4 Superfoods to Put on Your Menu Today

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WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Science continues to discover healthy substances in foods beyond vitamins and minerals. Though no one food provides everything you need, here are four trending superfoods -- all high in antioxidants -- that belong in your kitchen.

Green tea has been studied for a possible role in helping to fight everything from cavities to cancer. Among the varieties available, matcha, the special powdered version used in the Japanese tea ceremony, is especially healthful. It easily dissolves in beverages and can add a subtle taste to baked goods. In fact, at many bakeries it's all the rage. However, you don't need the calories of cake or pastry to get its nutrients. Sipping the tea is all you need.

Kefir is a fermented milk with probiotic benefits that may even surpass those of yogurt. It's available right alongside yogurt in the dairy aisle, but some people have started making their own by buying kefir grains. Kefir adds a tangy flavor to salad dressings and dips, and can be used as a base for smoothies.

Cinnamon is so common that you might not realize it has special properties, but it may boost heart health and even fight metabolic syndrome. One study found that the Ceylon, or Sri Lanka, variety is among the most potent anti-inflammatory foods around. Liberally sprinkle cinnamon in coffee, tea and milk, and on top of the froth in your lattes. You can use it to add a sweet flavor to hot and cold cereals as well as cooked root vegetables and squashes.

Pure cocoa powder is the perfect low-calorie way to get great chocolate flavor. Whisk it into milk -- dairy, soy or nut-based types -- for a hot or cold drink. For added spice, stir in some of that healthy cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has more on green tea and research being done to better understand its benefits.

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1 Comment

Sun Apr 28, 2019 01:26 AM

Unfortunately, most of the "Cinnamon" sold comes from the CASSIA tree,
rather than true Cinnamon (Cinnamon zeylanicum) which is more expensive.
True cinnamon is tan while cassia is rust colored.
 
Patt A - BHS 66 
 
 
from wikipedia:
 
 
Cinnamon and cassia
The name cinnamon is correctly used to refer to Ceylon cinnamon, also known as "true cinnamon"[citation needed] (from the botanical name C. zeylanicum). However, the related species, Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum), Saigon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureiroi), and Cinnamomum burmannii are sometimes sold labeled as cinnamon, sometimes distinguished from true cinnamon as "Chinese cinnamon", "Vietnamese cinnamon", or "Indonesian cinnamon"; many websites, for example, describe their "cinnamon" as being cassia.[16] Ceylon cinnamon, using only the thin inner bark, has a finer, less dense, and more crumbly texture, and is considered to be less strong than cassia. Cassia has a much stronger (somewhat harsher) flavour than cinnamon, is generally a medium to light reddish brown, hard and woody in texture, and thicker (2–3 mm thick), as all of the layers of bark are used.[17]
Due to the presence of a moderately toxic component called coumarin, European health agencies have recently warned against consuming large amounts of cassia.[18]This is contained in much lower dosages in Cinnamomum burmannii due to its low essential oil content. Coumarin is known to cause liver and kidney damage in high concentrations. True Ceylon cinnamon has negligible amounts of coumarin.
The two barks, when whole, are easily distinguished, and their microscopic characteristics are also quite distinct. Cinnamon sticks (or quills) have many thin layers and can easily be made into powder using a coffee or spice grinder, whereas cassia sticks are much harder. Indonesian cassia (Cinnamomum burmannii) is often sold in neat quills made up of one thick layer, capable of damaging a spice or coffee grinder. Saigon cassia (Cinnamomum loureiroi) and Chinese cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum) are always sold as broken pieces of thick bark, as the bark is not supple enough to be rolled into quills. It is a bit harder to tell powdered cinnamon from powdered cassia. When powdered bark is treated with tincture of iodine (a test for starch), little effect is visible in the case of pure cinnamon of good quality, but when cassia is present, a deep-blue tint is produced, the intensity of the coloration depending on the proportion of cassia.[citation needed]
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