Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Best Superfoods

Superfoods: Superheroes of Health

There are dozens of superfoods - each with superpowers to help battle whatever health-stealing villain is ailing you. Discover superfoods - these delicious tasting cape-crusaders are just waiting for you to bite into them so they can start helping you live healthier.

What is a Superfood?

The term ‘superfood’ has become a kitchen table term - linked to foods like green leafy vegetables, blueberries, hemp and goji.  But, what is a superfood - does it fight crime in a caped costume? Superfoods lack an official definition; however, it is generally accepted that a superfood is a food with high phytonutrient content that is thought to offer health benefits.

Photograph by Jillian Kennedy

Top 12 Superfoods You'll Actually Want to Eat:

  • Almonds
  • Aloe Vera
  • Beets
  • Chia
  • Coconut Oil
  • Goji
  • Greens
  • Hemp
  • Raspberries
  • Salmon
  • Tumeric
  • Yogurt

 Here's a little more to chew on about some of these superfoods:

Aloe Vera

This common houseplant is worthy of a hero’s homecoming.  Topically, aloe vera is well known as a soothing ointment for sunburns. Orally, aloe vera has gut-busting superpowers – it fights constipation. Shazam!


According to a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods rich in anthocyanins (that dark ruby colour of beets) prevent blood vessel damage. Plus, beets are a great source of energizing B vitamins. As for those beet greens – think twice before tossing them in the compost as they contain a power-punch of energizing, health-promoting nutrients.


Chia seeds are packed with nutrients like protein and antioxidants - yet, they are best known for their omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 fatty acids are super powered nutrients with anti-inflammatory effects, and the ability to promote health in the brain, heart, joints and digestive tract – Great Scott! Other superfoods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines and flax seed.


Red tights and capes are the trademark of superheros – as such, these little red berries are dressed appropriately.  Goji berries contain cholesterol lowering phytosterols and, very high amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals that cause damage and aging. But, thanks to antioxidant rich superfoods like goji, acai, pomegranates, green tea and blueberries – it’s clobbering time!


Popularly referred to as ‘greens’, leafy green vegetables have an extensive offering of nutrients that support health and boost energy. From enzymes to antioxidants, greens offer a power-packed punch of nutrients – just ask Popeye. From spinach, to wheat grass, to complex greens formulas, greens come in many forms - you won’t need a “bat-phone” to find one of these superheroes.


All berries are superfoods – packed with high amounts of antioxidants and essential vitamins. Yet, raspberries seem to have remained outside the spotlight – like a masked superhero happy to stay anonymous. Raspberries are a good source of vitamin C and manganese, plus host to powerful antioxidants including ellagic acid and anthocyanins.


A common ingredient in curries, tumeric is rich in antioxidants and has proven to have anti-inflammatory effects. The German Commission E recommends turmeric for digestive complaints.


Yogurt contains hundreds of helpful microbes, called probiotics. Probiotics fight inflammation and promote digestive health. It’s a team of superheroes on your spoon – cowabunga! Plus, yogurt is a delicious source of calcium, protein and B vitamins.


Aloe Vera –
German Commission E Monograph – Approved Herb, Aloe

European Medicines Agency – Aloe Vera Monograph

Beets – Jennings, A. et al. Higher anthocyanin intake is associated with lower arterial stiffness and central blood pressure in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2012 Oct;96(4):781-8.

Chia –Natural Comprehensive Medicines Database Monograph for Chia.

Importance of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr; Jan 2000, 71(1):1715-1755.

Coconut Oil - DebMandel, M. and S. Mandal. Coconut (Cocos nucifera L. Arecaceae): In health promotion and disease prevention. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine 2011;4(3):241-247.

Goji – Natural Comprehensive Medicines Database Monograph for Lycium.

Yogurt – Tannis, A. Probiotic Rescue. John Wiley & Sons 2008.

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