Do you find yourself confused about superfoods and what they do? Well, “superfoods” is a modern name for all of these native plants that people all over the world have been using in medical purposes for over thousands of years. Superfoods have recently surged in popularity and can now be found in most health food stores. Here is a list of some of the most popular superfoods and what they do.
Goji berries, or wolfberries, orginiated in China. According to traditional Chinese medicine, people used them for longevity. Although it cannot be proved so easily, the legend says that one Chinese herbalist became a supercentenarian who lived to extreme age of 256 years thanks to goji berries, among other things. However, recent research has found that this superfood may be helpful in relieving hypertension and the boost of immunity. Since goji berries are rich in antioxidant, they may also help protect liver and have antitumour effects. If you want to try them, you can find them as a dietary supplement or used in juices, wines and herbal teas.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that has been a part of basic foods in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. This superfood contains curcumin – an active ingredient that operates as a potent antioxidant. As the research suggests, turmeric may help prevention or treatment of many health problems such as some types of cancer, gastrointestinal issues, pancreatitis and osteoarthritis inflammation. Today, it’s consumed as spice.
Chocolate is everything, but has recently become trendy. Cacao beans have been popular since thousands of years ago in Central America and Mayan culture. Mayan people called it “the food of the gods” from which they made a hot beverage. Today, it’s known that it is high in antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols and healthy fats. Besides those, it also contains flavonoids that may help prevention of cardiovascular disease. However, not every chocolate is a good chocolate. In order to enhance its flavor, manufacturers tend to incorporate many unhealthy ingredients. For this reason, you should pay attention to the ingredients and stick to the dark chocolate with 70 percent or even higher amount of cacao. Cacao is one of the trickier superfoods as it can be used in rather unhealthy ways.
Chia is another seed that originates from Central and South America which has recently been gaining its momentum among health foods. It deserves the prefix “super” due to its content – fiber, protein and omega-3. It’s health beneficial because it slows digestion and regulates blood sugar levels. In order to incorporate chia seeds into your diet, simply add them to yogurt, smoothies, and mixture for bread or pancakes.
Acai is a dark purple berry. It is a fruit of the acai palm tree, which native people in the Amazon region have used as food and medicine over the centuries. The research conducted on acai has shown that it contains high levels of protein, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Also it can have anti-inflammatory effects. In today’s global market it can be found in the form of pill, powder or juice. Acai bowls have become one of the trendiest superfoods recently. Alot of people aren’t aware of what foods are superfoods and what they do.
Sacha inchi or Inca peanut, as their name suggests, are peanut-like seeds originating from Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. According to the research, these super seeds may regulate the levels of harmful (LDL) and healthy (HDL) cholesterol, because they’re packed with omega-3 and -6 fats. Besides that, they’re also representative of complete protein sources. They have recently appeared in North America and you can find them in form of whole seeds, powders, or oils.
Quinoa is another superfood seed from South America. Often referred to as “the mother of all grains”, Quinoa is gluten-free and nothing like other whole grains which have to be supplemented with true max protein since they’re not sources of complete protein. Being rich in antioxidant, quinoa is suggested to have many health beneficial effects including antiviral, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant. In case you want to try it, if you already haven’t, it won’t be hard for you to find it in any of its sorts (white, black and red quinoa) as it has become popular worldwide. You can try eating qunoa instead of rice or pasta.
Hemp is a plant with a homeland in Central Asia. Even though many still believe it’s the same thing as marijuana, industrial hemp doesn’t have hallucinogenic effects. Hemp hearts may be beneficial for many health issues – inflammation, heart protection, immune system protection, skin conditions, cholesterol levels and Alzheimer’s disease. You can find this superfood at health food stores as hemp oil or hemp hearts. Understanding superfoods and what they do can seem overwhelming at first, but it can be very simple to add them to your diet.
Salmon is a part of Canada’s natives’ diet and ceremonials. This is another common superfood know to contain high levels of omega-3, protein, vitamins and minerals. The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation is also promoting salmon to be heart healthy. Thankfully, you can enjoy eating salmon in so many varieties – fresh, smoked or canned. Plus, there are many recipes available online that can help you prepare salmon.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin oil has always been a fundamental ingredient of the Mediterranean diet. This superfood has been popular and available worldwide for a long time. It’s almost a common knowledge that it contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids. According to some evidence, its oleic acid may help lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Extra-virgin oil that contains higher amounts of phenolic antioxidants and has been produced naturally will ensure maximum health benefits.