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Posts Tagged ‘fatty acids’

Getting Additional Nutrition from Superfoods

What means nutrition from Superfoods?

Leafy Greens - Collards are Superfood

Picture by Darya Pino

Superfoods are a class of foods that are considered to be better than other foods because they contain more nutritional elements and antioxidants. It is common sense that some foods are better than others, for example, an apple is more nutritious than a bag of potato chips, and broccoli is healthier than eating gummy bears. Fact is that there are highly loaded superfoods that can help us to live healthier and have a more vibrant live and they can even prolong or lifespan.

All Superfoods have a high concentration of important nutrients and they are typically low in calories and fat. Many of these nutrients have been proven to be helpful in the prevention of various diseases, and some are even able to reverse the effects of aging! Going on a diet that is rich in all the vital nutrients that is found in these superfoods can help prevent cardiovascular disease, certain Cancers, Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, Parkinson and Alzheimer's .

Most of these extremely nutritious superfoods also contain a great variety of antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, and trace minerals. Superfoods are best eaten wholevas they come in nature with as little processing as possible. Superfoods are very complex and we don't know all of their benefits yet. Many superfoods contain hundreds of compounds and nutrients that have yet to be discovered.

Superfood researchers suggests that the nutrients from individual superfoods work best in combination with each other. This is the reason why it is best to be informed about as many healthy foods as possible rather than focus on just a few that you know already. Nutrients from a wide range of foods work together to promote good health and to prevent the problems like cancer and prematurely aging.

How are Superfoods measured?

Since a few year only we can measure antioxidants in different foods and the surprises don't stop coming. The ORAC scale, or the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, measures the antioxidant levels of a superfoods. ORAC is a measurement of how much antioxidants contained in the particular food were able to destroy oxygen free radicals in a test tube. The higher the ORAC number the higher the antioxidant capacity of the food. All antioxidant capacity measures are estimated by Ferric Reducing Power and are expressed as Micromole Trolox Equivalent µ(TE) per 100 grams or 3.53 ounces. The ORAC measurement is accurate up to ±5%.

There is a whole list of superfoods that score high on the ORAC scale but the fruit that scores by far the highest is the Acai berry, coming from the rain forests of Brazil. The purple little berries grow on palm trees and are loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols, essential fatty omega acids and the full range of amino acids essential to our health. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are needed for muscle building.

Other foods that are considered to be superfoods, include all of the berries, including raw cocoa, blueberries and cranberries, spinach and many other leafy greens, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, wild salmon, walnuts and other nuts green tea and dark chocolate.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet that includes the superior nutrition of the healthiest foods on earth is probably the very best way in the world to remain healthy and strong. If you're interested in Acai products have a look in our health store where you can find many superfood products and also many books about superfoods, written by people who have studied superfoods for many years already.

By: Karen Lynch

Karen Lynch is a writer and Mom and has a strong interest in superfoods and nutrition. She is excited about the advanced nutrition in Acai berries.

Raw Food Dieter With Super Foods

What Raw Food can do for You

Raw Food Healthy FoodYou sure must have heard about raw food diet and you might be interested to start one. Be aware thoug, that this is not going to be a walk in the park. Raw food diet promotes a lifestyle of eating uncooked, unprocessed and hopefully most of the times, organic foods as a large part of your diet. If you can achieve 75-100% of raw as your total consumption then that is about the time you will be considered a raw foodist or living foodist. Are you fine with that? Are you up for it? Then read on.

The first thing you got to do if you really want to have a raw food diet and be considered a “raw foodist” is to start things simple. You can do this by adding more fruits and raw vegetables to your diet. Eat fruits and salads during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eat fruits and salads before your meals. Simple, right?

Then in between meals, try taking some fresh fruits, dried fruits, raw vegetables, raw nuts and seeds for snacks. Also drink enough water before and in between meals. If feeling hungry try having water or herb tea. Another good way to start things for your raw food diet is to introduce raw organic superfoods.

Superfoods are foods that are very nutritious as they bring a lot of benefits to the body. They are foods that are very high in phyto-nutrient content, has got antioxidants, vitamin C, manganese, anthocyanins and dietary fiber. Here are some great raw organic superfoods to choose from.

Blue-green algae is one of the best known raw organic superfoods. Blue-green algae is a protein powerhouse, a concentrated source of chlorophyll and help remove heavy metals and other environmental pollutants from our bodies. Blue-green algae can also help the body have a healthy immune system, healthy brain and nervous system, balanced metabolism. Blue-green algae can also increase energy, stamina and mental clarity and stress tolerance.

Blue-green algae has also got a lot of phyto-nutrients, rare trace elements, biological active enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, B12, chlorophyll, complex sugars, phenylethylamine, glycol-proteins, vitamins and minerals. Another great raw organic super food is Sacred Chocolate.

Sacred Chocolate is a proven winner and one of the best and healthiest chocolates around. It is a Bronze medal winner at the 2007 International San Francisco Chocolate Salon for best organic chocolate. It is also a winner of the 2008 International San Francisco Chocolate Salon for Best Organic or Fair Trade Chocolate. And according to the author of Naked Chocolate, David Wolfe. Sacred Chocolate for David Wolfe is clearly the best chocolate bar ever. Sacred chocolate is even hyped as destined to become the world’s finest chocolate.

With simple tips, adjusting to a raw food diet, achieving that 75-100% to be considered a raw foodist will be very easy for you. So have fun getting healthy. Good day, chum!

By: Paul S Fitzgerald

Come learn about the greatest selection of Superfoods on The Planet. Please visit our site at http://www.superfoodliving.com and learn about Raw Chocolate Cocao Noni, Tibetan Goji Berries, Maca, Marine Phytoplankton, Sacred Heart Chocolate, Incan Berries and more….

Coconut Oil’s Nutritional Value Shows Its Superfood Properties

Coconut oil has a reputation for being unhealthy because it's mostly saturated fat. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Coconut oil is made up of mostly medium-chain fatty acids, which are actually healthier than the long-chain fats common in vegetable oils.

Dietary fats actually have many benefits! Fats from animal and vegetable sources serve as a concentrated source of energy from your diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances.

Saturated fats are the preferred foods for your heart, which is why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated. They also protect your liver from alcohol and other toxins, and strengthen your immune system.

Fats slow down digestion of your meals so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A and for absorption of calcium and other minerals. and for a host of other essential bodily processes.

Saturated and Unsaturated Fats

All fats and oils, whether of vegetable or animal origin, are some combination of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In general, animal fats such as butter and lard contain about 40-60% saturated fat and are solid at room temperature.

Vegetable oils from northern climates contain mostly polyunsaturated fats and are liquid at room temperature. Vegetable oils from the tropics are highly saturated. Coconut oil, for example, is 92% saturated.

Saturated fats have gained an undeserved reputation as being bad for your health, but this just isn't so. There is really only one type of "bad" fat, and that's trans fat, which is an artificially-made, unhealthy fat.

Long-Chain Fats vs. Short and Medium-Chain Fats

Researchers classify fats not only according to their degree of saturation, but also by their length.

Short-chain fats are always saturated. These fatty acids have antimicrobial properties; that is, they protect us from viruses, yeasts and pathogenic bacteria in the gut.

Medium-chain fats have also have antimicrobial properties. They are absorbed directly for quick energy; and contribute to the health of your immune system.

Long-chain fats can be either saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.

The unique health benefits of coconut oil are directly related to its chemical structure, or more precisely, the length of its fatty acid chains. Coconut oil is comprised primarily of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). It is nature's richest source of these. Most significant among them is lauric acid, something not found in any other source but mother's milk. In addition, coconut oil contains antioxidant properties of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and minerals.

By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs).

Benefits of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids

The MCFAs in coconut oil are healthier than the LCFAs common in vegetable oils, for several reasons:

 

  • MCFAs are smaller, and more easily digested. They penetrate cell membranes easily and are utilized more effectively by your body.
  • MCFAs go directly to your liver, where they are converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
  • MCFAs in coconut oil help stimulate your body's metabolism, helping with weight loss.

Disadvantages of Long-Chain Fatty Acids

On the other hand, long chain fatty acids have several disadvantages:

 

  • LCFAs are difficult for the body to break down – they require special enzymes for digestion. LCFAs put more strain on the pancreas, the liver and the entire digestive system.
  • LCFAs are predominantly stored in the body as fat
  • LCFAs can be deposited in your arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.

As this clearly demonstrates, saturated fats aren't worse for you than unsaturated fats. So don't avoid coconut oil because you've heard that it's bad for you. Discover more of the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and start using it today!

-By: Stan Mrak

Stan Mrak has had a passion for antiaging nutrition for over 30 years. Visit his website at www.antioxidants-for-health-and-longevity.com for the most practical and useful information on antioxidants anywhere. Discover how antioxidants hold the secret for staying young and avoiding degenerative diseases.