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Superfoods

Fruit___VegetablesSuperfoods are certain foods that are nutritionally dense and good for one’s health. These foods are mainly plant based however there are some fish and dairy products. Superfoods are rich in certain nutrients that aid in keeping us healthy. Antioxidants ward off cancer, fiber is beneficial to prevent diabetes and aid in the digestive system, healthy fats are good for your heart, and vitamins and minerals are essential to a healthy diet. 

 
Just eating “superfoods” will not reverse the damage done by consuming an unhealthy diet. Having a balanced healthy diet is key; emphasize whole food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources when appropriate. 
 
Some foods that are considered superfoods are broccoli and cruciferous vegetables, blueberries, kale, tempeh, polenta, Jerusalm artichokes, dry beans and legumes, bananas, salmon, and fermented foods like Kimchee and sauerkraut.
 
 
Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables
“The four-petal flowers from these veggies resemble a cross or "crucifer," hence the name. Broccoli is probably the best known cruciferous vegetable. Like Brussels sprouts, rapini, cabbage (green), cauliflower and turnips (white), it forms a "head." Others - known as the "headless crucifers" - include dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens.”
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and rapini are all excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin.
Broccoli is a good source of potassium and vitamin C
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are good sources of dietary fiber and rich in magnesium.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and rapini contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene.
Red cabbage and radishes supply anthocyanins. Other cruciferous vegetables provide different polyphenols, such as hydroxycinnamic acids, kaempferol and quercetin.
One cup of broccoli will supply you with your daily dose of immunity-boosting vitamin C and a large percentage of folic acid.(Health.com)
 
 
Blueberries
These berries are full of phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals (agents that cause aging and cell damage). The antioxidants in these berries may also protect against cancer and reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia.(Health.com)

Blueberries are a fantastic source of manganese, vitamin K and C, and are a good source of dietary fiber.
Blueberries also enhance the immune system and destroy harmful bacteria within the digestive system. They are one of the fruits with a high antioxidant power because of the many phytochemicals they have. (American Institute For Cancer Research)
 
 
Tempeh
Helps to decrease the amount of unhealthy bacteria and aids in nutrient absorption. 
 
It is made from fermented soybeans that are pressed into blocks. Tempeh is high in good quality protein; one cup serving has about 31 grams. It is easily absorbed protein too since it is not from an animal source. 
Tempeh is loaded with copper and manganese, which both support wound healing, and increase tissue strength by boosting collagen synthesis. 
 
Although it is high in calories and fat, 320 and 18g respectively, the fat is poly- and monosaturated, which are beneficial. (LiveStrong.com)
 
 
Polenta
Although polenta is high in calories and carbohydrates it has more protein than a large egg and is rich in vitamins and minerals. For every 100grams of polenta there is over 150mg of potassium, 42mg magnesium, 6% of the RDA requirement for vitamin A, 10% for vitamin C, and one gram of niacin, iron, thiamin, and zinc. It is also gluten free. Polenta is high in fiber and also has fermentable components. 
 
Kimchee Sauerkraut
Fermenting foods is the only style of food preparation that does not destroy any of the nutrients. Fermented food removes bacteria and toxins that are found in foods and “it aids in the preservation and creation of important enzymes”. These foods also improve digestion and assistances the immune system. (Breaking Muscle)
 
 
Jerusalem Artichokes
Also called sunchokes, Jerusalem Artichokes are rich in insulin fiber and have strong prebiotics. A one-cup raw serving has 2.4grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 26.2grams of carbohydrates, and 110 calories. There is 20% of the daily value for thiamine and 10% of the daily value of vitamin C in a single serving. “Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and limits the damage to cells that free radicals cause; higher intakes of vitamin C may help lower your heart disease and stroke risk.”
 
The carbohydrates in sunchokes are in insulin form and insulin acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics acts as a source of food for the beneficial probiotic organisms that are in the body. There are several benefits of probiotics, which include improving immune system function, lowering cholesterol, producing vitamins, and preventing harmful bacteria that causes disease from multiplying. (LiveStrong.com)
 
 
Beans
A cup of black beans packs 15 grams of protein, with none of the artery-clogging saturated fat found in meat. Plus, they're full of heart-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and energy-boosting iron.(Health.com)
 
Dry beans and peas are an excellent source of protein and are high in fiber. They have a good source of a B vitamin and folate; foods that contain folate help to decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer. This may be because folate plays a role in repairing damaged cells and healthy cell division. Dry beans also contain antioxidants from many phytochemicals. 
They contain resistant starch, which cannot be digested, that is used by healthy gut bacteria. (American Institute For Cancer Research)
 
 
 
Bananas
Bananas fight inflammation within the body and help to stabilize gut bacteria. They are fat and cholesterol free and high in potassium; a medium sized banana can have over 400 mg of potassium. Potassium is needed for good muscle and nerve function and it is also used for “maintaining a healthy balance of fluids in the body”. (LiveStrong.com)
 
The fiber in bananas aids in keeping the digestive system regulated. (Food Facts by Mercola)
 

 

Few things have as a profound effect on human health than what we put into our bodies.  Food has the ability to turn genes – including cancer genes – on and off, which can influence disease development.  By knowing what we’re eating and how it’s produced, we can have a huge impact on our own health and the health of our environment.  When we choose what to eat, we influence our health with each bite.
Power Foods-Facts and Information

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