What are superfoods?
What are SUPERFOODS? While there really is no legal or medical definition for superfoods, we will for this post, and other posts that follow, refer to superfoods as “nutrient-rich foods, loaded with higher than usual amounts of anti-oxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore this group of foods supports health and wellness, and have been proven beneficial to human bodies.
Superfoods are unrefined, whole unprocessed foods, that are loaded with nutrients that can help our bodies fight diseases, possibly aid in weight loss, and even help us feel more energetic.
All foods are not created equal
All foods are not created equal, some have higher amounts of nutrients than others. Some foods have trace amounts of nutrients, while others are packed with chemicals and compounds that increase their nutritive value.
Super foods are the group with higher nutritional value and possess nutrients that can regulate cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and may even prevent or fight certain cancers.
Superfoods do not have to be imported, or exotic foods. Many foods grown in America’s local farms and gardens are in this “super” group of foods. Grocery stores and farmer’s markets sell everyday foods that fit into this category, such as eggs, bananas, broccoli, and cabbage.
Superfoods possess attributes that make them “super”
Superfoods possess certain attributes that land them in the “super” food category. Foods that are high in:
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent cell damage caused by oxidation in the body. They act as scavengers in our bodies, preventing and reversing cell damage.
- Phytochemicals: also known as phytonutrients, fight diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The compounds, commonly known as flavonoids, carotenoids, and lycopene, are especially relevant.
- Concentrated amounts of Vitamins and Minerals
- Healthy fats
- high fiber
Many Americans eat the wrong foods
Here in America, many of us eat the wrong foods. Our busy lifestyles demand convenience and with that comes quick easy processed foods that unfortunately are not good for us. Most fast foods are high in sugars, bad fats, and other ingredients such as preservatives, flavors, and colorings resulting in inflammation and diseases.
Furthermore, studies show that highly processed foods and their addictive additives increase inflammation throughout our bodies. Widespread inflammation causes many chronic illnesses. Side effects of regular, low-level persistent inflammation can include depression, joint pain, and heart disease.
While no single food will heal everything that ails you, a balanced combination of these super nutrient packed foods may make you feel better and improve your overall health. Additionally, eating superfoods can give your body the natural ability to calm inflammation, therefore reducing and even reversing cell damage. Adding superfoods to your diet may be a great first step in improving your health!
For a list of superfoods, check out this post!
Here is a list of resources and studies concerning superfoods!