Renegade Health Radio: The 10 Superfoods We Eat the Most

Sunday Oct 12 | BY |
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In this episode we discuss The 10 Superfoods We Eat the Most:

  • Hear the truth about fish oil, how it really does impact the environment, and a more sustainable alternative. 5:55
  • Learn how to easily prepare these two green superfoods to delectable perfection using basic cooking techniques. 8:08
  • Why black beans (and all beans) are truly superfoods and how you can easily prepare them yourself and include more in your diet. 11:31
  • How to prepare pomegranates: this superfruit might even be growing in your own backyard! 15:00
  • Why we may be learning in the coming years that specific levels of antioxidants as a sole judge of nutrition may have been overhyped and why it might just be more about the food as a whole. 18:55
  • How fermented foods have earned their rightful place in history and are a great example of a traditional food now being a modern superfood. 20:22
  • Understand that while they may not be strictly plant-based, some animal-based foods traditionally prepared are very concentrated in nutrients and can effectively be used medicinally today. 22:48



Kevin: Renegade Health Radio. This is Kevin Gianni with Frederic Patenaude. Fred.

Fred: Kevin.

Kevin: I have noticed in the news that the Ebola virus is here in the United States.

Fred: Yeah, yeah. I heard that too. Are you scared?

Kevin: I can’t say I am scared, but I actually am prepared. So I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have a cache of a lot of different things. I wrote about three or four blog posts about it, maybe, I don’t know, two years ago, and I have a cache of medical equipment. Almost ashamed to say hazmat suits and spare water and food for 40-plus days and gas sources and marine radio, battery chargers, and all that sort of stuff, so I feel okay about it. I feel okay.

Fred: So if hell breaks loose, you’re going to bunk up with your guns? You don’t have guns, but…

Kevin: No, I have no guns. Yeah, I’m not allowed to have guns in the house, so it was a negotiation with Annmarie. [laughs] No, but I just—look, we live in an earthquake area, so most of this stuff is all for just in the case of an earthquake, which I think is really prudent to do. And the hazmat suits and some of the other stuff were just additional add-on things that I purchased, but I think if all hell breaks loose, for me, it’s kind of this thing like even if something happens—which I really, really, really don’t think it will—even if something does happen, like at least we gave it a shot. You know what I mean? Like I just feel like lying on my death bed dying of Ebola, I just feel like, hey, at least we tried. At least that’s how I look at it.

But again, I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal, and I feel that we probably should have some sort of guest on that can talk about different viral protocols. And maybe we should, you know, we should have Dr. Williams on, because there’s a few other viruses that are actually a lot more, I wouldn’t say dangerous, but they’re more prevalent and that we actually could get. And so those are actually a big deal. So we should have someone on soon in the next couple of months, maybe Dr. Williams, to just talk about some of these things just because it is important. Viral immunity is very important. I don’t think Ebola is going to be a big deal here in the United States, but I do think that some of these other viruses, these flu-like viruses are going to be, you know, they’re going to affect people that we may know, not like an isolated case of Ebola here or there.

Fred: Well it is…that’s not the scheduled topic for today, but just as a preparation for future conversation, you know, it is interesting when you look at historical data how influenza killed more people or almost as many people as were killed in the first Great War, the First World War. So it represented a huge chunk of the population right after the war, as many killed by the virus, so we haven’t seen an outbreak like that in a long time. And is it because of the circumstances back then and the stress and the poor food and so on, or is it just because it hasn’t happened since and it’s possible that it will happen again?

Kevin: It totally is, but one of the things, which will lead into the topic here, one of the things that are useful for immune boosting, or one of the things that is useful for immune boosting, are foods that tend to have a nutrition profile that some people might called “super.” So I am talking about super foods here. And so what we figured we would do today is talk to you guys about some of the super foods that we really eat, the ones that we have in our cabinet. Not the ones that we’re trying to sell you or we’re trying to get you to eat because we’re invested in the goji berry trade or something like that. But these are things that we eat on a regular basis that we really feel are valuable in our diet. So, Fred, do you want to go first?

Fred: Yeah, I have a couple of things. First, I started taking algae oil recently. So I switched from fish oil to algae oil for a few reasons. One is I just can’t stand the taste of fish oil after digestion, so the famous fish burps and so on, it’s just disgusting and I haven’t found really one brand that doesn’t give me that. So that’s one reason that I switched to the algae oil. It does smell kind of fishy, but it really is digested easily.

Also, I watched a documentary on Netflix about Dr. Sylvia Earl who’s a Ph.D. marine biologist who talks about how messed up our oceans are. It’s a great documentary produced by Netflix and I highly recommend it. And she does mention how bad the production of fish oil is for the environment, so maybe that doesn’t apply to all fish oil, but I think most fish oil is just done in a damaging way for the fish supply and so on.

I just thought, well, if there is another way to get it why not do it that way? So I got from My Neme Nutrition Vegan DHA, and I’ve been taking that. And I’ll be doing the omega-3 test soon to see how well I am doing on that, compared to the fish oil or nothing at all, which was usually what I did.

Kevin: Do you know if it has EPA as well, or is it just DHA?

Fred: It does…well, it is DHA and yes that is DHA. But I do think that if you get just flaxseeds, which I could include as a super food, in a sense. Currently I am not eating flaxseeds, but I go periods of time eating flaxseeds every single day, ground flaxseeds. And I think for most people they can convert that into the DHA and EPA that we need.

So when I was testing myself, I wasn’t taking any supplements or fish oil supplements, and I was only very occasionally eating fish, but I was taking flaxseeds. So I got good results on my last test, so I want to see now if it makes any difference. But I think it’s a good insurance policy to take something along those lines to get the essential fatty acids.

Kevin: The key is testing. I mean that’s…if you’re testing and your ratios are fine, then you’re good to go. But if you’re not testing and you’re not taking, then you might not be good, or if you are testing and you are showing up with numbers that are off, and you’re thinking that your whatever oil supplement is working for you, then that’s evidence that it’s not. So you might need to change your version of it. So whether it’s to a fish oil to a krill oil to a vegetarian DHA or EPA kind of formula, it just depends on where your test show up.

Fred: Exactly. Now my other super foods. I’ll give you some cooking tips at the same time. Kale, you know an obvious super vegetable? I get the dinosaur kale, usually from the Italian market, organic dinosaur-like kale, so it’s very dark. I remove the stems, the big tough stems. I chop it. I don’t usually eat it raw. I cook it and I add bell peppers, roasted bell peppers in it, and some nut butter, and this is delicious.

Kevin: Some nut butter? What nut butter do you add?

Fred: Cashew butter at the moment, but I could add another. I could add tahini. I don’t add a lot, but let’s say I cook two bunches of kale, I might add two tablespoon of nut butter in the entire thing. Mix with that, maybe a little soy sauce or something, it’s absolutely delicious, this creamy kale combination.

Kevin: Do you put the nut butter in after?

Fred: Yeah, after it has been cooked, yes. Right now I am using roasted bell peppers from a can from Trader Joe’s, but it’s just because I have many of those, right? So I have been using them. But otherwise I would put another vegetable or something, or just have the kale.

So that’s how I do it. Chard I cook the Italian way, so I kind of sauté onions at first, and then I add the chard, and then I kind of deglaze it with some balsamic vinegar or something like that, or white wine, and then cook it with some broth or some water until it is all absorbed and so on. So that’s my…I don’t add any nut butter to the chard or anything, but the kale I find, I don’t know, it’s really nice.

Quinoa is one of them, one of my super foods. These days I’m cooking quinoa in the rice cooker, which I find works best.

Kevin: Oh interesting.

Fred: Yeah. I have a Japanese rice cooker and I think it’s really awesome, so in the quick cooking setting of the Japanese rice cooker, the [inaudible], you can cook kale and it just comes out perfect.

Kevin: Quinoa.

Fred: Sorry, yes, quinoa. Not kale, because I am looking at my list. Quinoa. With quinoa I just cook it and then I do stuff with it, but I don’t necessarily cook it before meals, so I usually have some in a fridge at all time.

Next I have black beans. I think it’s a super food, because it’s high in antioxidants. Also because Dr. Joel Furman says so! And because the blue zone. So long-lived people tend to eat beans. So I like black beans and I cook them without soaking them in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes in an instant pot. So I have an instant pot. I cook the black beans. I add some, once they’re cooked, I just add a few inches of water, maybe one or two inches of water on top of the beans after they’ve been rinsed and so on. No soaking. Thirty minutes in the instant pot, or maybe 25 minutes in a typical pressure cooker. I let the pressure release naturally so I don’t open it immediately. It just releases naturally. They come out perfect that way. Then I add some garlic powder and some salt after the cooking process. You don’t want to add salt before, because they become tougher that way.

Kevin: You know, I don’t know if black beans are a super food. I mean potatoes? Rice? I mean my super food is rice.

Fred: Yeah, but quinoa is quinoa. That amazing compared to other super grains. I mean, it’s just…I think what I put in the category of super food is maybe foods that we should eat more of. We should focus on that. Instead of eating bread, I can eat black beans. For example, my lunch today I ate black beans—sorry, they were red kidney beans. I make these, too. With my kale mixture, the exact kale mixture, and what else did I have? I had some soy curls. That’s something that’s kind of a vegan junk food but it’s not completely junk food.

Kevin: Sounds like a super food. [laughs]

Fred: It is, no. It’s not junk food. I make it myself.

Kevin: What is a soy curl? What is it?

Fred: All right, soy curls are made by Butler Foods, I think? It’s this awesome…it’s not refined soy that they would use to make these burgers, but it’s textured soy that they make, they look like curls. They’re dehydrated and you just soak them for 20 minutes and then you cook them again, and I do it in barbecue sauce. So that was my last package. It tastes like chicken, but it’s…I don’t know. I had a few packages, so I made that, and it’s just sort of my junk food.

Kevin: I hope they’re not GMO.

Fred: They’re organic, definitely organic. My last super food—so I did not include soy curls in my super food list. It’s just, but you could include in my Fred’s junk food list.

So pomegranate is a great fruit in season right now. Many ways to eat pomegranate. They’re super high in antioxidants, but I like to eat them in different ways. You can juice them in a citrus juicer. Delicious.

Kevin: Oh my gosh, so good.

Fred: Yes. You can also…but the way I like to eat, I buy the big ones from California, the giant fruits and then you break them, and if you break them with your hands, you can…I chew on the seeds and then I don’t swallow the seeds. That’s how I eat them, personally. I just chew on the juice on the seeds and I don’t swallow it.

Another way to do it—I’ve tried different ways—so you can extract the seeds in water, as well. They float and they’re easier to extract, if you want to add them to a salad. I add them to salads and when I add them to salads, because they’re combined with other foods, then you can chew on them and swallow the seeds, but if I am going to eat an entire fruit, I don’t want to eat all of those seeds. I don’t know, it’s a great fruit because each seed is like an explosion of flavor.

Kevin: So good.

Fred: But they’ve got to be fresh! Not those old ones that you get at Christmas time that are like already kind of black a little bit, the skin is already black. And they’re not that great. But when they’re full of juice and they’re fresh and they’re big, those are really worth it.

I’ve tried freezing them. Dr. Joel Furman talked about that, because he’s so big into that, but I just find that when they thaw they just become mushy, so I don’t see the point of doing that. So enjoy them while they’re in season. Maybe you can freeze the juice probably in your container for ice cubes. You could probably do that, as well.

Kevin: It’s just like freezing blueberries. A frozen blueberry is just miserable compared to a fresh blueberry, right off the bush. You can do it if you are going to put it in smoothies, but I mean if you’re planning on doing anything else, I mean it’s gross.

I actually found a pomegranate tree right around the corner here, just in our neighborhood, and I am really excited, because I saw some pomegranates on there. And it’s not in someone’s yard. It’s like in the middle between the sidewalk and the street, so to me that means it’s fair game. I don’t know, we’ll see. I might wear a mask. [laughs]

Fred: What are your super foods, Kevin?

Kevin: Going like the pomegranate route, one food that I eat on a fairly regular basis and I will even eat it frozen are cherries. I love cherries. I don’t know. I mean, I got sucked up in the goji berry hype a long time ago and I’ve eaten a fair share of goji berries in my life, but I mean, there are super fruits that are just right in our backyards, or at least in our Pacific Northwest or wherever else you can find them, where you have these fantastic berries that just grow anywhere. And you don’t have to get it shipped all the way from China to enjoy them.

So the cherry, blueberry, even the pomegranate, which grows down in this area here, those are super fruits that I eat all the time. I eat my cherries in a smoothie. I do my big old green smoothie with a big old head of romaine lettuce, a little bit of pea plant-based protein powder, and then a little bit of a sweet fruit, usually a mango or something like that, and then my cherries or my strawberries or something like that.

Fred: But Kevin, how are cherries more a super food than black beans?

Kevin: [laughs] I don’t know. I mean, how do you judge a super food? Are you looking at antioxidant content? Are you looking at macro/micro nutrient content? Minerals? I got you man. It’s a good question. It’s a good question.

Fred: I think we’re going to find out in a few years that this whole thing about plant antioxidants has been a little overrated. From some research that I’ve been reading lately, I think we’re going to find that trying to eat the foods that have the most pigments is not necessarily why those foods, like, prevent cancer, for example. I think it’s more than that. It’s about the fact that it has got fiber. There’s all kinds of things, but we’re finding it’s a little like, you find an animal that has a higher concentration of those pigments in their bloodstream, antioxidants, so they leave better lives, but is it because of those pigments in the food, or is it because they’re eating more of the entire food in general?

Kevin: It’s a healthy bias. That’s just what happens with these studies is they study all these people who are doing a certain thing and then they forget that because they are doing one thing, it’s more likely that they’re healthy. It’s like studying people who are exercising. It’s more likely that they’re eating well if they’re exercising, so they’re going to get a better benefit, right? Your study doesn’t mean anything then. It just means that people who exercise generally are healthy because they eat healthier things. But is it the exercise that actually made the difference, or is it the fact that they tend to eat healthier, too? It’s kind of crazy.

The science…I just saw this image a friend sent me, and it’s with this little boy riding a unicorn off into this rainbow-colored sunset, and there’s just two words on the bottom and it just says “F” science. I’m not going to swear right now, but it’s just “F” science and it’s just this boy riding a unicorn into this rainbow colored sunset. And I just thought it was hysterical! [laughs]

But anyway. Let me give you some more super foods. Fermented foods are definitely a super food for me. If you look at the history of cultures, a lot of them do have a very special fermented food, and so fermented foods is something that I tend to eat regularly on a general basis. (Regularly on a general basis. Hm.) I don’t speak well on a general basis, but fermented foods, particularly cultured vegetables, cultured cabbage is probably one of the bigger ones. And luckily on the Bay Area there are so many different flavorful companies or so many companies are making these flavorful fermented foods, it’s really easy.

Seaweeds. We definitely try to keep those into our diet. I took a little step back from them when I sent some tests off for the book, and we had some seaweed snacks that we were eating from a particular company that came back high in cadmium. They came back high in arsenic, too, but the arsenic was all organic arsenic, which means that it’s not a problem. Your body can excrete that. But there was some that came back high in cadmium, so I’ve now tended to move towards Dulce from the east coast of the U.S. We’ll try to put that into salads or snack on it or put it into soups, if we’re making a soup.

And then finally, one thing that I am doing, I know, oh ex-vegan here, is that I’ve started to make some stocks. Just recently I made a fish stock and I made a Cioppino, which is a famous San Francisco type fish stew. And so you make this massive stock with fish bones and fish heads and all that sort of stuff and you let it boil for a long time with celery and onions and fennel and carrots and oregano and thyme and basil and all these fantastic spices. You make the stock, and then you add tomatoes and you add all these great vegetables and then you add the fish in and all the clams and scallops and everything five minutes before you’re about to serve it. And man, it’s amazing.

Then the other day I did a class at the butcher shop where I learned how to cut leg of lamb and do all this sort of stuff, and so I made a Moroccan lamb stew as well. They gave us a bunch of bones, too, so I made some bone broth from that, and then made the stew with the bone broth.

I do think that these are highly concentrated super foods, whether you agree that they’re not vegan or not, that’s a whole other discussion, but these are concentrated medicinal foods, for sure.

Fred: I think lamb is vegan, right?

Kevin: [laughs] What is that from? My Big Fat Greek Wedding when I don’t know if it’s the aunt or the mom says, “You’re vegetarian? No problem. I make lamb.” It’s all good.

All right. That’s our list. I hope you guys are eating them, or maybe we’ll encourage you to try something. I hope you don’t…don’t go crazy with your black beans, though. There might be too much nutrition in them.

Fred: Shut up, Kevin.

Kevin: Hey we have 31 comments or 31 likes or 31 reviews on iTunes. We want one more, so if one of you guys out there who’s listening to us, if you could go to iTunes, find our podcast, write a review, give us a five star, four star, three star, two star, one star, whatever you want. We don’t care. Just post it. Tell us what you think. We’d appreciate it.

Fred: Also, one quick update. We fixed the podcast in iTunes now, so if you have an iPhone or an Android device or something like that—probably 90 percent of you do— download the podcast app from Apple and you can get the podcast directly to your device without having to go to the website and stand in front of your computer to listen to it. So you can take us anywhere.

Kevin: Anywhere you want. Bye.

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. gena says:

    love how you keep it simple and to the point, thanks for all the great info

  2. Cyndi says:

    Good show. You can get EPA and DHA from alga from Dr. Fuhrman in one supplement.

  3. I agree with Fred! Black beans ARE a superfood!

  4. DJ says:

    Enjoyed your podcast- interesting & I always learn something.
    If either of you live near a COSTO, they sell fresh pomegranite seeds- very good & no mess.
    Black beans are so good, but too many ‘whistle berries’ can be noisy……….

  5. Karen says:

    Does anyone know any other way to get platelets down without taking the horrible pill Hydroxyurea. I was just told I have essential throbocythemia Jak 2 V617F. I do not have cancer. The Dr. said I need to take this or I can have a heart attack or stroke. I will not take this chemo pill. Both my parents died of cancer and I won’t go through that. I would appreciate any info anyone has. I’m eating good and have taken sugar out and a lot of other things. Otherwise I’m healthy.

    • Richard says:


      If you’re worried about too many platlets sticking together, you can address that very easily.

      2 cloves (not bulbs, just 2 little cloves) of fresh garlic a day, freshly crushed (garlic only makes the right substances for your body when it’s crushed), is one of the best ways to keep the blood thin to avoid clotting, strokes, etc.

      I had a DVT from clotting and used that (which is preerable), and when traveling used Pharmax freeze dried garlic, which is a brand you’re only supposed to get from naturopathic doctors (but in practice you can get it on Amazon and at Pharmaca).

      Keep in mind, most garlic supplements do not work as well as fresh garlic. Most are a bunch of hooey. It was hard to find a brand that relieved my symptoms — and believe me, I could tell what was working.

      Use fresh garlic whenever possible. Much easier. It’s cheaper an works amazingly to prevent clots and related side effects, such as stroke.

      Fish oil also works well to keep the blood thin. I don’t know if the algae sources work as well as the fish sources. That’s something you’d need to look into, or have the blood work done to check.

      To return your body to normal function long term (i.e., to get your body back to making the normal number of platelets), I’d recommend a few months or even years on the raw food diet. It tends to return you to full health with time. Several week long juice claneses can help in a similar way. See the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” for the latter. It’s free on Netflix, but the DVD also has some amazingly inspiring case studies.

      If you’re truly resistant to extreme dietary changes (even for a short while), alternate day water fasting is extremely powerful while staying on your normal dieet. A lesser, but still powerful option, is intermittent fasting where you simply maximize your hours of fasting a few times a week.

      • Richard says:

        Sorry for the typos here. Don’t see any way to fix them after posting.

        Meant “preferable”, not “preeable”. “Diet”, not “dieet”.

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