Superfoods – What You Need To Know
Superfoods have become a household name whereas just a few years ago, few knew what a super-food was. Is that something superman eats? Well, in a way, yes. Superfoods give you super-human abilities. They can increase your energy levels, cure many annoying ailments, and some even do more than augment poor nutrition and have been linked to preventing or even curing cancer.
From a rather forgettable reputation to the Hollywood spotlight, superfoods have become an attention-gathering news item. People like Dr. Oz and Dr. Perricone have talked about these gems on Oprah. They have been featured in magazines and book reviews. Key catch phrases like the brain-beauty connection have been used to describe many of these foods. Its kind of funny, when you think, that essentially, these trend setters are just talking about eating your vegetables.
Most of these life-giving foods are whole foods, meaning they have not been processed, or gone through the regular channels of food production, which often involves adding unnecessary chemicals to allow food to have a longer shelf life. True superfoods are consumed fresh and organically. They are rarely processed, and if they must be, as in supplement forms, the processing is minimal or specific so that the vital nutrients of the foods are not destroyed.
The benefits of whole food nutrition via superfoods are extensive. They can prevent inflammation in the body, lower cholesterol, decrease the chance for heart disease and help relieve the internal organs of years of built up toxicity. They help regulate our body’s metabolism and in many cases help the body return to a healthy weight, whether that means putting on a few pounds or shedding them.
Some of the most press-hogging superfoods today are as follows:
Acai Fruit this antioxidant power-house is from Central and South America and it tastes a bit like chocolate. Grown primarily in Brazil and Peru from the Acai Palm, this food is so full of beneficial plant compounds, that you could snack on it all day if you wanted to. Specifically, Anthocyanins in the fruit help fortify human blood and help boost the immune system.
Goji Berries – this berry grows in some of the harshest climates naturally, in below zero temperatures and in desert-like plains. It is due to its incredible ability to grow in adversity, partly, that it has such amazing health properties. It has all 8 essential amino acids and ranks higher on the ORAC value charts than many other fruits such as blueberries.
Allium Family Foods – including onions, chives, garlic, and other bulbous or sulfurous foods, but also vegetables like bell pepper, carrot and celery, even. These super foods can help with heart disease, lower cholesterol and are excellent for helping to clean the blood. They also have natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties.
Mushrooms – while Reishi mushrooms (called the food of the Gods, or the supernatural tree in Vietnam) are some of the most prized fungi for their ability to fight off viruses via a natural antibiotic quality, there are thousands of mushrooms you can rely on for potent, and power packed for health.
Barley – is a bulking food. That means it is full of fiber. Non-soluble fiber helps move food through the bowels, which means you stay regular and food doesn’t have a chance to purify in your gut. It absorbs water in your stomach so it will make you feel full, and lessen food cravings, but it also helps to keep your colon working in tip-top shape. It also helps to regulate blood sugar. Those big dips in your blood sugar is what makes you want to eat a donut instead of a big helping of salad.
Lentils and Beans – these superfoods are wonderful for providing protein without the added calories and fat as well as providing lots of folic acid, amino acids, and Vitamin B. Potassium, iron and magnesium are also in great abundance in these whole foods, so you can recover from workouts better, and sustain energy longer.
Green Foods – especially kale, water cress, wheat grass, etc. and other vegetables like spinach, and arugula. Green foods will do everything from make your brain work better by increasing DMAE to helping your complexion. The more of these you eat, the less processed and junk food you will want to consume, as well, because you are getting true nutrition instead of empty calories.
Seeds and Nuts – another great protein provider, nuts and seeds are also full of life-giving energy. They contain healthy fats in abundance, like Omega 3s, which can be found in fish, however, fish are sometimes full of mercury, which isn’t good for us.
There are other superfoods too, such as aloe juice, yogurt and keffir, hot peppers, cacao, and turmeric. As you add these foods to your diet, and learn more about them, you will discover a whole new level of vibrant health.