Superfoods are types of foods which are thought to have a very high content of certain nutrients. In particular, these food sources are high in antioxidants and essential nutrients, which are nutrients that our bodies can’t produce, making them exceptionally worthwhile to include in our diets!
Many superfoods contain higher quantities of nutrients and antioxidants than other natural foods. But what are the health benefits of having these foods so rich in nutrients and antioxidants in our diet? Antioxidants include vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, lycopene and minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper. They are substances in foods that neutralise free radicals, which are unstable molecules in the body linked to such diseases as cancer and heart disease.
While superfoods are rich in antioxidants to help prevent such diseases as heart disease and cancer they also serve many other benefits. The main health benefits of superfoods include helping to regulate metabolism and burn body fat, protecting the organs from toxins, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, preventing or reducing inflammation in the body and promoting digestive health.
So what foods are superfoods? There are exhaustive lists of foods that are supefoods. For example oily fish, olive oil, tomatoes, soy and tea (black or green). But I’ll have a look at a few more by food groups:
Vegetables – All vegetables are great to add to your diet, however the superstars are spinach, dark-green lettuces, avocadoes, broccoli and beans to name a few.
Fruits – Particular superfoods are oranges, grapefruit, kiwi fruit and berries. Distinct berries include Goji berries, which are nutrient dense fruits that contain glucopuranoside and many phenolic amides which fight bacteria and fungi pathogens. Another one is Acai berries (e.g. Bioglan SuperFoods Acai Plus Berry Powder), which contain one of the highest know antioxidant levels, fatty acids (omega 3, 6, and 9), plenty of fibre as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Grains – Nuts, such as brazil nuts are high in selenium. Brown rice, wholegrain bread and cereals are also great superfoods.
Dairy – Particularly low fat milk and low fat yoghurt, which contain good bacteria to fight bad bacteria
Superfoods provide generous amounts of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that we need. However, it is always important to include them as part of a balanced diet. Some Superfood supplements provided at Your Chemist Shop are Vital Green Superfood, Eden Superfood Formula, Swisse Superfood Ultivite and Essential Organics Superfood.