Health Team

Superfoods help ward off aging, protect against disease

Posted June 15
Updated June 16

Many people love films about superheroes, but some in their golden years are bigger fans of superfoods.

There are foods that actually fight some effects of aging, as well as protect against disease.

The Humana community center in north Raleigh hosts seniors for a variety of health classes, including cooking tips with chef Zacki Murphy. A recent dish was the perfect picture of an earlier lesson on fighting aging with superfoods.

"(It's) really rich in vitamins, minerals, flavenoids, carotenoids, polyphenols," said Humana Health Educator Megan Lee.

Lee says those antioxidants help prevent premature aging and improve overall health.


One superfood is berries. They are high in fiber and vitamin C, and low in calories.

"They help stave off memory loss and cognitive decline," Lee said.

Whole grains, including brown rice, can help reduce the risk of heart disease, and they aid digestion and weight maintenance.

Black beans, just one of many types of legumes, are good for the heart and full of protein.

"The secret to these black beans is they were literally cooked overnight," Murphy said.

Green leafy vegetables, such as collard greens, are another superfood.

"The darker, the richer, the better," Lee said.

The collards were quickly sauteed in another super food, extra virgin olive oil. Lee said olive oil helps lower LDL, which is unhealthy cholesterol.

Murphy spreads a fruity peach salsa around a Brazilian-inspired dish, topped with baked salmon.

Like other fish rich in omega-3 oil, it's good for the brain and fights inflammation. Lee says to try to get two servings a week.

Superfoods are also on the dessert tray: strawberries, almonds and a dish of plain Greek yogurt.

"A lot of countries have this kind of simple 'one platter' that everybody can share.," Murphy said. "So, here we have a feijoada completa (complete bean stew)."

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  • Travis Perry Jun 15, 6:58 p.m.
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    Sorry mice try not shopping at Hole Foods.