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What Are Superfoods and Why You Need Them?

Antioxidants and Superfoods

Vitamin C Antioxidant Illustration

Vitamin C Antioxidant

With the entire craze about what to eat and what not to eat, what are superfoods is a question going through the minds of many people in the world today. The guardian newspaper reports that the term “superfoods” was coined in the 1990s to define a specific group of foods that were though to benefit the body, tremendously. Such foods range from the exotic types such as spirulina, wheatgrass and alfa alfa and others like , beetroot and broccoli fall in the prosaic category.

With time, the list of superfoods has been growing, as research explores more food possibilities. Watercress was for example added to the list due to its antioxidants properties. Fish, specifically tuna, mackerel and salmon preferably wild also make the list of superfoods, as is the case with tomatoes garlic blueberries, carrots, olive oil and red wine. To say the least, the question “what are superfoods?” cannot be answered definitively because the list keeps growing by the day and for different reasons too!

Fish made it to the superfoods list due to omega 3 fatty acids present in it, while blueberries provide the body with vitamin C. nuts on the other hand are said to have plenty of selenium, while Carrots have beta-carotene. Tomatoes are laden with lycopene goodness, while olive oil is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Different Antioxidant Compounds Foods containing high levels of these Antioxidants
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Vitamin E (tocopherols, tocotrienols) Vegetable Oils
Polyphenolic antioxidants (resveratrol, flavonoids) Tea, Coffee, Soy, Fruits, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cinnamon, Oregano, Turmeric and Red wine
Carotenoids (lycopene, carotenes, lutein) Fruits, Vegetables and Eggs

Superfoods are said to have health benefits, which range from preventing cancer, heart disease, improving one’s sporting abilities, enhancing one’s appearance to improving IQ. Though dieticians and nutritionists highly doubt some of the things said about superfoods, there is little doubt that including them in one’s is worthwhile. Some people still wonder what are superfoods’ goodness that people cannot substitute them with some of the nutritional supplements in the market today. The truth is, more people enjoy eating more than they do swallowing pills.

More so, the superfoods concept encourages people to eat more unprocessed vitamins and minerals thus reducing the tendency of consuming dead vitamins. When consumed in their raw states, the body easily absorbs them, thus providing it with the necessary nutrients required to fight disease and maintain health. One of the qualms that nutritionists have with the superfoods concept is that it advances some foods more than others, and can therefore lead people to a lifestyle where some of the essential foods in the human diet are neglected. Their advice to the general populace is that people should eat everything in moderation. More to this, people should ensure that they eat a variety of foods in order to get the maximum nutritional benefits that one can get from foods. Overall, the wise thing is to include the superfoods as part of one’s diet, rather than making them all one eats. A little tea, a little spinach, potatoes, beans and some oil, will no doubt make a good meal.

-By: Reggie R Andersen

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One Response to “What Are Superfoods and Why You Need Them?”

  • Lokard Desmock:

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