The Hype over Superfoods

Are there actually foods that could reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer and other life threatening illnesses? According to some researchers, these types of miracle foods we eat (or at least should eat) do exist. These superfoods are called as such, because their benefits reach beyond basic nutrition. They tend to be nutrient-rich and low in calories, while promoting optimal health and minimizing the risk of disease. These foods are the next best alternative to that “magic pill” scientist have yet to create.

Since there is no unifying definition of the term superfood, it has resulted in its overuse as a marketing tool. Unless accompanied by a specific medical claim supported by credible scientific research, the European Union banned the term as of July 1, 2007. The United States has yet to establish guidelines for the term.

With its popularity growing, manufacturers are trying to mimic these superfoods in a pill form. Typically food in its natural state is nutritionally superior than taking a supplement. Additionally these products are not regulated by the FDA and as a result could lead to unknown risks.

Some research claims that the potential health benefits of superfoods include:

• Omega 3 found in fish may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
• Insoluble fiber found in wheat bran, can possibly reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
• Lutein found in green leafy vegetables, might contribute to healthy vision

Below is a short list of popular superfoods in no particular order:

• Eggs                                      • Broccoli

• Sweet Potatoes                    • Berries

• Oats                                      • Spinach

• Oranges                                 • Carrots

• Nuts                                      • Kiwis

• Quinoa                                  • Beans

• Salmon                                  • Tomatoes

It is not healthy to develop an all or nothing mentality when it comes to eating these foods. Since there is no single food that can cure or prevent most health issues, well-balanced nutrition and moderation is key. Become educated by reading food labels and choose foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes.

Whether you believe the hype on superfoods potential disease fighting properties or not, they have been known to offer many nutritional benefits. Want to learn which superfoods to combine after a workout? For breakfast? A nutritious snack? Contact Dan at (978) 807-8579 or visit seachangefit.com to learn more.

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About Sea Change Fitness & Nutrition

Exercise Physiologist Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist Certified Nutrition Specialist

Posted on May 28, 2012, in Dan's Blog and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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