By Z. Colette Edwards, M.D.

Q I want to improve my health naturally. What are the so-called “superfoods” I keep hearing about and do they really makesuperfoods_1a difference?

A I think of “superfoods” as a variety of foodstuffs that tend to be lower in calories but provide a big bang for the buck when it comes to nutrients. They are touted to have a positive impact on inflammation in the body and to lower your risk of heart disease, weight gain, high cholesterol, cancer, memory loss and potentially many other chronic diseases. These foods may be rich in such elements as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, the carotenes, lutein, lycopene, phytosterols and flavonoids.

Here are a few to get you started. When shopping, plan to spend time in the produce section and think of making your grocery cart look like a rainbow of colors.

  • superfoods_2A – apple, avocado, arugula, asparagus
  • B – berries (acai, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash
  • C – cantaloupe
  • G – grapes – both red and purple
  • K – kale
  • O – onions, oranges
  • P – pumpkin, pomegranate, papaya, peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
  • S – spinach, sweet potatoes
  • T – tomatoes

There are also many superfoods associated with heart health:

  • B – beans (black, kidney)
  • C – chia seeds, chocolate (dark, shoot for cocoa content of 70 percent or higher and remember a small piece goes a long way)
  • F – fish (wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel), flax seed
  • N – nuts (almonds, walnuts)
  • O – oatmeal
  • T – tea (green, black)
  • W – wine (red)

When you take both lists into account, you begin to see how easy it can be to eat in a more healthful way. In the summer months, there are so many options when it comes to acquiring fresh and local produce. It should be a good time to embrace a “super” healthy life. superfoods_3_Colette*

A graduate of Harvard University, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and The Wharton School of Business, Z. Colette Edwards offers customized health, wellness and life coaching through PeopleTweaker. (

The foregoing information is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended as medical or other professional advice. No representation or warranty of any kind is made in connection with the content. No one should take any action based on the information without first consulting their health care professional.

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