Superfoods That Help Fight Fat, Boost Immunity + Mental Clarity (+ Are Easy To Find At The Store!)

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Playing 5 Superfoods Everyone Should Be Eating in 2021 | Eat To Beat Disease Author Dr. William Li

Dr. William Li, physician and author of Eat To Beat Disease, has been keeping us up-to-date on the latest Covid-19 news and research over the past year. He's always been an advocate for incorporating foods with health benefits into your diet, though, hence the name of his book!

And while there are lots of immune-boosting ingredients out there, sometimes when it comes to trendy "superfoods," they can be trickier to find in your local supermarket. This is not the case for these five superfoods, which can help fight fat, improve immunity, support brain health and boost circulation, according to Dr. Li. All of these ingredients are easy enough to find and incorporate into a number of simple, healthy recipes.

To get you started, check out Dr. Li's recipe for Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms and Artichokes, which uses three of the superfoods on the list below.

"What I'm talking about is immunity, brain health—cognition, mental clarity—and circulation," Dr. Li says. "That feeling you have after you exercise when you feel really good, that comes from boosting your circulation, your blood vessels. But exercise isn't the only way to do it. You can do this through food."

1. Dried Mushrooms

"What I love about dried mushrooms is you can get them anytime and you can keep them in a pantry and you can eat them all year long. A little bit goes a long way," Dr. Li says. "If you can't get porcini [the doc's favorite], you can get shiitake mushrooms, you can get morel mushrooms, you can get portobello mushrooms, almost any kind of mushroom will do." 

2. Artichokes

Fresh, canned, jarred or even frozen artichokes all work. "I love the fact that jarred ones are available all year round, they're affordable and you don't have to mess with the fuss of preparing fresh artichokes — although those are great too."

3. Olives & Olive Oil

"I love olive oil. It's the healthy fat. Olive oil contains [an antioxidant] called hydroxytyrosol, which is actually present in the olive itself. I love to eat olives while I'm cooking," Dr. Li says. You can also serve them as an appetizer before a meal.

4. Red Cabbage

"That red color comes from a natural dye called anthocyanin and activates all of those health defenses: our immunity, our brain health and our circulation," according to the doc. "You can eat it raw as a slaw, or you can cook with it." Rach suggests making this red cabbage soup, a favorite dish of her sister's.

For another recipe idea, check out Rach's Spiced Red Cabbage + Spaetzle with Mushroom Sauce.

5. Mussels 

"They're easy to cook: you can steam them, saute them, cook them into a soup," Dr. Li says.

"A brothy sauce and a piece of crusty bread, stale bread or a little pasta, and dinner's done," Rach agrees. (Try making her Simple Fish and Tomato Stew!) 

Pro Tip: "You can buy the mussels precooked in a tin in the middle aisles next to the cans of tuna," Dr. Li points out.

"You can throw it into any spicy tomato sauce or broth in a little wine and garlic and good olive oil. It's so easy and so delicious," Rach says.

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