Super foods are those foods that have unique properties that could help keep us healthy. They have maximum nutrition content, can add flavour to our food, give us energy with minimun calories and contains no trans-fatty acids. Many are known to treat a variety of illnesses.
The Benefits of Eating Super Foods
Super foods are a sure way to achieve longevity and control weight. We should also remember that these super foods are most potent when eaten in their raw state – with little to no commercial processing – or in their organic form. Cooking also depletes their potency or vitamin content, enzymes, co-enzymes, protein, minerals and glyconutrients. For this reason, most super foods are also made into medicine.
Super foods can also help control weight. If we include these super foods in our diet everyday, it can help protect us from heart diseases, control our blood pressure and cholesterol, guard against cancer, help us release toxins from our organs, improve our metabolism and promote digestive health.
10 Super Foods We Can Easily Get In T&T
Simply Trini Cooking have complied a list of 10 superfoods. These foods are easily accessible and / or are available at a low cost in Trinidad and Tobago. They are:
1. Raw Chocolate (cacao)
There is no harvest season for this food, the cocoa tree bears its fruit all year long. Raw cacao (commonly called cocoa or chocolate) has been known to rejuvenate and remove that lethargic feeling. Raw cacao has most of its nutritents intact, unlike commercial chocolate. During processing, commercial chocolate loses most of its special properties – specifically through the heating process. Thus raw cacao is recommended. It has the highest amounts of flavonoids and extremely high amounts of magnesium. It is also rich in chromium, manganese, and an excellent source of zinc.
The most popular benefit of cocoa is that it supports a healthy cardiovascular system. Other benefits are increase brain blood flow, and enhance brain function. The antioxidant properties in cocoa can protect us from age-related health conditions and free-radical damage to our DNA. Some more benefits of raw cocoa: are relief from menstrual cramping, building strong bones, help detoxify heavy metals, promote normal blood pressure, improve blood lipids, and reduce inflammation. Cocoa is considered a great super food for children because of it helps release certain neurotransmitters that can greatly impact mood and help reduce stress levels. It can also help relax the blood vessels.
Flaxseed has many uses: such as food, medicine and fiber. Flaxseed is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, phytoestrogens (known as lignans), and omega-3 faatty acids. It is a good source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. It contains twice as much omega-3 as fish oil. Omega-3 has been known to reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis. Flaxseed can help lower cholesterol, reduce arterial plaque formation, reduce breast cancer, relieve constipation and reduce digestive distress and reduce the discomfort of menopause. It is anti-flammatory and can therefore help lower cholesterol. Flaxseed can also aid in weight loss. One tablespoon of flaxseed with every meal can ensure you feel full with less calories.
Another local super food is coconut. Earlier, we had written an extensive article on the health benefits of coconut. So, it cannot be stressed enough about the importance of coconut – coconut water, coconut oil, and the coconut meat.
Coconut water helps with both hydration and alkalinity. This delicious drink is a rich source of electrolytes. The coconut meat in its early stages contains lauric acid, known for its beneficial antimicrobial effects. The oil from coconut meat do not contain trans-fatty acids. Most of the saturated fat in coconut oil consists of medium chain fatty acids, and are less likely to be stored in the body as fat. Instead, it can actually help you burn more fat, normalize body lipids, and protect against liver damages. It can also improve the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response. Coconut oil is both antiviral and antibacterial.
4. Green tea.
Green tea is another super food that is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants. It has high amounts of vitamins C,D and K, riboflavin, good amounts of minerals, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, sodium, nickel and fluoride. Green tea has many health benefits: it may help prevent inflammatory diseases and stomach ulcers via the polyphenols; it may protect against Alzheimer’s disease; it is useful as a glucose regulator – slowing the rise in blood sugar after a meal – and thus minimize food cravings, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Green tea may also help ensure cardiovascular and oral health. Studies show that the catechins, a sub-class of flavonoids or antioxidant compounds in green tea can help lower body fat and cholesterol.
The noni fruit, commonly called morinda, indian mulberry, hog apple, and canary wood, makes a healthy fruit drink. Most times it is combined with another fruit. This fruit has antioxidant, immune-stimulating and tumor-fighting properties. Some research suggest that the noni fruit can help treat or prevent breast cancer. Other health benefits of this fruit is that it is an effective guard against high blood pressure. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, if you have kidney problems, you may have to avoid noni because it is high in potassium.
6. Aloe Vera
Another is Aloe Vera. Research has identified numerous compounds in this plant that makes it a super food. It contains natural steroids, antibiotic agents, amino acids, minerals and enzymes. The juice from the aloe vera plant aids keeping the digestive tract healthy, and thus avoid indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and ulcers. The aloe’s plant is considered the “Elixir of Longevity“.
7. Sea weed
Another super food is sea weed, which is one of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet. It is also loaded with minerals. Seaweed is high in calcium, antioxidants, iodine and chlorophyll. Thus it has powerful chelating properties. It can help purify the blood and detox heavy metals from the body. It can also help alkalize the blood and boost weight loss by stimulating the thyroid gland and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Lentils are high in protein. It also contains other nutrtitional properties. It has a high nutritional value. It can help treat constipation, act as a diuretic; it is antifungal and can protect the teeth from decay. Other health benefits of lentils is that it may reduce LDL (harmful cholesterol) in the body and improve bowel movement.
Celery is another super food that is an excellent source of vitamin C , fiber and potassium. It also has other nutritional compounds. It is a good source of calcium and vitamin B2. Celery has a phytochemical compound called coumarins, which can help prevent cancer and lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. It also has positive effects in reducing joint pain and so can be used to treat “rheumatism”. Another ingredient in celery is 3-n-butyl phthalide which can lower blood pressure, and thus lower the stress hormones that causes high blood pressure.
10. Ginger root
The tenth super food is a traditional aphrodisiac, as well as a flavor enhancer. It has antioxidant properties which has shown to lower cholesterol, prevent oxidation and slow atherosclerosis. It is historically known to effectively alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. It also has antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory compound in ginger is called gingerols.
Ginger, therefore reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also lessens pain and swelling in the knees. Another benefit is that ginger can protect against colorectal cancer, and induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells. It also help the body fight against infections from the cold and flu. It also helps reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. For more information on ginger, click here.
There are many other super foods that can boost your health. Here are some good references to help you become more knowledgeable about foods that can ensure you are the healthiest as you can be.
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