Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Superfoods. Do they exist? Let's have a look

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It is a word that has come more and more into the public domain - "superfood".  But is there really such a thing?

It does have a definition;

"a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being"

A leading nutritionist says: "It's just a marketing word".  But anything that encourages us to look at our diets, and improve them, has to be good?  Yes, there are lots of foods that probably fir the title, but no food individually holds the key to good health.

But, yes, for sure, there are some cracking food items that we should all be encouraged to have more of in our weekly shop.

Beans
There are many various types, from Runner Bean to Cannellini, and these humble legumes many not appear sexy when it comes to exotic superfoods, but they are genuinely amazing for you, and not that expensive.
Beans and lentils are incredibly nutritious. They combine protein with super-high fibre, which does vary between varieties.
Chickpeas are particularly beneficial at reducing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity when compared with other high-carb foods.  They can reduce total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease. Studies have shown that diets containing chickpeas may also help improve bowel function.
Lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein and may reduce blood sugar 
levels compared to some other foods that are high in carbohydrates.
Peas are a great source of fibre and protein, and support a healthy gut.
All types of beans are the same.

Kale
This is probably one of the best items you can have in your diet, It is jam packed full of goodness and nutrition.
Eating one cup of chopped Kale gets you over 200% of your daily value of Vitamin A, over 130% of your daily value of Vitamin C, and almost 700% of your daily value of Vitamin K.  In addition, it contains important minerals like Manganese, Potassium and Copper.
It is a source of antioxidants lutein  and zeaxanthin, which help protect your sight.  It contains substances called "glucosinolates", and regular consumption of any vegetable containing these has been linked to a lower risk of cancers.
Kale contains good fat and fibre. It actually has over 120mg of Omega-3 fatty acid per cup, far better than almost all plants.
Kale contains substances that bind bile acids and lower cholesterol levels in the body. Steamed Kale is particularly effective.
It is very low in calories but still provides significant bulk that should help you feel full after eating. Because of the low-calorie and high water content, Kale has a low energy density, and that has been shown to aid weight loss in numerous studies.

Avocado
These have become a symbol for superfoods, and rightly so. They are rich in mono-saturated fats, also known as the "good" fats.
Avocado is a greasy fruit, but most of grease is Omega 3 type, which has benefits on cholesterol reduction and heart disease prevention
Avocado helps to stimulate the immune system thanks to actuation of Vitamins C and E
It contributes to keep your skin healthy through Vitamin E, as well as healthy hair.
Your eyes are protected thank to Lutein.
They are rich in fibre, and that helps to maintain a healthy bowel.
Its consumption is recommended as the presence of folic acid helps bones and muscle growth
Acodado contains Vitamin D which helps keeps bones strong, and protects teeth and gums.
It is a good source of Potassium.
In conclusion, Avocado is a superfood because it contains a lot of nutrients and antioxidants, such as Folic Acid, Omega 3, Magnesium, Potassium, Lutein and Fibre. It is rich in Vitamins A, C, D, E and K, and also contains B Group Vitamins too. It is an important source of Copper, Manganese and Iron.

HMHB says:
These are just three of the so-called "Superfoods".  We all have a responsibility to look after our food intake, keeping our bodies functioning healthily, and giving us the best possible opportunity of living a long healthy life. 

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