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SUPERFOODSby Dave Foreman
In keeping with my new theme of making your foods a critical part of your improved nutrition, I want to re-visit superfoods. Since eating right is almost impossible for many reasons, I feel that we need to use supplements that contain superfoods. 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. Berries contain antioxidants and fiber. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of superfoods will help you maintain a healthy 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:
Superveggie examples would be:
One of my favorite examples of a superfruit would be a tomato. This fruit (no arguing whether it is a fruit or vegetable) contains lycopene (a nutrient that has been shown to help with prostate cancer), 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 outside of the fruit and vegetable categories, such as chia and bee pollen (enzymes, vitamins,minerals, etc.). 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.
Superfoods should be at the top of your supplement/food list. When you walk into your local Vitamin Shoppe, you will find a bunch of different types of superfood supplements, including:
Juices: Açai, mangosteen, pomegranate, maqui, Tart Cherry, Goji, Noni, Blueberry, Cranberry
Greens: Wheat grass, spirulina, chlorella, Barley Grass, etc. (Wheatgrass, Greens Plus, Bio Greens, Perfect Food, Green Vibrance) .
Berry/Fruit Extracts: Red Stuff, Phytoberry, Reds Pak, Cherry, Tart Cherry, Cranberry.
Blended Products that combine the best of both worlds: Berry Green, Perfect Food Raw, Greens Plus with Wild Berry, ORAC Energy Greens, Green Vibrance, Vegegreens
Because there is such a wide selection, 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, youmight be able to try sample sizes first, 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).
What can I get from my superfood supplements?
• Body detox
Most experts suggest getting nine servings of fruits and veggies each day, so using a superfood supplement is a great way to knock it out in one shot. 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 useORAC 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.
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'tmention. 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.