Not So Everyday Super Foods And How To Get Them Into Your Diet

I am always looking for ways to stay healthy naturally and for foods that promote this. I recently came across this list of Super Foods that are not your general run of the mill foods and are probably not mainstays in your diet but that really pack a punch when it comes to antioxidants and essential vitamins as well as having cancer-fighting properties and immune-boosting power.

Get Healthy With These Unusual Super Foods

**Yerba Mate- A South American herbal tea that is more popular in than coffee in parts of Argentina and Brazil. It is higher in heart-healthy anti-oxidants than both green tea and red wine according to a 2005 study by Touro University in Vallejo, Calif. Anecdotal reports tout it as a weight-loss aid because it apparently makes people feel full more quickly while eating. Yerba Mate tastes like green tea, but with a grassy, slightly bitter flavor so you could add some Stevia (all natural sweetner) or honey. Sounds good to me and if it helps with heart healthy anti-oxidants and to lose weight you can't go wrong.

**Sour Cherries-These are not the sweet type that you buy to eat and spit out the pits
at each other (that is what we did as kids-pit spitting contests). These are the small, sour ones grown for jams, baking and freezing. Sour cherries are a natural source of the anti-inflammatory compounds found in ibuprofen. Just 12 ounces of Montmorency cherry juice per day can help reduce muscle pain caused by exercise, according to a 2006 study conducted by the University of Vermont. The lead researcher from this study recommends people to drink the cherry juice before exercising. The antioxidant pigments in red, blue and purple foods called Anthocyanins are credited with sour cherries' anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. As far back as the 1950's sour cherries have been promoted as a home remedy for gout, a form of arthritis although no research supports this. Now if you like tart foods (I do) you can eat the sour Montmorency cherries on their own or you can drink the juice to receive the same benefits. Add fresh or frozen sour cherries to smoothies, pancakes, cakes, breads, salads, anywhere you want to throw them in for their great health benefits.

**Pomegranate-There have been various studies on the benefits of Pomegranate that show the health benefits. A 2006 study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that consuming 8 ounces of antioxidant-rich pomegrante juice a day can slow down the spread of prostate cancer. Other studies have shown that Pomegranate lowers blood pressure and is beneficial in preventing osteoarthitis and heart disease. Great way to get Pomegranate is to drink the juice straight.

**Sesame- Sesame seeds contain high amounts of lignans-this is the same thing fou
nd in flaxseeds that may help women balance hormones. It is has also been shown that eating just 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds a day can lower cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of heart attack (study in Nutrition research 2005). I personally love sesame seeds and could just eat and eat them. I probably should eat them more if they help with hormones as I can be awfully cranky once in awhile.

**Mangosteen- This fruit is found in Southeast Asia and South America and
has a floral flavor and texture similar to a plum. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it can harbor pests the U.s. Department of Agriculture prohibits importation of it. In March 2006 a study conducted at Ohio State University reviewed the high levels of xanthones, antioxidant compounds that fight inflammation. Mangosteen products have high levels of antioxidants. It has also been said that drinking a small amount of mangosteen liquid will have a positive effect in cancer prevention. If you would like to try mangosteen you can purchase the juice made from the whole fruit (the rind contains most of the benefits).

I have tried the pomegranate juice, sesame seeds and the sour cherries but have yet to try mangosteen and Yerba mate. It is so exciting to find that we can possibly prevent so many diseases by just eating a few healthy foods!!! I think I will go and get some yerba mate today. How about you?

Information from this article came from the Whole Foods March/April 2008 magazine.


  1. i love cherries, but they are very expensive as we don't grow them here, but we have a lot of mangosteen. i remember when i was pregnant with my first born i was craving so much for mangosteen and i can finish a kilogram in one sitting hehe.

  2. I had no idea about the sesame seeds. Now I'll have to take note when I purchase breads and bagels :) I also love then toasted too!

  3. Pomegranate is awesome. I need to try all of those. Thanks a lot Heidi.

  4. Where do you find these items?

  5. I'm a huge lover of pomegranate too. Do the store-bought smoothies in the healthy department count? Yum. I hope so. As far as the other suggestions go,I'll keep my eye out. You can't help but love the benefits!

  6. Great list! I love mangostein. Big fan!

  7. Hi Heidi, I really enjoy all of your helpful information you share with us. I like sesame seeds and cherries. Great to know they are healthy for us. You have fantastic posts & I like all of your detail pictures. Take care! :-)

  8. Hi Heidi, the Yerba Mate sounds interesting. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!

  9. I love my pom.and have ruined many a shirt in this pursuit of this love...


  10. hey suga can you tell me where to get some of that tea I mean I love red wine an all(dr. remomeded good for the heart) I would like a little bit a natural healing for the aches a little.
    No not chest pain I just care to much....thanks
    You always have such a good advice I anjoy...

  11. I like cherries & pomegranates. Sesame is good too!

  12. "I have tried the pomegranate juice, sesame seeds and the sour cherries but have yet to try mangosteen and Yerba mate."

    Right there with you, I am also a big acai girl, now I have two more to check out. Thanks love the info as usual!!

  13. Oh I love to eat healthy food, but it is far, far too expensive. I live in Upstate NY, where our growing season is only a handful of months. Got any tips on native North America foods, like the potato or corn or something? :D

  14. Hey there, you know where Montmorency Cherries come from and where they got their name right? Montmorency, Michigan!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on the meteor shower photos. I really appreciate your kind words.

  15. The biggest problem with coming to you website is that I start to get hungry! Thanks for the info - and I don't know you personally, but I can't see you getting cranky very often

  16. Thanks for the information. I enjoy reading your blog.

  17. Nice post
    This is useful for my daughter who has problem with diet :)

    The Success

  18. I used to love pomegranates when I was a kid. I remember the first time my Dad brought one home. It was so sweet and tasty and I was fascinated by the unique way you have to chop it in half and then pluck out and eat the red seeds. I've not had one for ages though :-(

  19. Great post Heidi on these health foods! I see Mangosteen drinks all over the internet, I will have to try some. I write about antioxidant phytochemicals often on my blog site: I also feel that it's very important for people to realize the health benefits of certain foods!

  20. Hi Heidi,

    It is very cool and surprised to read about these foods, I love Yerba Mate (herbal tea), I love it man.....Also, thanks for details about others too..

    Great work....Excellent post.
    -Lawrence (Herbs Cure)

  21. Great stuff Heidi. You mention pomegranate juice as a means to slow down the spreading of prostate cancer. I'd like to add a few more natural ways to maintain a healthy prostate:
    * Saw Palmento extract and Licorice - both prevent conversion of testosteron to DHT (believed to be causing prostate disorders)
    * Tomatoes, guava, pink grapefruit, watermelon and chillies, all containing Lycopene, one of the best natural sources of antioxidants.


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