“Superfoods” ….more than just fuel for your body!
“Superfoods” is a non scientific term, mainly adopted by the media, to tag foods that may have health-promoting benefits, for example reducing your risk
of disease. Although scientifically they are called “functional foods”, the term superfoods sounds so much better and it has raised awareness that food is more than just fuel for your body.
These foods provide an additional physiological benefit beyond that of meeting basic nutritional need. Although a few functional foods are of animal origin, the majority are plant-based so great news for non-meat lovers like myself!
The first superfood I’ve chosen is a favorite for many of us, cacao (raw chocolate). As many of you know, is the nut of a fruit of an Amazonian tree and the main ingredient is raw chocolate. The reason is called a superfood because it contains more than 300 bioactive compounds and many of these widely recognised benefits promote DNA damage. So try including the dark, pure chocolate bars rather than other variations in order to get all these benefits.
Goji berries are called superfoods due to its excellent source of riboflavin, vitamin A, C, E, potassium and iron - all essential to health. When the antioxidants effect has been compared against other types of juices, pomegranate juice, it was twice as high.
Hemp seeds (eaten raw) are a great source of high-quality plant based protein, as over 30% of their total weight is pure protein, significantly higher than flaxseeds or chia seeds. This makes a great option for growing children and if you are looking to increase your protein intake. Hemps seeds are also high in vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and fatty acids Omega 3 and 6.
The nutritional composition of bee products, another superfood, has been linked to many therapeutic properties in scientific studies such as anti-biotic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
My last superfood (there are many more) is seaweed. Seaweed is used to roll sushi but it also can be used in soups, salads and bakery. These nutritious sea vegetable have been attributed several benefits from meeting iodine requirements for thyroid function, to incorporating fibre and long-chain Omega 3s for heart health.
Hope this was useful in getting a better understanding as to why is it so important to have the right balance of nutrients in order for our bodies to function at its optimum parametres. When our bodies are nurtured with the right foods it means than we are less likely to get ill, to gain weight or to be constantly lacking in energy.
*What are your favourite superfoods?