The Health Benefits of Superfoods
Superfood is an overused term for health food defined as food claimed to provide specific health advantages resulting from an extraordinary nutrient dense concentration. The term is generally not used by medical professionals, nutritionists and dietitians, all of whom dispute that certain foods possess the so-called health advantages claimed by some of their proponents. However, the term has recently gained in popularity as various studies have been conducted to prove the supposed health properties of such foods. For instance, apple-cider vinegar contains acetic acid, one of the acai berry’s components. Acetic acid has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been found to possess diosgenin, an compound which mimics the human hormone insulin.
Another example of a purported superfood is acai, a grape-like fruit with an earthy aroma and taste. Acai berries have long been used by the indigenous people of Brazil to combat against serious diseases such as cardiovascular and colon cancer. Some recent studies even suggested that acai berries can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, these studies remain controversial because no controlled trial has been conducted to prove these claims. Another fruit commonly referred to as superfoods is pomegranate, which is native to Mexico. Pomegranate extracts have also been widely used in traditional preparations to fight serious ailments including heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers.
Other fruits considered as superfoods are blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, hawthorn berries, and nectarines. Interestingly, berries have long been known to contain high concentrations of antioxidants. Rubuntu is said to have numerous beneficial effects on the human body; including preventing certain types of cancer, lowering cholesterol and boosting the immune system. Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other form of fruit, while grapes and hawthorn berries are among the highest in antioxidant concentration of all fruits. Both blueberry and hawthorn berries have been found to possess high levels of phytochemicals.
As for the antioxidants, plants such as grapes and bilberries contain large amounts of vitamin C. These fruits also have significant amounts of Vitamin A, another superfood. Oats are another natural source of antioxidants, as they are capable of providing the body with much needed carbohydrates. Aside from these antioxidants, plants like wheatgerm, amaranth, buckwheat, alfalfa, peas, cabbage, lettuce, squash and spinach contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals, which make them considered superfoods.
Although some people believe that only red wines, or those with a high concentration of tannins, are considered superfoods, drinking a glass of red wine with dark green broccoli or a cup of sweetened blueberries each day is also not deemed a bad idea. If you are still not sure if you can incorporate a superfood into your diet, try incorporating a salmon filet, or salmon fillet, with a handful of baby carrots. Baby carrots, unlike other vegetables, have been found to be a good source of vitamin A, as well as potassium and calcium.
In terms of fiber content, fruits like banana, grapes, apples and oranges possess the highest fiber content of all fruits. This makes it a very healthy addition to your diet, especially if you love a sweet taste. The reason why superfoods are known as “superfoods” is because they supply essential nutrients necessary for a healthy lifestyle, but do not cause undesirable side effects.
Lastly, quinoa and moringa are two superfoods that can help you lose weight. Both of these grains have been found to boost the metabolism, as well as reducing appetite. Both superfoods are also low in calories, which makes it an ideal addition to any weight loss diet. Both of these grains are excellent sources of protein, minerals and vitamins.
There are many health benefits of consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, one should not rely solely on consuming fruits and vegetables to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Including a few superfoods in your diet will greatly enhance the nutritious value of your meals. So eat a superfood today, for your health and happiness!