The 5 Most Boring 'Super foods' Everyone Should Eat

Firstly the term super foods is stupid and I only used it as click bait.  It made me die a little inside.  Superfoods makes you think of rare and secret ingredients no one has heard of.  

Secondly although I don't agree any food is super some food does has some pretty cool properties and should be eaten by everyone.   That doesn't mean it has to be rare and exotic, in fact this article is about the often overlooked girl next door foods that get ignored in favour of the much sexier acai berries and slutty cold pressed coconut oil type things.

1. CruciferousVegetables 

As I covered before in my estrogen article this family of veg includes all the very dull things that everyone intends to eat more of one day.  Wikipedia has the following to add:

Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables of the familyBrassicaceae (also called Cruciferae). These vegetables are widely cultivated, with many genera, species, and cultivars being raised for food production such ascauliflowercabbagegarden cressbok choybroccoli,brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetables. The family takes its alternate name (Cruciferae, New Latin for "cross-bearing") from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.

I know everyone knows these vegetables are super healthy but if they really knew what they know they would be more popular.  It is almost too basic to mention but for their vitamins and minerals alone you should be getting your share of these foods.  In addition to their calcium, iron, potassium and high vitamin content these foods have several other important health benefits that really make whether you actually like them or not irrelevant.  Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates which your body converts into various things that fight cancer such as diindolylmethane(DIM) an androgen receptor antagonist (an antiandrogen) which is shown to slow the growth and spread of human prostate cancer and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which also affects estrogen metabolism and prevents the buildup of this hormone causing cancer and I3C even promotes the death of cells in breastprostateendometriumcolon, and white blood cancer.  Another amazing benefit is that they causes the liver to produce CYP1A2glutathione S-transferasesuridine diphosphate-glucuronosyl transferases,  and quinone reductases all of which assist in clearing toxins and carcinogens from the body.  

2. Onions/Garlic

While a little more exciting than Brussels sprouts I'm sure no one out there is not at least aware of onions and garlic.  There claim to fame isn't is as simple as being high in vitamins A, B, C, and E and containing hard to get minerals like selenium and germanium.  Both garlic and to a lesser extent onions contain enzymes, flavonoids, and oils with sulphur-containing compounds such as allicin.  Allicin makes these plants antibacterial, antibiotic and antiparasitic.  This makes them invaluable for a strong and healthy immune system and well balanced gut flora.  Between the vitamins, selenium and the above properties garlic can give you a boost with anything from stomach or lung infections to general misery like the common cold.

As for more serious issues garlic can lower blood pressure and also prevents blood clotting and is therefore pretty useful in avoiding arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and heart attack.

As I've mentioned before it is also antiestrogenic and as such will help prevent cancer and even aid with improving body composition, especially hard to lose fat around the lower abdominal area, hips and backs of arms. 

It tastes pretty damn good as well especially when eaten with parsley which was very close to being on this list itself.  Parsley is also a beautiful partner to garlic as it helps prevent the smell lingering for the foreseeable future.  Just eat a sprig when you are done with your garlicky creations.

3. Cucumber

This is a slightly odd entry, not something you want to hear with a cucumber involved but hear me out. The phrase "cool as a cucumber" has nothing to do with the Fonz's style of cool.  It goes all the way back to Galenism.   Galenism was what medicine was before it became modern.  Any health problem could be summed up as hot or cold and dry or wet.  A hot and dry condition, arthritis for example could be treated with a cool, wet herb or treatment.  The humble cucumber was considered a good one.  In addition to a nice vitamin hit and a high water content (seriously drink more water people) they contain something very similar to the salicylic acid found in aspirin.

Cucumber is a painkiller, diuretic and sedative.  It is also an adaptogen or alterative.  This means to works to relax the body, reduce inflammation and excess water and to restore balance to the digestive system.  I admit it is very gentle in its effects but I included to to put across the point that food can be medicine.  Even very everyday food. 

If you are looking for a little shove to detoxify yourself before you jump for expensive tea from a mountain in Siberia why not have a cucumber salad?  Why not have a cucumber and red onion salad to get the benefits from what I mentioned above?  Why not make food choices based on more than calories and macros?

4. Eggs

This entry steps on the feet of "foods everybody should eat" as allergy or intolerance to eggs is not very uncommon.   However it brings up a few points that if you are not eating eggs or god forbid, animal products in general, still do have to be addressed.  

The first is protein.  Depending on who you ask and who you choose to believe a person requires anything from about 30g protein daily (125g of chicken, half a breast) to about 2.5g a pound of body weight (for a 200lb guy that's 500g or about three whole chickens daily).  This is quite a spread of numbers.  Both groups will have a ton of science and horror stories about what happens when you eat more/less that you should.

I personally don't believe anything unless it's complicated.  Confusion is how you can tell if it is possibly true.  On that note my belief is that neither the highest or the lowest number is either right or wrong.  When we say how much do you "need" we mean how much is needed to provide structure.  Obviously unwanted or unneeded protein will be burnt as fuel.  Now the rub is that 'protein' doesn't mean much as there are 21 different amino acids that can make up any given protein. 

If you need to make up a deck of cards and have thousands upon thousands of every card imaginable but only a single queen of hearts then you can make a grand total of one deck.  Without the missing queens then the tons and tons of other cards are worthless.  Luckily our bodies are not so badly put together to have missed this and we can convert amino acids to be some other but not all other amino acids. eggs have a very nearly perfect balance of all the amino acids.  Understandably when they are supposes to have all the ingredients for a chicken in then.  Eating eggs will help fill in any missing gaps in your protein intake.

Another feather in its cap (feather? Like a chicken? Get it?) is that eggs are extremely digestible.  I talk often about the benefits of under eating on health and eggs are light enough not to 'break' a fast.  As dull and common place as they are eggs are just about a perfect protein choice.  

Lastly eggs contain choline.  Choline is important for building and maintaining cell membranes.  Dietary sources include soy lecithin, raw beef liver and yet again Cruciferous vegetables, but in gigantic quantities (2kg plus a day).  Including a few large eggs in your diet every day is a simple way to tick this and other boxes.

5. Water

I will try not to be redundant and repeat myself from my previous article linked here.   Instead I will use the space to talk about lifestyle and complacency.  

You KNOW you should drink more water.  You know you should drink a lot of water all the time.  But few people actually do.  You forget to or you don't like the taste or horror of horrors you need to pee more.  Unfortunately excuses are easy to come by and are fairly bad for your health.

if you want to loose weight you need to be consistent with planning, preparing and eating less or different than you would like and excercising regardless of whether you currently feel motivated.  If you want to build muscle you have to plan, prepare and eat more or different than you would like and keep hitting the weights despite soreness and current motivation.  All goals require adjustments to to lifestyle and doing other than you would like like. 

This has to be done all day everyday.  Not just when you feel like it.  If you can't find the time to pour a glass of water every hour or so and can't organise a bottle to keep with you then I seriously doubt your ability to perceive with something actually difficult.  Water will improve everything. Weight loss, muscle gain, recovery times, flexibility, endurance, health in general and even your appearance.

It is free, easily available and should be the most basic of basics for any goal. 

Please pick me up on any foods I missed down in the comments or let me know how these go with you.  Please subscribe for future posts and information.

Richard  

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