"Superfoods" To The Rescue!

Imagine a food - not a drug - powerful enough to help you peel off pounds, lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, as an added bonus, put you in a better mood - with no side effects.

Well, these life-altering "Superfoods" are available right now in your local supermarket.

Early Show medical contributor Dr. Mallika Marshall explains what they are, and how they work.

Quinoa: Quinoa is a whole grain from South America that's growing in popularity here in the United States. It's loaded with fiber and protein, which can keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. A little more than 1/2 cup has five grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein. You can substitute it for rice with stir-fry or as a side dish or you can cook it like oatmeal in the morning and serve it with nuts and berries for breakfast.

Pomegranates: Pomegranate juice has become quite popular in the past few years, but the seeds not only have all the benefits of the juice with antioxidants and folate, but they also have a lot of fiber which again will help curb your appetite. You can simply buy them already shucked from the fruit as a healthy snack or you can add them to yogurt or salads as a colorful and healthy garnish.

Goji Berries: Goji Berries are chewy, tart berries which taste like a cross between a cherry and a cranberry. They have been used as a medicinal food for nearly 2,000 years in Tibet. They are chock full of antioxidants, and have more betacarotene than carrots. And, unlike most other fruits, they contain a lot of protein, again, something that will help curb your hunger. You can find them at specialty supermarkets. You can eat them alone or as a snack, or add them to a cup of yogurt, or to your cereal in the morning.

Almond Butter: Adding almond butter to your bread for breakfast or lunch may actually help keep your blood sugar from rising so quickly, which means you won't get the spikes in sugar and insulin and won't get those dips that lead to hunger. You can substitute it for peanut butter in sandwiches or add it to oatmeal for added flavor and protein.

Eggs: Eggs were labeled as being high in cholesterol and bad for the heart, but if cooked in a healthy fashion, they can not only be nutritious, but also a great way to help people lose weight. A recent study found that men who ate protein for breakfast, like eggs, were much less likely to overeat during the day and lost more weight than people who ate carbohydrates for breakfast.

Kale: You can find kale at most grocery stores near the spinach and collard greens. It's a green leafy vegetable that has a lot of fiber, calcium and iron. It has a heartier flavor than spinach. You can chop it and add it to beans and soups or you can sauté it with garlic and olive oil for a nice side dish.

These "Superfoods" do a lot more than help you lose weight. Many are good for the heart or help improve memory, like fish rich in Omega-3. And one thing all "Superfoods" have in common is that they are all "raw," meaning unprocessed. So you won't find things like chips, candy or ice cream in the "Superfood" category.
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