Round 1: Meet the Superfood Contenders

In the spirit of March Madness, we thought it would be fun to have a Superfood Showdown!  Each week, we will match-up some of the best (and freshest) competitors in the food world and pit them against each other.  Who will reign victorious? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

So, what makes these foods all-stars?  They are bursting with nutrients!  Eating them can give you energy, may reduce the risk of disease, and will help you maintain a healthy weight. All leading to a happier, healthier life.

Romaine

Romaine lettuce is low in calories and high in nutrients. The high vitamin C content partnered with high levels of beta-carotene make it a heart-healthy green. Romaine is also a healthy contender due to its levels of folic acid, which helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Kale

Kale has many exceptional health benefits. Listed as a cruciferous vegetable, or rather a member of the cabbage family, it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Kale also scores major points in its ability to help lower cholesterol.

WINNER

Romaine wins this round!

Romaine packs higher levels of folic acid than kale, a water-soluble form of Vitamin B.  Kale has approximately twice the amount of calories than romaine.  So, if you compare nutrients per calorie, kale scores lower, making romaine the winner of this match-up.

Strawberries

Strawberries are a popular favorite and really help boost the immune system with high levels of antioxidants. They are also rich in iodine, which comes in handy when regulating the nervous system. These tasty treats are packed with vitamin C, which can actually help you beat the common cold.

Blackberries

Blackberries are ripe with magnesium to help regulate blood pressure and prevent heart arrhythmia. They work well to aid the digestive system, since they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. With all of the areas of the body that benefit from blackberries, this certainly is an all-star team.

WINNER

Strawberries win this round!

Strawberries have less calories, carbohydrates, and sugars than blackberries.  Higher amounts of vitamin C and water content give this sweet, tasty produce the win.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a naturally sweet and nutrient dense alternative to regular potatoes. Their defense is strong as they slowly release their natural sugars into the bloodstream after consumption, which keeps blood sugar spikes at bay. Potassium is actually the MVP of this team. It’s an important electrolyte found in sweet potatoes, helping to maintain a steady heartbeat and support nerve functions throughout the body.

Rutabagas

Don’t count this strange looking Superfood out! Rutabagas are root vegetables, a cross between a cabbage and turnips. They are also high in potassium, making them perfect for this match-up. These veggies aid in lowering blood pressure and reducing stress on blood vessels. Rutabagas are bursting with fiber content, which allows them to promote healthy digestion.

WINNER

Rutabagas win this round!

Coming in at a mere 36 calories per serving versus 90 calories per serving is the rutabaga!  Not only does this root vegetable contain less sodium than a sweet potato, it also contains a 1/3 of the carbs, making it a slam dunk on your dinner plate.

Leeks

Believe it or not, leeks should be a part of your diet on a regular basis. Team leek is full of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, which promote cardiac health, while decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. Leeks, like garlic and onion, are actually part of the Allium family of vegetables. Yet, they tend to add a more delicate, sweeter flavor.

Chives

Chives are not just a common topping for your baked potatoes or favorite dishes, they’re also a nutrient rich member of the onion family. Their strong offense is supported by high levels of vitamin K, which provides bone strength and prevents deminerization throughout the body. Oddly enough, chives are also a great source of vitamin C and can help you with that stuffy nose or cold.

WINNER

Chives win this round!

Don’t let the fact that they are from the same family fool you, chives are the clear winner in this match-up!  With roughly 1/2 the calories and 1/3 of the carbs as a leek, the chive also contains an extra gram of protein.  3mg of sodium versus 20mg also helps chive advance to the next round.