Sunday, August 16, 2009

Superfoods

The term "Superfoods" has been floating around for a while now. I did some research on this and found that although most foods have some nutritional value, there are a handful of foods that are so beneficial to your health, they are called "Superfoods".

Superfoods are far more than just "supplements" like vitamins and minerals. They are foods that provide health benefits far beyond their recognised nutritional value. Increasing consumption of
superfoods gives protection from diseases, but also gives nutritional wholeness to your diet.
Here is a list of some superfoods and their benefits:

Apples

They are packed full of antioxidants, especially vitamin C for healthy skin and gums - one apple provides a quarter of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Apples are also a good source of fiber which can help lower blood cholesterol and promote healthy digestive systems.

Broccoli (
other good choice; brussel sprout, cabbage, kale, turnips, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, mustard greets and swiss chard)
Not only does broccoli contain antioxidants including vitamin C but it's a particularly good source of folate (naturally occurring folic acid). Increasing folate is thought to be helpful in preventing heart disease and contains specific anti-cancer properties.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(other good choice; Coconut Oil)
Several large studies suggest that the monounsaturated fat in olive oil is good for the heart. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol levels and increases the good levels. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants.

Blueberries
(other good choices; purple grapes, cranberries, boysenberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, blackberries, cherries and all other varieties of fresh, frozen or freeze-dried berries)
All berries contain anthocyanins which keep your skin healthy, but their goodness is more than skin-deep. Blueberries are widely available and have the greatest amount of antioxidants of any food. Antioxidants help fight several diseases, including cancer. Berries also contain fiber and many nutrients and help control hunger by affecting blood sugar levels.

Green or Black Tea

Studies suggest that the flavonoids in green tea can help promote metabolism, which is a boon to those seeking to lose weight. The antioxidants and catechin polyphenols it contains also help fight heart disease.
There is no official or scientific definition of the term 'superfood'. It's applied to foods ranging from oats to walnuts, spinach to yogurt, turkey to watercress. Meat and fish contain proteins and other nutrients.

Fruit and vegetables also contain essential vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals that are good for your health. Generally, fruits and vegetables given a 'superfood' tag are high in antioxidants such as vitamin C. Flavonoids, responsible for the colour of dark fruits such as blueberries, and other phytochemicals such as beta carotene, are also known for their antioxidant properties, which is why brightly coloured fruit and vegetables are considered especially beneficial.
It has been said to color your plate like a rainbow! The more color, the more nutritional benefits. Liven up your plate and your health!

Information referenced from Suidoo.

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