An Introduction to a Superfood – Dark Chocolate Is Not Just For Children Anymore
Superfood is basically a popular term for organic food claimed to provide unique health benefits due to an extraordinary nutrient density. The term has been widely used by health experts, nutritionists and dietitians, all of whom challenge that certain foods possess the claims made by their proponents. Many of these superfoods are in fact newly discovered foods or herbal preparations with extraordinary nutritional and health qualities. Some of these superfoods are organic, but others are not.
Superfoods are believed to have a unique effect on our health due to their ability to provide essential nutrients more efficiently than other foods. They act as antioxidants, having an antibacterial, antioxidant, or antiparasitic effect, which is useful against infections such as influenza and HIV. Antioxidants can also decrease the risk of cancers. Moreover, superfoods have high concentrations of omega fatty acids, which reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Furthermore, the food industry uses terms such as “complementary and Alternative Medicine,” (CAM), to describe foods that are claimed to be able to fulfill the needs of various health conditions and may also promote specific health outcomes.
As of yet, however, there is no sound scientific evidence that supports claims that superfoods possess any medical, nutritional or health benefits. Some people may have a general interest in learning about the topic. Others may be especially interested in trying out a new superfuzion superfood products and seeing if they have positive effects on their health and well-being. Those who are particularly interested may seek advice from doctors or other health professionals about superfoods. However, there is currently no sound scientific evidence that supports claims that superfoods possess any medical, nutritional or health benefits.
The primary source of information that supports the idea that some foods can provide health improvements is the National Library of Medicine’s Health Letter. The Health Letter refers to “a term” or “label.” This refers to a product or list of ingredients, when the letters “M” or “Z” are included. Although the National Library of Medicine uses the term superfoods, the library does not have evidence that these foods are beneficial.
One type of supposed superfood is the “Master Cleanse,” also known as the lemonade diet. The author of the master cleanse claims that certain fruits and vegetables can cleanse the body. Among the purported superfoods that he lists are, asparagus, coconuts, raisins, dates, hemp seeds, bamboo shoots, cayenne, ginger, licorice, alfalfa sprouts, garbanzo beans, kale, cabbage, mustard greens, brussel sprouts, turnips, kale, beet greens, and cabbage. Many of these foods contain only a trace amount of fiber, as does the lemonade mixture. As with any dietary supplement, caution should be used when consumed over a long period of time. Some people who are lactose intolerant should not take products containing milk and other dairy products while those who suffer from digestive difficulties should avoid anything containing large amounts of fiber.
A lesser-known but perhaps more beneficial superfood, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is Swiss chard. The leafy greens are high in potassium and selenium, and contain little calories and none of the saturated fats commonly found in many fast food diets. Some research has indicated that Swiss chard is beneficial for heart health. A Swiss chard diet may reduce cholesterol and possibly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Nuts and seeds contain high levels of healthy fats and antioxidants. However, the “good fats” that the superfoods contain are unsaturated fatty acids, which should be avoided due to their potential negative effects on cholesterol. Some nuts and seeds contain “good fats,” like those found in nuts and seeds, as well as omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the blood’s inflammatory response to injury and disease. Nuts and seeds also contain some essential minerals, including magnesium, iron, and copper. These minerals are essential for a healthy functioning immune system. But it is in the oils contained in nuts and seeds that you’ll find some of the richest nutrients: vitamins B and E, phosphorus, zinc, and niacin.
As you can see, eating a wide range of healthy foods can be the basis for a sound nutrition plan, and adding one or two superfoods each month is certainly an excellent idea. Dark chocolate, peanuts, and grapes are three popular candidates for inclusion in a daily pantry, and incorporating them all into your meals will provide even more health benefits that you’ll enjoy. And if you don’t already love dark chocolate, it has only recently been added to the ranks of the “superfoods” as a result of the exciting new health benefit discovered in recent years. Try it!