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Superfoods should be used to boost a healthy diet

Little Belle has a frozen pea stuck up her nose. It seems my healthy snack has backfired somewhat.

Two miserable attempts at King Edward VII Memorial failed to remove it and we are now scheduled for surgery in the morning. That's right. A general anaesthetic for a pea. I wish I was kidding.

What kind of child puts a pea up their nose? Mine apparently. But although the pea is ridiculously far up, I am still holding out hope that she wakes with it stuck to her perfect little cheek. I am tempted to sprinkle pepper on her pillow.

So after being lulled into a false sense of security, I have spent the latter part of the evening putting away anything that might reasonably fit up a nostril.

No more raisins, goji berries, puffs or peas for our littlest at least not for now. It's a shame. Frozen peas are such a great after-school snack for when the children are starving but dinner is just a few minutes away.

Although much as Belle loves them, she will probably be more upset about the goji berries a new hit in our house.

In case you've been in a time-warp over the last few years or in case the closet you get to eating anything healthy is a tub of coleslaw with your KFC then let me explain that goji berries are one of the hottest things to have happened to health food.

They have paved the way for a whole new generation of superfoods and were quickly joined by other antioxidant-rich wonders like acai, black garlic and chia seed.

Of course, caution is wise when embracing any new food that markets itself as an edible miracle.

In our fast-paced, toxic (arguably), overweight world, we pounce on anything that promises us a quick-fix or redemption from our dietary errors.

I know an awful lot of people who think they can counteract an Oreo-topped frozen latte with a tablespoon of Mila.

In reality, superfoods need to be used as an addition to boost an already healthy diet. Otherwise any nutritious benefits get lost in a sea of excess sodium, sticky sugars and heart-stopping trans fats.

Be careful of industry tricks too. The healthy “functional food” market is swamped right now and manufacturers know how to reel you in.

Just because something says “superfood” on it, doesn't mean that it has a superpower. Be wary of health claims.

But while the jury is still out on the exact antioxidant capacity of goji berries, many credible sources (including Tufts University in the US, renowned for its nutrition) do acknowledge that they are a significant source of vitamin C, iron and phytochemicals beta carotene and zeaxanthin. This means you can include them in your diet in confidence.

So, after the success of the nut-free trail mix for children, I have come up with a trail mix suggestion for adults too.

Hide this away from your children though. Goji berries are expensive and God forbid you should lose one of these little treasures to a snotty nose.

Goji berry trail mix


½ c dark chocolate covered goji berries (Down to Earth, Lindo's in Devonshire)

½ c pumpkin seeds (raw)

½ c sunflower seeds (raw)

½ c walnuts, pecans or almonds (raw)

½ c Eden Organic Montmorency tart dried cherries (Supermart)


Mix together and store in an airtight bag or container in the fridge. Portion size is 2 tbs. Raw nuts/seeds available from Down to Earth, Miles, Lindo's and many other grocery stores.

If you can't get the tart cherries, try any other dried fruit. The Eden organic range is great as it is sweetened with apple juice rather than sugar. You can use regular goji berries instead of the chocolate ones of course!

The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the managing director of natural ltd and a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details, visit www.natural.bm or call 236-7511.

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Published March 23, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 23, 2012 at 9:19 am)

Superfoods should be used to boost a healthy diet

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