It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a superfood?

A bowl of açaí.

   What is a superfood? This word has been thrown around the fitness community for a while and seems to be creating quite a lot of buzz. Just what exactly is a superfood and what makes it so super? Wikipedia describes a superfood as being a food that is high in phytonutrient content. These nutrients might not be officially established as essential nutrients, but seem to have made a name for themselves in the health community.  They have also been used as remedies and for overall health by cultures around the world for millennia. There is laboratory evidence that phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of Cancer.
   Acai, Spirulina, Goji, Cacao, Blueberries, Wheatgrass, Mangosteen, and Maca (the ancient superfood of the Incas) are just a few of what might be considered some of the top superfoods. They have unusually high amounts of antioxidants as well as phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
   In his article "Dr. Perricone's 10 Superfoods", Dr. Nicholas Perricone says that "There are more than just 10 "superfoods." In fact, just about every brightly colored fruit and vegetable fits the category of a superfood, as do nuts, beans, seeds and aromatic and brightly colored herbs and spices. The beneficial properties of each one of these superfoods could fill an entire book." He recommends the top 10 based on their direct link to the 'Brain-Beauty connection'.  These foods are rich in EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids), Antioxidants, or fiber. Acai has all three so is considered one of the best superfoods available.
   Some of the reasons he recommends adding these superfoods to one's diet are:

  • Prevent or reduce inflammation
  • Help regulate metabolism and burn body fat
  • Lower total cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Help protect against heart disease
  • Help protect against cancer
  • Help protect organs from toxins
  • Promote digestive health
   Superfoods not only benefit health in these ways but also seem to have many other healing properties and may provide an energy boost in those who consume them. An overall feeling of health and well-being seems to be a popular side-effect of these nutrient-rich foods.
  Here is a list of superfoods for the summer season. Try experimenting with some of these today and see if you notice a difference in your overall health.  Consuming these kinds of foods over a long period of time, as well as a sound workout and nutrition program may be just what one needs to remain healthy and disease-free for life.  May you enjoy a happy and healthy life.... and live long and prosper.

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