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Power Food Health – Your Guide To a happy and healthy lifestyle

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What Makes a Superfood Super?

The term “superfood” is frequently used in the media. However, many people remain confused by the term and what makes a superfood super? In the past, superfoods were perceived to be fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries or kale, but in recent years, even more foods have been added to the superfood list. This article should give you an insight into why a superfood is super and why they should play a leading role in your everyday diet.

It’s all about the nutrients:

All foods contain different quantities of different nutrients. However, a superfood contains a higher amount of nutrients per gram compared to other foods. These nutrients could simply be essential vitamins and minerals or illness fighting antioxidants. These foods are nutrient dense, with most of the nutrients needed for a healthy balanced diet. Superfoods are generally low in calories, which makes the content level of nutrients even more impressive. For example, a cup of blueberries contains approximately 80 calories, but provides 36% of the daily recommended level of Vitamin K, as well as 24% of the Vitamin C required, and high levels of dietary fiber and manganese.

Disease protection:

Many superfoods provide some degree of protection from diseases and illnesses. Generally, this is due to the high level of antioxidants present, but there are other factors which can influence the health benefits. For example, many people are aware that blueberries have been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. However, oats are now considered a superfood, as not only are they low in calories and high in protein, they also can reduce cholesterol levels and provide protection from developing heart disease. Generally, superfoods are considered super because their regular consumption can create a positive impact on health, especially in combination with a healthy balanced diet. Research has shown that even without making major dietary changes, introducing a variety of superfoods can provide health benefits.

Measuring the nutrients in superfoods:

The complete list of superfoods is considerable, it’s also getting longer, as new research highlights positive effects from certain foods. This can make it challenging to define which are the very best superfoods, that provide the most nutritional benefit. However, there are a number of systems used to measure the nutrients contained within different foods.

ANDI: The Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, is a great example of this type of system. It measures the nutrient levels in each food and assigns a score. Foods can be ranked between 1 and 1000, the higher the number, the higher the amount of nutrients and therefore the healthier the food.

ORAC: Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity is the value which measures the effectiveness of a food for subduing free radicals. Free radicals are toxic molecules, they are caused by the normal process of cell metabolism and a result of external factors such as solar radiation, exposure to harmful chemicals, environmental pollution or inhaling tobacco smoke. Superfoods will generally measure high on the ORAC scale because of their high antioxidant content. Some examples which are at the high end of the ORAC scale include acai berries, mulberries, goji berries and high cocoa solid dark chocolate. All of these foods are strongly associated with a number of health benefits, including protection from developing diseases and improving existing conditions.

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Superfoods are indeed super, they offer some amazing health benefits. However, it’s important to realize that they are not a miracle cure. Superfoods should be an integral component of your diet, but in order to have a healthy balanced eating plan, you should ensure that you also consume a good balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein. This will ensure that you have all of the nutrients needed for basic body function, this will help you to feel fit and healthy in the long term.

With an estimated sixty percent of the adult population in the U.S. classified as overweight, weight loss has become big business. There are a wide variety of weight loss products and plans available, many are based on artificial chemicals or unsustainable diets. Medical experts maintain that the most effective method of weight loss is calorie restriction. This leads many people to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of these are superfoods, but are there specific superfoods which could aid your weight loss?

Eating a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and superfoods is the key to good nutrition. This can not only aid in weight loss and management but can also boost your immune system and encourage an increase in your rate of metabolism. This increases the rate at which you burn calories and helps to reduce food cravings. While many people may be tempted to switch to a fruit and vegetable diet to lose weight, there are a number of other superfoods which could be beneficial to your weight loss plans.

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Almonds:
Many dieters avoid nuts in general because of the high fat content. However, this can be a mistake. Almonds may contain a high amount of fat but it is mono unsaturated fat. This type of fat has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and can actually help to lower your cholesterol level. Almonds also contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, calcium and magnesium. This means that they can be beneficial to reduce the risk of anemia, constipation, diabetes and psoriasis. This will enable you to feel fitter and healthier, keeping you more motivated to not succumb to the temptation of junk food.

Brown Rice:
Many dieters assume that carbs are terrible for weight loss. However, while refined process carbohydrates are essentially empty calories, healthy carbs can actually be beneficial. Brown rice is a great example. A half a cup contains almost two grams of resistant starch. This has been shown to increase the rate of metabolism, helping you to burn more fat. One serving is just 108 calories but it contains dietary fiber and eighty percent of the recommended daily amount of manganese. This ensures that you feel fuller for longer, with energy obtained from carbohydrates and protein.

Oats:
Oats are considered to be one of the healthiest grains. They contain healthy fats which encourage an increased metabolic rate to burn fat. Oats contain a high level of dietary fiber and protein while remaining low in fat. One cup of oats is only 130 calories, research has shown that regular consumption could lower bad cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels. This allows you to feel fuller and reduces the risk of sugar cravings compromising your diet.

If you are looking to shed those excess pounds, a diet rich in superfoods can certainly be a great way to achieve your weight loss goal. Just remember that a balanced diet is the key. Don’t overlook certain foods because they contain carbohydrates and fats. These are also essential elements for healthy body function, just be sure to choose the right carbs and fats. The superfoods above can form the basis of a healthy balanced diet, which supplemented with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables should have you achieving a steady and healthy weight loss.

Whether you are struggling for energy or have the mid afternoon blues, your first thought may be to snack on a candy bar. While there are a number of health benefits associated with good quality chocolate, a sugary candy bar will only provide a temporary boost to your mood, with a distinct lull later. However, there are a number of healthier options including some amazing super foods. Many of these super foods are linked to a number of health benefits including natural mood boosting. Super foods are defined as foods which contain a very high level of nutritional benefit when compared to how many calories it contains. By choosing a super food snack, you can boost your mood without compromising on your healthy eating plans.

Amazing Super-foods to Boost Your Mood Naturally

Asparagus:
Although technically not a snack, incorporating asparagus into your lunch could provide you with a great mid afternoon mood boost. Asparagus contains high levels of Iron, Folate and Vitamins A, C and K. It also contains a considerable amount of B Vitamins which assist the body in metabolizing sugars and starches. This can help to optimize your blood sugar levels and negate the low feeling of after lunch fatigue.

Banana:
Bananas are the perfect naturally pre packaged super food. This makes them perfect for keeping in your lunch box or office drawer. The high level of potassium in a banana helps to control your blood pressure. Bananas also provides an antacid like effect which can provide protection from stomach ulcers.

Blueberries:
The blueberry is the ultimate in super fruits. They contain the highest amounts of antioxidants in any food group. Blueberries have been linked to improved nervous system function, enhanced brain health, reduced risk of developing certain forms of cancer and maintenance of blood sugar level balance. In order to gain the maximum benefit from blueberries, they should be eaten fresh and raw. So, while that blueberry muffin may look tempting, you will get a far better mood boost from a handful of raw berries.

Coconut:
Many people have begun to incorporate coconut oil into their diet for its considerable health benefits. However, the milk and flesh of a coconut is also filled with amazing benefits. Coconut can help fight infection, stabilize glucose levels, boost memory, regulate hormone balance and improve your digestion. This can provide an overall boost in your mood.

Goji Berries:
Although goji berries are still relatively new in the western world, they have been used in Asia for thousands of years. These little red berries contain a considerable amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and amino acids. Research has shown that goji berries can help to regulate the amount of the hormone cortisol which is released in response to stress. This can help you to feel calmer, even if you are having a particularly stressful afternoon.

Grapes:
Grapes have been a traditional gift for those in hospital for a reason. They are attributed with a low GI value. This helps to regulate insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Grapes can also improve the immune and nervous systems, which are often responsible for low mood. Recent research has also linked grapes with improved brain function and cognitive response.