No, you won't see any foods in the grocery store wearing capes or superhero outfits, but there are many that are good for your body and will help keep you healthy.  You probably know about some, but I'd like to share the news, some of it seemingly quite strange, about others.

You know that fruits and vegetables will naturally have vitamins and minerals that will help your body function to its peak efficiency, but in this blog, I'd like to point out some foods you may not think of on a normal basis.  For example, you may already know that blueberries help to fight heart disease and diabetes.  They're rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins.  Eating blueberries is certainly no problem for me - I love 'em!

Tree nuts may help prevent deadly cancer.  Eaten two or three times a week, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews and many other tree nuts can lower your risk for pancreatic cancer.  Plus tree nuts can lower the threat of diabetes.  Good news for me because I enjoy eating roasted almonds plain, as a snack, or along with some other goodies.

But do you think of chocolate as being a healthy food?  Yes, chocolate is high in calories, sugar and fat, but if you're looking for a good excuse to eat it, please allow me...many benefits have been found in chocolate, including a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders.  In teenagers researchers have found that the more chocolate a teenager eats, the less total fat and belly fat they are likely to have!  There are other reasons to eat chocolate and you don't have to look very far on the Internet to find them.

Want antioxidants and a painkiller all in one natural food?  Grab some tart cherries!  A 2012 study reports that tart cherries have "the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food."  Even drinking tart cherry juice helped relieve pain for osteoarthritis sufferers without the possible side effects of arthritis medication.

Have you heard of jicama?  This is a root vegetable that is being called the "next big superfood."  It's a good source for inulin, a prebiotic, a fiber that increases the good bacteria in your gut.  Speaking of bacteria and possibly one of the strangest things you'll read or hear about...


How about pickles?  Ahh, but not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill pickles.  I'm talking about a traditional Japanese pickle.  But it's actually not the pickle that's so good for you.  It's the bacteria found on the pickle that's so good for you!  Suguki, a turnip popular in Japan that is pickled, has a probiotic bacterium that increases the production of flu-fighting antibodies.  These antibodies can also help stave off other viral infections.  So the next time you want to defend yourself against the flu virus, eat a Japanese pickle!