Posted by: godswaytohealth | October 21, 2013

WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS?

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Today, we are always being bombarded with TV announcements, advertising campaigns, news programs, magazine headlines and various super market labels with titles like “Number One Superfood Everyone Should Eat.”

The interesting thing is that we have an abundance of “God’s Healing Plants” that if consumed regularly as part of a healthy diet, would lower the risk of numerous health challenges that we face today.

The fact is that “what you eat” greatly affects your body now and in the future. In the world we live in, with environmental toxins bombarding us and pesticides threatening our food and water, it’s crucial to include foods with the highest nutrient density available to ensure staying healthy in a toxic world.

It can be overwhelming having to sort through the headlines to figure out what you should include as your best line of defense against health challenges. When there’s always another fruit, vegetable, or spice that has been found to be the number one key to better health and longer life, how do we know what to believe and where to begin?

SO LET’S FIND OUT WHAT A SUPERFOOD CONSISTS OF

Superfoods are vibrant, nutritionally dense foods that offer tremendous dietary and healing potential. They are powerful sources of clean protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats, essential fatty and amino acids, and other nutrients that offer deep levels of nutrition.

Superfoods pack in the good stuff that we all need for our health on a daily basis. Although there are long lists of foods that contain nutrients that support health, superfoods turbo charge the system – especially when eaten on a regular basis.

WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK FOR?

  • Aggregate Nutrient Density Index system (ANDI): The term ‘nutrient density’ first came about through the USDA, but was very limited. It initially only covered vitamins and minerals within a food, and nothing else. So, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, an MD focused on disease prevention through nutrition, created a more complex nutrient density system to take into account the full spectrum of nutrients within a food, including vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients and the ANDI system came into place.

Therefore, a nutrient dense superfood is the opposite of an empty overly-processed calorie, and the fresher and more whole a food is the more nutrient dense. example, kale has an ANDI score of 1,000 and soda has a score of one

  • ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Value: ORAC measures the ability of just about any substance to subdue free radicals in the test tube, in essence a measurement of the antioxidant activity of any food. The higher the ORAC number, the stronger its antioxidant power. In order to get the most antioxidants into your diet, superfoods are critical, in addition to a natural, whole foods-based diet. You should ditch the processed food in favor of acai, goji, mulberries and raw chocolate (cacao), as they prevent the production of free radicals in our body that lead to disease and aging.
  • PH balance: Is the measure of acid/alkaline balance in your body using the pH scale of 1-14. An acid body becomes a magnet for sickness, disease and aging, and eating more alkaline foods helps shift your body’s pH and oxygenate your system back into balance. Foods high on the acidic spectrum include refined foods and animal products. To help maintain an ideal pH balance of 7.35-7.45, superfoods come to the rescue.
  • Phytonutrient content: The amount of healthy chemical compounds, known and unknown, that exist in plants. There are potentially thousands of phytonutrients in plants and any superfood should be a known source.
  • Toxin absence: The goal of consuming superfoods is to load the body with as many nutrients as possible. Superfoods should be non GMO, hormone-free, chemical and pesticide-free sources of nutrition.

Although there is no one food that provides everything the body needs, including a wide variety of superfoods can play a crucial role in stimulating health on a cellular level to benefit the body in countless ways. Superfoods allow us to get more nutrition with less eating.

Sources:

• Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD
• Natural News
• Perricone,N. (2010). Forever young: The science of nutrigenomics for glowing, wrinkle-free skin and radiant health at every age. New York: Atria Books.
• Rubin, J. (2012). What does superfood actually mean. ExtraordinaryHealth, Volume15, 26-27.
• Wolfe,D. (2009). Superfoods: The food and medicine of the future. California: North Atlantic Books

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