What makes our food a super food?

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Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator

The body cannot possibly get every nutrient it needs from a single food. As a result, a person needs to consume a variety of nutrient-rich foods throughout the day. Such foods having more nutrients per gram volume where we get more nutrients per bite can essentially be classified as super foods. They basically contain an extremely dense concentration of vital nutrients, vitamins and/or minerals, as well as antioxidants, good fats, healthy enzymes etc. The advantage of eating super foods versus other foods is that they often have healthy properties that help to treat, lower the risk or prevent specific diseases and health complications. There are certainly plenty of healthy foods available such as fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, fish, grains, etc., but not all of them contain truly abundant, rich, vibrant source of healthy properties. Those that do are classified as true super foods.

A food becomes a super food not by possessing excellent source of nutrients, but also it should contain a diverse array of micronutrients as well. This also includes phytonutrients, which are chemical compounds that includes battery of plant chemicals that possess the potential health benefits such as carotenoids, flavonoids, phytoestrogens, ellagic acid, resveratrol etc. Most super foods offer significant health benefits, such as lowering the risk of developing certain types of cancer, or helping to alleviate the symptoms of other maladies. Many fruits, vegetable and grains are good sources of all these compounds. They play an important role in improving various areas of health or the immune system.

Where can you find super foods? There is no need for anybody to look around for these super foods because many are available right in your neighborhood grocery store. However, you should still take the time to ensure that the food is as healthy as possible. Many supposed to be healthy foods also sometimes contain unhealthy elements as well, such as calories, fat or cholesterol and even harmful chemicals and pesticides. Super foods contain virtually none or absolutely none of the bad stuff and they should also be absent from toxins, hormones, artificial ingredients, pesticides, chemicals, food dyes, etc.

Nearly any green leafy vegetable can be considered as a super food and there is no problem finding plenty of it in the markets. Carrots, spinach, different kinds of beans, cabbage, herbs and spices form the best among the list of available foods rich in many micro and macro nutrients. Most fruits are already high in antioxidants and vital nutrients. Fruits that may be considered super foods and  are easily available include most berries, such as blueberries and raspberries and bananas. Additionally, coconuts and coconut water, now sold almost everywhere, are classified in this group as an excellent energy source alternative to sugary and chemical-filled soft/sports drinks. With fruit and vegetables, caution has to be exercised that they do not contain pesticides and hence one might opt for organic source. With packaged foods such as nuts, one should make sure that it is all natural and no additional ingredients have been added. Honey obtained from natural sources makes a wonderful super food, rich in simple carbohydrates, micronutrients, natural sugars, minerals, vitamins with less glycemic index.

Foods with following nutrients can make a super food SUPER: Potassium: a key mineral that helps nerves and muscles communicate and help offset some of sodium's harmful effects on blood pressure; Fiber: important for digestion and bowel movements also help us feel full; Protein: critical for building and maintaining muscles; Calcium: key to strong bones; Iron: helps our muscles store and use oxygen; Zinc: for a healthy immune system; Vitamins : A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. Hence choosing a combo of nutrients that makes your regular food as super food is very critical for good health.

Article by:

Dr. Challa Suresh

Scientist 'E' and Deputy Director

National Institute of Nutrition

Indian Council of Medical Research

Hyderabad - 500007

Mob 9000902985

Email: sureshnin2000@gmail.com

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KALPANA SAINI

amazing article

Posted on : 06-03-2018 09:09:57

KALPANA SAINI

amazing article

Posted on : 06-03-2018 09:09:57