Why are super foods so super?
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Fruit is our favourite super food, here’s why.
The blueberry is an antioxidant powerhouse. That deep blue colour is related to high amounts of phytonutrients called anthocyanidins. These phytonutrients aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells.
Overtime, the collagen matrix of our tissues and cells begins to deteriorate. Blueberries help to keep this from happening, with a high capacity for free-radical neutralization.
A recent study from Tufts University analyzed over 50 common fruits and vegetables for hard scientific data on their antioxidant capabilities. Blueberries consistently ranked at the top of this list.
Blueberries also help to reduce our chances of developing diseases related to redness of the cells. This includes a reduced risk for heart disease, cataracts, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, glaucoma, and peptic ulcers. The American Institute for Cancer Research states, “We now know that blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, substances that can slow the ageing process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer.”
Unlike their land-bound counterparts, sea-grown vegetables are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent sudden heart attack and stroke. Seaweed is also full of important minerals, such as bone-friendly calcium and magnesium, as well as iron, potassium, iodine, and zinc. “An easy way to incorporate seaweed into the diet is by taking sheets of nori—the kind they use for sushi—and layering on some cooked brown rice and sliced vegetables. Then roll it all together to make a quick lunchtime wrap,” says Blatner. Beyond nori, the adventurous superfoodie has a variety of seaweed to choose from, such as dulse, arame, hijiki, wakame, and kombu.
Black garlic has long been prized by Asians for its health benefits, but it became widely available in Western markets only a few years ago. The black bulb is created by fermenting raw garlic through prolonged exposure to heat and humidity, giving it a sweet, mellow flavor and an inky hue. In addition to the sulfuric compounds that provide garlic with its heart-healthy and anticancer benefits, the fermented cloves are a source of important probiotics. “Fermented foods help stabilize our intestinal flora. When the intestine is in good shape, it strengthens our immune system,” says Bellatti. Black garlic has been increasingly sought-after in high-end cuisine, and it is often used to make sauces, dressings, and dips.