk of heart
disease; the problem is if you have some problems with your estrogen
levels you know, you ‘re not supposed to eat too much of them. My
recommendation is a constant rotation.

Jackie Keller: OK.

Patricia Greenburg: Salad, green, leafy, every single day.

Jackie Keller: Got it.

Patricia Greenburg: Fatty fish, three times a week.

Jackie Keller: Got it.

Patricia Greenburg: Tea every day. Fruits and vegetables…

Jackie Keller: Every day.

Patricia Greenburg: Every day. Any kind of fresh fruit, grab an apple,
grab an orange, oranges are loaded with vitamin C. The fiber alone is
so beneficial for your digestive tract.
Jackie Keller: True, that’s very true. Well, thank you so much for
joining me.

Patricia Greenburg: You’re welcome.

Jackie Keller: And bringing all these wonderful foods, I can’t wait to go
home and look and see if I really have them in my pantry like I think
I do. And I know that our guests want to find you and ask more
questions. How can they do that?

Patricia Greenburg: They can get me at

Jackie Keller: OK, great. Well, thank you Patricia for being here.

Patricia Greenburg: Thank you Jackie.

Jackie Keller: I can’t wait to share some of these ideas with our

Patricia Greenburg: Yes.

Jackie Keller: And I thank you so much.

Patricia Greenburg: Thank you, thank you.

Jackie Keller: And now it’s time for the last bite. I want to share with
you some insights from the coaching world, and todays coaching moment
is about curiosity. I know it sounds strange because in today’s world
we think about happiness, happiness, happiness, happiness; but really,
one of the key components of happiness that we have discovered; and
this is based on the book by Todd Kashdan called “Curious”; is that
curiosity is what really moves us, as opposed to just the endless
pursuit of happiness. So, what does it mean by being curious? Well,
think of it as being a curious explorer in life and some of the key
elements, some of the key characteristics of being a curious explorer
mean having a deep interest in others around you.

And not just other people, but other things; really become immersed in
the process, get into the flow of it so that you actually forget
yourself and you’re so engrossed in what you’re curious about. It
feeds itself, that’s one of the key elements of being a curious
explorer in life. The object is to relish the unknown, don’t fear it;
race toward it, not from it, to deepen your experience by immersing
yourself in the moment, and by reaching out for things that excite and
challenge you. The risk is worth the reward, enjoy yourself. Go out
there, experience the world, find something that you’re curious about
and don’t forget, join me next week for another episode of Food
Exposed. For more Food Exposed check me out on, and until
next week remember; make food your best friend and exercise your
companion for life.