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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Health Wealth: Super Foods!

    “The greatest health is wealth.” –Virgil

    Super powers, super foods!

    If food had super powers, what would it do? Fight off cancer? Kick cholesterol out the window? Fly in and help with those achy knees? Well, food does have super powers. It comes in the form of, you guessed it?super foods!

    This week, as part of a commitment to National Nutrition Month, Campus Dining will be offering a healthy dose of super foods in each of the main dining areas on campus. What are super foods? Super foods are foods that have extra vitamins and minerals, according to Stony Brook nutritionist Barbie Kauffmann. They seem to benefit your health more than just your basic servings of fruits and veggies.

    Each super food can contain a different health benefit. Many super foods, including blueberries and spinach, contain phytochemicals, which can act as antioxidants (which dispose cell-damaging free radicals). These chemicals, such as flavonoids, which are commonly boasted for their presence in dark chocolate, and carotenoids, which are easily found in most dark greens, can help lower risk for heart disease and even have some anti-inflammatory properties.

    While it may seem like we’re too young to think about caring for our hearts, remember how much grease and fried foods we consume at the Brook — eating super foods won’t revert the process, but it will give you a healthy dose of a preventative procedure.

    Other super foods contain omega fatty acids, which are infamous for their health benefits in potentially helping with memory loss and joint problems. Omega-3’s are most commonly found in wild salmon (which is served at Kelly Dining Hall) but can easily be found in the walnut jar of most of our salad bars.

    Soy is a vegetarian’s dream — it contains enough protein for a non-meat diet, and provides a healthy source of isoflavones (a subset of flavonoids) which will help lower cholesterol. Soy is available all over campus, from the edamame at Jasmine to the packaged tofu in the Union. It’s not hard to get, and it’s easy to eat.

    Fiber, tea, and calcium are all considered “super” for their source of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals that will help ward off disease. And yogurt, which has active bacteria that help aid in digestion (probiotics), will also help keep you healthy.

    So this week, try a super food from somewhere on campus — chances are if the food is fresh, not processed, it’s going to have some source of super food power; just steer clear of foods that are packaged and boast antioxidant power-chances are, the source of the benefits are minimal, and the calories maximal.

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