Superfoods are a category of foods that are lacking in calories, but carry protective or disease inhibiting properties. Ounce for ounce they reign supreme in the value of essential nutrients and antioxidants they provide and incorporated into a healthy diet these superfoods can make an extraordinary impact on a person’s health and general well-being.
Even people who already consider their diets to be nutritionally sound can add a few superfoods and quickly observe a difference. In the short term their ease of movement, weight maintenance and a general feeling of wellbeing will be noticeably improved, while in the long term, heart disease could be eliminated as well as hypertension, diabetes, and even cancer.
When discussing superfoods, two buzz-words always come into play: antioxidants and Phyto flavinoids. Antioxidants are natural components which act to prevent or slow free radical exchanges and oxidative damage done to your body. Heart disease, diabetes, macular degeneration and cancer are all associated with oxidative damage.
Phyto flavinoids refer to a wide variety of naturally occurring compounds produced by plants and non-nutritive chemical compounds such as beta-carotene found in plants and animals, but not yet considered by scientists to be essential to human life.
Seven superfoods containing these life enhancing properties are:
- Blueberries: Brimming with antioxidants and Phyto flavinoids, blueberries provide an incredible amount of nutritional goodness. They are especially bestowed with potassium and vitamin C, causing them to be a top choice of nutritionists. In addition, they have anti-inflammatory properties and can lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Seaweeds: Containing up to ten times more calcium than milk and eight times more than beef, seaweeds are the earth’s most nutritionally dense plants. The biological components of seaweeds closely resemble human blood plasma, thus one of their greatest benefits is in the way they can stabilize and purify our blood. Seaweeds can also boost weight loss and slow down cellulite build up. The natural iodine found in seaweeds stimulates the thyroid gland, enabling foods to be burned up before they can be converted into fatty deposits.
- Kiwifruit: Similarly nutritionally dense and packed full of antioxidants, one large kiwifruit supplies a daily requirement of vitamin C, and is also a good source of potassium and fiber, and an adequate source of vitamin A. The kiwi is one of the few fruits that provides vitamin E, which is one of the nutrients missing from most foods.
- Sweet potatoes: One of the finest vegetables you can eat, sweet potatoes are especially high in carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Varieties of sweet potatoes with orange flesh contain more beta carotene than those with lighter flesh.
- Broccoli: is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, bone-building vitamin K, carotenoids, and folic acid, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. Broccoli contains potassium which is an aid against high blood pressure and a large amount of calcium which helps combat osteoporosis.
- Wild salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids in low-calorie fatty fish like salmon can help reduce the risk of heart attacks. An additional benefit is that wild-caught salmon has fewer PCB contaminants than their farmed counterparts. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish such as salmon twice a week.
- Bee pollen: Contains every single nutrient that you need to live, as well as two potent antioxidants; in fact, many people describe bee pollen as nature’s complete food. Made up of approximately 40% protein , 55% carbohydrates, it is an entirely natural energizer, slowing down the aging process, and lowering cholesterol levels. Bee pollen is also rich in the entire vitamin B complex (which provides energy), carotenes, vitamins C and vitamin E.
All of the above superfoods, with the possible exception of seaweeds and bee pollen, can be purchased at your local supermarket and with ease of shopping online, the remaining two can be easily located.
In the past, many of today’s superfoods were eaten as normal components in a healthy diet, but with the advent of fast foods and packaged meals, the unfortunate truth is that many are now missing from the average family’s table. All too often, children are now raised without ever sitting down to a healthy, nutritionally balanced meal.
In years gone by, foods now categorized as “superfoods” were eaten as part of a person’s regular diet, but due to lack of time and the availability of fast foods, take out foods, etc., too many of these foods have vanished from an average family’s table. As a result, the health of children and adults alike is suffering. This article lists seven easily obtainable superfoods and the benefits they provide.
superfoods, super foods, healthy diet, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, antioxidants, Phyto flavinoids
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