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A Healthy You-Step 3by Dave Foreman
In my previous two newsletters I covered the first two steps (of four) to creating a healthier you. (Go to vitaminshoppe.com and click on "Articles and More" for the electronic versions.) Step 1 taught you how to build your own supplement program based on who you are and what your needs might be. Step 2 taught you the importance of cleansing and detoxifying the body on a year-round basis. Step 3 takes our program to a higher level and even closer to our final goal - being the healthiest person you can possibly be.
Even though I designed my supplement program (Step 1) to help make up for what is missing in your everyday diet and lifestyle, there are still some possible cracks that need to be filled in to attain true health. I feel that one way to fill this void is by using a superfood supplement as part of your everyday diet. Even though it is called a "supplement," I would rather have you look at it as part of your diet. Why? Since these products are food (dehydrated, powdered, etc.) they should be used as part of your meal, or as your meal, when possible.
WHAT IS A SUPERFOOD?
Superfoods are those foods which are so nutrientrich that they can help prevent or "treat" disease. They are full of Phytochemicals (plant chemical compounds that provide huge benefits to health) that have been shown to reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, improve heart health and basically make you a much healthier individual. They are also full of Phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and complex carbohydrates). A great example would be berries ? they contain antioxidants and fiber. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer.
Many superfoods are obtained from either vegetables and/or superfruits. Sometimes they are categorized as superfruits and superveggies. Here are some examples of superfruits: blueberries, cranberries, red grapes, mangos, mangosteen, papaya, tomatoes, apples, noni, bananas, etc. Superveggie examples would be: alfalfa sprouts, spinach, blue green algae, chlorella, quinoa, soy, grasses. What makes these foods so "super" is that they contain high concentrations of phytochemicals and phytonutrients. One of my favorite examples would be a tomato. This fruit (no arguing whether it is a fruit or vegetable) contains nutrients that have been shown to help with prostate cancer (Lycopene), and other nutrients such as Vitamin C and Carotene that help with other forms of cancer as well as general immune support.
There are also a few other superfoods that fall out of the fruit and vegetable categories such as yogurt (probiotics), bee pollen (enzymes, vitamins, minerals, etc.) and turkey (Selenium and L-Tryptophan). In most cases though, the products or foods you will buy to get the biggest bang for your health will fall into the Superfruit or Superveggie categories.
You are probably familiar with the saying "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food." Superfoods are at the top of the list when it comes to this saying. For most of us though, getting enough superfoods in our diet is a challenge. They can be expensive, difficult to prepare or just not taste good. Since we have this issue, I recommend the utilization of Superfood supplements that can be used as part of your everyday diet.
When you walk into your local Vitamin Shoppe, you will find a bunch of different types of superfood supplements:
Since selection is high and you might be new to this whole idea of using superfoods as part of your everyday diet, it might be a good idea to consult with a store associate before you buy. In some cases, you might be able to find samples of these product so you don't end up wasting money on something that doesn't taste good to you. (This is what I recently did when I decided to start using superfoods.)
This is a great question. Besides the benefits listed above, here are some of the other common health benefits you will realize from your superfood supplement(s):
Again, this is just the tip of the health iceberg when it comes to the benefits of incorporating superfoods into your everyday diet. Most experts now say we should be getting 9 servings of fruits and vegetables in our diet on a daily basis. This isn't always reasonable for us to do and therefore,to assure yourself that you are getting what you need, supplement.
I mentioned in the beginning of this article that even though you are buying a supplement you should use superfoods as part of your everyday diet. This is how I do it. I currently use ORAC Energy Greens and mix it with any one of the many superfood juices available. I do this to make it taste better and to get more superfoods in my diet. I will do this every morning for breakfast or for lunch. What doctor in their right mind will tell you to cut back on your fruits and veggies? None. That is why I will often combine my drink mix with my meal instead of a glass of purified water.
For only a few dollars a day, you can significantly impact your health by filling in the cracks in your supplement program. Since it is almost impossible to attain the nutrients we need to be healthy from our diet, we need to supplement. In this case, with superfoods, you can have your "cake" and eat it too. Since incorporating superfoods into my everyday routine, I have seen huge changes in my health. Increased energy, better sleep, better digestion, better skin, clearer vision and a few more things I won't mention. I didn't have issues with any of these issues prior to using Superfoods, they just enhanced what I already had been experiencing. If you have doubts, I suggest you try a blended product for 30 days. You probably will be hooked after that time. If not, keep using it anyway - sometimes the changes are subtle or preventative in nature (cancer reduction, lower cholesterol, blood sugar, improved digestion, etc.). Either way, Superfoods should be part of your lifestyle every day.