When Popeye the Sailor Man popped a can of spinach, the one-eyed cartoon character wasn’t just hungry, he was smart. Spinach is one in an increasingly well-publicized group of super foods, natural edibles with unusually high nutrient density for their weight and sometimes healing properties as well.
While the marketing of these products can be heavy-handed, Whole Foods buyer Robin Rogosin encourages us to make super foods a regular part of our diet. “The truth is, there’s real value to be had from some of these foods,” she says, citing fruits like cranberries, pomegranates and acai berries, along with greens such as wheatgrass, kale, arugula and Popeye’s old favorite. Less well-known super foods include the Asian berry yamamomo and raw cacao, which comes packed with magnesium, iron and antioxidants. Eat them often, Rogosin suggests, and you’ll notice the difference. “Your immune system is working better. Your respiratory system is working better. It’s this whole cascade of benefits.”