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What is a Superfood – List and Benefits of the best superfoods

what is a superfood?

There is no scientifically based or controlled concept for a superfood, but the food is usually elevated to superfood status when it contains high levels of beneficial nutrients, is related to disease prevention, or is claimed to offer multiple health benefits beyond its nutritional value.

Superfoods contains high levels of beneficial nutrients, is related to disease prevention, and are claimed to offer multiple health benefits beyond its nutritional value.

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Superfoods contain a variety of minerals, such as antioxidants, which are thought to be avoiding disease. We also have healthy fats, thought to prevent heart disease; starch thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; and phytochemicals— the compounds in plants that are responsible for dark colors and odors, which can carry many health benefits.

Antioxidant Superfoods

Antioxidants are chemical compounds present in certain foodstuffs. They support our bodies to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are inevitable by-products of producing energy that can wreak havoc on the body.

Antioxidant molecules minimize or reverse the effects of free radicals having close ties to the following health issues:

Berries

The higher flavonoid rates in berries have been shown to reduce the risk of a heart attack. Acai berries, blueberries, tart cherries, cranberries, and goji berries are some widely known superfood berries.

Berries are superfoods

Health Benefits of Berries

• Blueberries: High in fiber, manganese, and vitamin K; Cranberries are high in a common flavonoid which helps reduce the risk of urinary tract infection.

• Goji berries: A small red berry native to Asia, high in vitamin C and E, together with many different types of flavonoids. In Eastern medicine, they are often used to help treat diabetes and high blood pressure and to improve retina, liver, and kidney safety.

Leafy greens

Kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, beet greens, and collard greens are often known as superfood leafy greens. Such diets are high in vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as a number of vitamins B.

Leafy greens are also abundant in carotenoids, copper, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

One cup of kale contains 550 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K, equal to more than 680 percent of the daily needs of a human.

Leafy greens are superfood

Health Benefits of Leafy greens

  • Kale and other leafy greens are high fiber and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.
  • vitamins that support the vision
  • prevent blood clots,
  • support bone health,
  • boost metabolism and prevent certain cancers.

Garlic

Garlic is a plant food closely associated with onions, leeks, and shallots. This is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium, and fiber.

Garlic is a popular culinary commodity owing to its distinct flavor but has been used for centuries as well for its medicinal benefits.

Garlic superfood

Health Benefits of Garlic

  • garlic is effective in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as supporting immune function.
  • Furthermore, sulfur-containing compounds in garlic may even play a major role in preventing certain types of cancer.

Beans

Beans are the source of protein low in fat. Such food nuggets include insoluble fiber that lowers cholesterol; soluble fiber that provides a prolonged feeling of fullness; and vitamin loads and trace minerals that are largely absent in the typical American diet, such as manganese. Whole grains— called as such because they are not deprived of their nutrient-containing bran and germinating component during processing as compared to refined grains — offer similar benefits to those contained in beans, although they do not produce as much protein.

Beans superfood

Quinoa

Quinoa is not a grain, but it looks like one, as well as being a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.  In fact, it contains more protein than any other grain while also packing in iron and potassium

Quinoa superfood

Eggs

Because of their high cholesterol content, eggs have traditionally been a controversial topic in the eating community but remain one of the healthiest foods.

Whole shells, including B vitamins, choline, selenium, vitamin A, iron, and phosphorus, are abundant in many nutrients.

They’re lined with the protein of high quality too.

Health Benefits Eggs produce two powerful antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, considered to protect the health of vision and the skin.

Despite fears of egg consumption and high cholesterol, research shows no significant rise in the risk of heart disease or diabetes from eating up to 6–12 eggs a week.

Eating eggs may actually increase certain people’s “healthy” HDL cholesterol, which may contribute to a beneficial reduction in the risk of heart disease.

Eggs superfood

Maize

The key attribute that separates it from other cereals, such as wheat, is its very low amount of gluten and its varying consistency. It also has high lysine rates, which make products more digestible. It is probably a form of two-granulated wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccum), while it provides essential nutrients with multifaceted advantages for the human organism, characterizing it as a superfood.36 Compared to wheat, it produces fewer saturated fatty acids, while at the same time possessing higher amounts of soluble proteins, fiber, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Maize tends to lead to the absorption of nutrients and the suppression of inflammation due to the aforementioned composition and particularly proteins, inorganic compounds, and fibers.

 Maize super food

Heath Benefits of Maize

  • nutrients absorption and inflammation suppression
  • immune system strengthening
  • antidepressant action
  • Vision strengthening and protection
  • Improvement of the lipid profile and regulation of blood sugar levels

Wine and grapes

Red grapes, has healthy components, including resveratrol and quercetin.

Resveratrol, the polyphenol present in wine that has made it historically “heart safe,” is contained in red grape skins.

A few trials have shown promise to protect resveratrol against diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. These are conditions affected by poorly controlled diabetes that severely affects vision.

One 2013 study found it had minimized the impact of diabetic neuropathy-related neuronal changes and injury. Scientists have also found resveratrol to be helpful for managing Alzheimer’s disease, relieving menopause-related hot flashes and mood swings, and increasing blood glucose regulation. But there is still a need for large studies utilizing human subjects to validate these results.

Another flavonoid that exists in grapes, quercetin, is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that tends to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and defend against LDL cholesterol damage in animal studies. Quercetin can also have cancer-fighting results.

Nonetheless, it needs further experiments with human subjects before researchers can validate the effects beyond any doubt.

grapes super food

Avocado

Avocado is a highly nutritious fruit though, in culinary applications, it is often regarded more like a salad.

It is high in various nutrients, including food, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats.

Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), much like olive oil. Oleic acid is the most abundant avocado MUFA, which is consistent with decreased body inflammation.

Avocado superfood

Heath Benefits of Avocado

  • Eating avocado reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and certain types of cancer
  • Avocados can also help your body absorb carotenoids — plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow, and orange hues found in other fruits and vegetables.

Tomatoes 

These are rich in both vitamin C and lycopene, which have been shown to minimize prostate cancer risk.

How to include these: Use tomatoes over the spaghetti in a salad or as a tomato sauce. We can also be incorporated into stews, soups, or chili. Once tomatoes are cooked and boiled in a healthy fat such as olive oil, lycopene becomes more accessible for use in the body.

Tomatoes super food

Ginger Root

This originates from a herbaceous plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, while it consists of a fleshy rhizome of thick branches. It consists mainly of water (80 percent), while it includes sufficient potassium, zinc, and polyphenols. Ginger nutritional value per 100 g is 0.4 g of fat, 18 g of carbohydrate, 2 g of sugar, 2 g of protein, 43 mg of magnesium, 2 mg of copper, 415 mg of potassium, 34 mg of phosphorus, 16 mg of calcium, 13 mg of sodium, 5 mg of vitamin C, 11 μg of folate.

Ginger Root  superfood

Health benefits of Ginger Root

  • Cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Digestion
  • Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities

Sweet potatoes 

These usually often enter the superfood list, for similar reasons to those mentioned for leafy greens. All types of food are generally excellent fiber sources, vitamin A and much more. They are also naturally sweet and do not need the usual application of butter, cream, or salt to potatoes.

Sweet potatoes  superfood

Health benefits of Sweet potatoes 

  • All of these nutrients can help prevent heart attacks.
  • Promote immune system health.
  • Improve vision and maintain healthy teeth, bones, and skin.

Acai Berries

These are dark blue fruits and are fruits of a form of a palm tree with a height of 25 meters and leaves of 3 meters, which thrive in Brazil’s Amazon jungle. High of polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, fats, electrolytes, chemicals, fabrics, sterols, vitamins A, B1, C and E, phosphorus, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, the Acai berries. We contain anthocyanins in high amounts, which give them significant antioxidant properties. In tandem with its essential antioxidant properties, the enhanced protein value, much higher than the egg, renders Acai berry a superfood.

Acai Berries superfood

Health Benefits of Acai Berries

  • strengthening the human immune system
  • anti-inflammatory action
  • protection against cancer cells

Soy beans

Soybeans have a high concentration of isoflavones, a type of phytochemical. Phytochemicals are compounds that occur naturally in plants.

Soy beans superfood

Health Benefits of Soy beans

Soy help in reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “poor” blood cholesterol.

• Soy can prevent memory loss associated with aging. Soja isoflavones may also minimize bone loss and increase bone mineral density during menopause, as well as decrease the symptoms of menopause.

Lingonberry

Lingonberry health benefits includes:

  • Lots of Antioxidants. …
  • Can Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria. …
  • May Aid Weight Control. …
  • helps to get Healthy Blood Sugar Levels. …
  • Might Support Heart Health. …
  • Might Reduce Cancer Risk
Lingonberry health benefits

Tea

The tea produces little calories, hydrate improves, and is a good source of antioxidants.

Powerful antioxidants found mainly in green tea and catechins have positive anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Research published in the Journal of Physiological Psychology studied the impact of green tea, white tea, and water consumption in 18 students on stress levels.

The study suggested that both green and white tea had lower levels of stress, and that white tea had an even greater impact. Larger research is needed to validate this potential benefit to safety.

Green tea can also have an anti-arthritic influence by reducing the inflammation in general.

Tea superfood

Health benefits of Tea

  • the reduced relative risk of cancer
  • cardioprotective effect
  • improving memory and learning skills
  • reduce the incidence of arthritis
  • Neurological diseases and aging

Conclusion

There is more to ensuring optimal health by food and nutrition than relying on one or two of the current food trends.

Alternatively, consuming a range of nutritious foods each day better promotes good health.

superfood alve

Including some or all of the foods on this list that improve your overall health as part of a balanced diet and may prevent some chronic diseases.

References:

  1.  https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/superfoods/
  2. https://www.foodandnutritionjournal.org/volume6number3/superfoodsrecent-data-on-their-rolein-the-prevention-of-diseases/
  3. https://www.livescience.com/34693-superfoods.html
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By Beejay

Bjojo runs the Vegan MeatLab blog. He is also doing experiments on Spirulina growing and micro greens. The long-term plan for the Vegan MeatLab project is to come up with the ultimate vegan hamburger based on natural vegan food.

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