Sep 15, 2008

No. 1 Health Food You've Never Heard Of

I want to know the best foods to eat. The more I know, the more I eat because I want to get my recommended daily value of all things keeping my body healthy. In order to prevent my waistline from expanding, I am on the hunt for the the most nutrient dense foods. It would seem logical to just pop a multivitamin, but I want something more natural. I need superfoods! However, is there any truth to the labeling of a superfood?

What is a Superfood?

Some people will argue that a superfood is just a marketing ploy to charge more money. Others will argue that they prevent cancer and heart disease. There is no standard for which foods are or are not allowed to be called superfoods. Generally speaking, the term is used to describe foods high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients suggesting magical like health benefits as a result of eating.

Health Enhancing, Memory Boosting, IQ Raising....

The most current trendy superfood is the acai berry which has powerful and potent levels of antioxidants unrivaled by other known fruits. Antioxidants are capable of slowing or preventing a chain reaction of events that damage cells. This damage is caused by free radicals and may be linked to heart disease and cancer. This is why you probably are aware that antioxidants fight free radicals. Acai berries contain Vitamin E, dietary fiber, Omega fatty acids, phytosterols and a reported 7 times the amount of antioxidants in blueberries. For this reason, they are considered to be the best known Superfood and have only been available for a few years here in the US!

Where did acai berries all of a sudden come from?

It turns out it's hard to get them here from their native land of Brazil. They are also pretty bitter so in order to get reap the benefits companies are creating yummy super healthy drinks by combining them with other natural flavors. Recently I conducted my own taste test to find out which juice tasted the best and found that I like the Acai Berry with Blueberries from Bolthouse Farms, Bom Dia.

Nutrition 101: Antioxidants vs Free Radicals

Antioxidants combat free radicals which may play a role in heart disease and cancer. I have no idea what that means so for a quick 101 keep reading. So first, free radicals are produced by your body when you are exposed to things like the sun, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, even oxygen! On a daily basis you are exposed to about 10,000 free radical a day. It's impossible to avoid them. The help aid your body in natural metabolic processes like digestion, but if you produce too many, they are capable of destroying cells and molecules which in turn will leave them vulnerable to further destruction. This process is called oxidation and the process is similar to what happens to a rusted nail. The also aid in the process of aging, such as the breakdown of collagen.

I like to see the benefits, I want visual results

If you want younger looking skin and a healthy body that takes preemptive measures against cancer, make sure you get your antioxidants. By eating "Superfoods" you take in less calories while getting more nutrients to keep you healthy.
To get your daily dose of antioxidants stick to fresh fruit, vegetables and juices that are dark in color especially purples like the acai berry, pomegranates and blueberries. If the acai berry is not in your budget, similar benefits can be consumed by eating blueberries or raspberries.

No comments: