The word “superfood” has been popping up a lot lately, and for a recently coined term, it certainly has taken the world by storm. Many claim that a lifetime of regular consumption of superfoods can help you live longer and lead a generally healthy life by reducing the chances of illness and disease. Some say they are the latest fad, but others say that it is only our recent awareness of their health benefits that has made them so popular. So can superfoods actually do some of the things that they claim, such as help with aging?
What is a Superfood?
The term “superfood” has been thrown around a lot in the last 10 years, and has been subject to a lot of scrutiny by critics who claim it is only used as an effective marketing tool. The bottom line is, there are certain foods out there that are extremely healthy and are scientifically proven to be high in nutrients that benefit the human body. Whether you call them “superfoods”, or just healthy food that people have been eating for centuries, is totally your call.
Hype You Shouldn’t Believe
Although foods classified as “superfoods” are extremely healthy, you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. They won’t make you magically appear 20 years younger if you start eating them when you are 80, and they won’t make you live forever or guarantee protection from all illness. They are simply foods that have a positive health benefit if they are eaten regularly throughout your life, and will help keep your body stronger for longer. They are not medications to be taken when you get sick, and they certainly can’t override genetics or a generally unhealthy lifestyle. You are going to get old and require homecare eventually, but you can help your body feel strong in the process.
Why are they so “Super”?
Superfoods have a large range of minerals, nutrients and other properties that positively impact your health, and they vary depending on the food. These properties are beneficial because they contribute to good cellular function, which leads to good overall health. Strong cellular function is how superfoods may help to prolong life – or at least the healthy years of life. They also help you age gracefully by keeping your skin and hair healthier for longer, which helps to slow or stop hair loss and the appearance of wrinkles.
Some Examples of Superfoods
Almonds – As a good source of protein and fibre, almonds also contain monounsaturated fats, which help to protect against heart disease by keeping the arteries supple. They contain vitamins E and B5, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and some folic acid.
Blueberries – Best known for their antioxidants, blueberries are also high in potassium, vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.
Broccoli – Contain antioxidants, vitamin C and is a good source of folate, which is believed to help prevent heart disease. Broccoli also contains anti-cancer properties such as lutein and sulphoraphane.
Quinoa – This grain is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, which are beneficial for tissue growth and repair. It is also a good source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.
These foods make for healthy eating choices regardless of whether or not they can stop cancer or help you live longer. Eating a healthy diet will make you feel good on a day-to-day basis, so why not eat them? Even if you get caught up in the superfood hype, there are certainly a lot worse things that could happen!