15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them


15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

In actuality, a balanced diet is the best diet; the term "superfood" is a marketing gimmick. The superior nutritional profile of some foods, however, makes them stand out more than others.

What image comes to mind when the phrase "superfood" is mentioned?

Night Vision in a Nectarine?

In spite of the fact that some foods are so nutrient-dense that they seem to possess superhuman abilities, superfoods do not exist outside of the marketing industry, at least not by accepted scientific definitions. Superfood sales haven't decreased despite the lack of evidence supporting the claimed health benefits of these foods (in 2007, the European Union banned using the term "superfood" on labels without a health claim that was "clear, accurate, and based on scientific evidence"). The global sales of goods marketed as "superfoods," "superfruits," or "supergrains" increased by 202% between 2011 and 2015, according to the Mintel Global New Products Database.

Bananas may have been the catalyst for the superfood craze, which has been around for almost a century. According to the Harvard T, the tropical fruit quickly became the first food to be dubbed a superfood after the United Fruit Company ran a series of vibrant advertisements on the health advantages of bananas. Soon after, research outlining these advantages was published. H. School of Public Health, Chan. More than 90 years later, bananas are still among the top three fruits that are imported into the United States.

Other foods that have attained superfood status include acai berries, avocados, and blueberries. These foods make health benefits claims like lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. The healthiest diets are diverse and balanced, not ones based solely on "superfoods," according to Taylor Wolfram, RD, who runs a private practice in Chicago, Illinois.

Fruits and vegetables contain a huge variety of antioxidants, according to the expert. The more varied your diet, the better, as different colors indicate different nutrients that offer various health benefits. ".

The NIH Dietary Supplement Label Database has listed the top 15 superfoods along with their recommended daily values (DV).


15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

1. Avocados Provide Poly- and Monounsaturated Fat, which is Heart-Healthy

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Avocado contains a variety of nutrients that are worth celebrating and is a key ingredient in avocado toast, a modern brunch staple.

According to U. S. According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), a half an avocado contains 29 milligrams (mg), or about 7% of the daily value (DV), of magnesium. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that magnesium is important for controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels and that a lack of magnesium is linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Along with heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, avocados also offer fiber (6.75 mg per half fruit, or 24 percent of DV). The risk of heart disease can be decreased by swapping out saturated fat (found in foods like butter) with the fats found in foods like avocados, according to a statement from the American Heart Association that appeared in the June 2017 issue of Circulation.


2. A Little-Known Heart Friend is Pomegranate

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Although it may seem strange to consider fruit to be trendy, if you've noticed the explosion of "bowl foods" in cafes and restaurants, you'll know that exotic fruits like acai berries, dragon fruit, mango, and pomegranate are undoubtedly in vogue. Because of their high nutritional value and therapeutic potential, exotic fruits have long been regarded as superfoods. According to a May 2018 article published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, research suggests that foods like pomegranates may support heart health and are a good candidate for dietary supplements that could fend off cardiovascular disease.


3. Berries Support Brain Health and May Prevent Alzheimer's

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Almost all superfood lists feature blueberries at the top, but any edible berry qualifies as a superfood. Blackberries, cranberries (the fresh, not dried variety), strawberries, and raspberries, to name a few, are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with antioxidants that help fight against cancer-causing free radicals, according to a study published in March 2018 in Frontiers in Pharmacology. However, the nutritional value of these fruits varies.

According to a review published in July 2019 in Advances in Nutrition, blueberries in particular have a high concentration of anthocyanin pigments, which not only give them their deep color but also function as potent antioxidants that may reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.


4. Cancer and other diseases may be less likely to develop in people who eat broccoli

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, cruciferous vegetables got their name from the way their petals resembled a cross. They are praised for their health benefits, which include lowering the risk of cancer and preventing heart attacks and strokes. All cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, and maca, a Peruvian plant that is well-known in North America as an energy booster. In addition to being healthy, fiber prolongs your feeling of fullness, which, according to prior research, may aid in weight loss.

According to a preliminary study on mice published in October 2017 in the Journal of Functional Foods, this group of vegetables contains substances called indole glucosinolates that help maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut and may lessen or prevent digestive conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. However, more human studies are required.


5. Seafood Offers Omega-3 Fatty Acids for a Healthy Ticker

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Fish is a great source of protein and is a great source of healthy fats, as opposed to many animal products that are high in saturated fats, like red meat and processed meats, which can increase the risk of heart disease. According to the NIH, fish and other seafood contain omega-3 fatty acids that are especially good for our bodies. These two kinds, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are utilized more effectively than alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the third kind of omega-3 that is derived from plant sources like flaxseed and nuts. According to the NIH, omega-3 fatty acids may help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, lessen depression, and promote infant development.

According to a study that was published in January 2019 in the journal Nutrients, Americans generally consume less omega-3 fatty acids than what is advised, especially women and children, which, according to the study's authors, "puts vulnerable populations at potential risk for adverse health outcomes.". The American Heart Association (AHA) advises eating two servings (3.75 ounces) of fish at least twice a week, pointing out the health benefits of fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring.


6. Healthy Blood Pressure Levels are Supported by Garlic and Onions

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Allium vegetables, such as chives, onions, garlic, leeks, and others, may be acrid (some even make us cry), but they offer powerful health advantages. Additionally, they are delicious. According to a Scientific Reports article from April 2018 about garlic, which was once used to ward off the evil eye, it also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

An August 2019 meta-analysis in the journal Food Science and Nutrition found that allium vegetables may help prevent cancer and that garlic in particular may be beneficial for people with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.


7. Though More Research is Necessary, Mushrooms Might Complement Breast Cancer Treatment

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Mushrooms have long been regarded as a superfood and are still used in traditional Chinese medicine to purify the body and lengthen life. Long-studied antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of mushrooms are now being used in myotherapy, a complementary therapy for breast cancer. According to a study published in May 2018 in the journal Oncotarget, while clinical research on the use of mushrooms to help prevent and treat breast cancer is lacking, lab and animal research has produced encouraging results. There is a need for more human studies.


8. Nuts and Seeds Deliver a Significant Amount of Plant Protein and Can Aid in Weight Control

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

All nuts are a great source of fat, fiber, and protein (those covered in sugar or salt are on the less healthy side), according to the Harvard T. Wellness gurus claim that different nuts have special abilities, such as Brazil nuts for cancer, cashews for cognition, and almonds for heart health. H. Public Health Chan School. Simple to incorporate into your diet, seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are full of nutrients.

While nuts are high in fat, they also help you feel fuller for longer, and studies, including one published in the European Journal of Nutrition in October 2018, have connected nuts to a lower risk of weight gain and obesity. A study published in November 2017 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition ranked walnuts as the top "supernut," with their antioxidant capacity aiding in the prevention of diseases like some types of cancer.


9. Having a Diet High in Dark, Leafy Greens May Help Prevent Colorectal Cancer

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Nutritionists like Wolfram generally concur that vegetables contain more nutrients the darker they are in color. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the chlorophyll that gives dark leafy greens like arugula, kale, collard greens, spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard their vivid colors as well as the dietary fiber they contain can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. According to Harvard Medical School, another type of plant pigment called carotenoids functions as an antioxidant that wards off the body's potential cancer-causing free radicals.


10. Ancient Grains Offer Healthy Carbs Linked to the Prevention of Many Diseases

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Similar to superfoods, ancient grains are a trendy term used to promote certain grains and seeds as being more nutrient-dense than contemporary crops. According to the Whole Grains Council, "largely unchanged over the last several hundred years" grains are referred to as "ancient grains.".

But there's no need to overthink it if you want to benefit from grains. Just choose whole grains over refined ones. According to the Harvard T, brown rice, as an example, has more nutrients and fiber than white rice. H. Department of Public Health at Chan.

According to Harvard, common whole grains like barley, bulgur wheat, brown rice, and oats are also a good source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. According to a study published in May 2018 in the journal Antioxidants, brown rice specifically contains a variety of phenolic acids with antioxidant properties that may shield against diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.


11. Orange Fruits May Aid in the Prevention of Age-Related Eye Disease

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Because of their high fiber and vitamin C content, citrus fruits have been dubbed superfoods. Citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes have a sweet and sour bite that is low in calories and high in water. According to a July 2018 article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating oranges every day reduced macular degeneration risk in adults 50 and older by 60% compared to people who didn't.


12. Kombucha and Kimchi Offer Gut-Friendly Probiotics to Possibly Prevent Inflammatory Conditions

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

You know fermented foods are currently another in-vogue category if your refrigerator is occupied by a jug of fizzy, lightly alcoholic tea. Fermented (or preserved) foods that are high in probiotics include kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and yogurt.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics are "healthy" bacteria that the body produces in large numbers and that are part of the larger community known as the microbiome.

Probiotics may help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and aid in the prevention of disease, according to prior research. Supplements and foods, many of which have been fermented, both contain probiotics. According to the Harvard T, the live bacteria in yogurt, for instance, may lower the risk of developing chronic inflammatory conditions like Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. H. School of Public Health, Chan.


13. A healthy Dessert that Might Improve your Mood is Dark Chocolate

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

Dark chocolate might be healthier than its sweeter milk and white chocolate counterparts. A study that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience in December 2016 found that dark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer, maintain heart health, and help people lose weight. According to a study published in April 2018 in The FASEB Journal, consuming a daily serving of 1 or 2 ounces of dark chocolate (with a minimum cacao content of 70%) may also have additional health advantages, including enhancing cognition, preventing memory loss, and elevating mood.


14. Sweet potatoes Are a Healthy Source of Carbs That Fight Disease and Are Gluten-Free

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

For a very good reason, sweet potatoes have long been considered to be superfoods. The root vegetables that have kept people alive for hundreds of years—and through numerous harsh winters—include carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, and yams.

According to the Harvard T, root vegetables are incredibly nutrient-dense, simple to grow, and have an incredibly long shelf life (some can last months, if stored properly). H. the Chan School of Public Health.

According to a review of the research on sweet potatoes that was published in November 2016 in Food Research International, this root vegetable may help prevent diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other health conditions because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antimicrobial properties.

An additional benefit of root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, is that they are gluten-free, making them an excellent dietary alternative for people with celiac disease, according to a study published in May 2016 in the North Carolina Medical Journal.


15. Legumes and Beans Might Help Lower High Cholesterol

15 Superfoods and the Scientific Justifications for Eating Them

The bean and legume family are one of the superfoods because of the ability of plant-based protein. Beans and legumes, in contrast to food from many animal sources, are low in saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease, and they provide health advantages that animal products do not.

A study that was published in October 2015 in the journal Clinical Diabetes found that the high levels of fiber and vitamins in chickpeas, edamame, lentils, peas, and the thousands of other bean types can help with weight loss and regulate blood sugar levels. According to the Harvard Medical School, peanuts are a member of the legume family, making this nut-like food a fantastic low-carb snack.

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