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7 Superfoods with the Smallest Footprint3

By Rachel Cernansky, Planet Green

We all want to get the most out of what we eat, and a varied diet is always the best way to do that. That said, some foods pack more nutrients per punch than others—here is a look at some that bring the most potent benefits with minimal (for the most part) impact on the environment.

Cherries
Tart cherries are thought to decrease risk of heart disease, alleviate arthritis pain and gout, and reduce inflammation. They have a few other healthful qualities to boast—plus, 95 percent of the cherries eaten in the U.S. are grown in the U.S., making them a super-eco-food.

Wheatgrass
It’s a powerful detoxifier, it is rich in chlorophyll, certain amino acids, vitamins and minerals, plus it’s been used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, and diarrhea—and it’s easy to grow yourself, making it just about as local as you can get.

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  • Asparagus
    One cup has more than a day’s worth of vitamin K, and is rich in folate, vitamins A, C and B6, thiamin, niacin, tryptophan, and fiber. And the eco-bonus is that it’s another you’re likely to find growing closer to home than some of the other celebrated superfoods.

    Quinoa
    It’s the only complete-protein grain (that actually isn’t a grain at all), it contains iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, and researchers are working throughout South America to make its cultivation more sustainable all the time.

    Flax
    A fish-free way to get those omega 3 fatty acids—growing flax is easier on the environment than fish farming, plus you avoid the nasty chemicals and toxins that make fish oil not such a great bargain.

    Chili peppers
    They may help the body to burn fat.

    Acai
    With 10 to 30 times the antioxidant content of wine and powerful neutralizing effect on free radicals in the body, acai has become one of the most well-known superfoods, and while it’s not grown locally, it is (with most companies, anyway) flash-frozen without chemicals, and is harvested in a sustainable manner by small independent farmers—meaning local economies benefit and the local environment is under good care.

    By Rachel Cernansky, Planet Green

    Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

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    Comments on: "7 Superfoods with the Smallest Carbon Footprint" (1)

    1. […] 6, 2010 by Jamie Seven Superfoods with the Smallest Footprint was a recent post at the HealthyHighway blog. It details seven foods that are packed with more […]

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