Health

Make every day healthy, natural foods your superfoods

Fuelling Your Body

BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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MOST healthy, natural foods — especially plant-based foods — are in one way or another, superfoods.

The term superfood had been associated with acclaimed, exotic, expensive, newly discovered or realised food items, which can perform some wonder or several wonders for your well-being — perhaps fighting fatigue, inflammation, cancer, or some other dreaded malady.

Often, these foods are discovered in some generally remote region of the world.

The fact is, the criteria for being labelled a superfood is much simpler. Any healthy food item which is nutritionally dense (a high ratio of vitamins, minerals, fibre, healthy fats, probiotics etc, versus empty calories, such as simple carbs) in at least two healthy nutrients is a superfood.

 

Breaking it down

Any unprocessed vegetable, fruit, berry, nut, and seed is a superfood. You can add many spices, probiotics, natural oils, and teas to this list. In their natural form they are all nutritionally dense and are filled with nutrients which:

• facilitate our biological processes;

• promote healing;

• resist ageing;

• protect our cells and DNA; and

• peak vitality.

Some foods you will only find in your upscale supermarket, café or smoothie shop. This is an industry fuel; the reality is you should be far more concerned with body fuel.

Some of you are thinking by now, but what is the harm anyway? The more recognised superfoods, the better, and if you stop there you are perfectly correct.

However, there are a few issues with this pattern:

• The concept of superfoods creates a hype, turning healthy eating into a trend.

• Focusing individuals and food industries to put few foods into heavy rotation, while ignoring and discarding other equally and more healthy options;

• The 'de-promoting' of excellent food options as they become less vogue;

• Creating a low emphasis on everyday healing food sources for every day folks, weakening the education, information, and public awareness of everyday natural foods necessary for a balanced diet;

• Straining specific food supplies, often creating an escalation in prices;

• Effecting a more general escalation in natural food prices; as the land allocation, planting and production are affected by these trends and demands.

• The booming of superfood-related supplements — products of a largely unregulated industry, which is free of the burden of scientific proof;

• An industry which distracts from eating a balanced diet, which, research is showing, sells products that are many times less potent and often ineffective, compared to simply eating a balanced diet.

 

Are superfoods worth the fuss?

Let's look at two known superfoods and the sources of their superpower, and compare them to everyday foods. The numbers speak volumes.

Superfood 1: Spirulina — a vitamin, mineral and protein-rich algae, believed to increase immune response and heart function.

One cup: protein — 8.6g; iron — 4.3mg

Everyday food: Lentils — legumes found on most supermarket shelves.

One cup: protein — 17.9g; iron — 6.7mg

 

Superfood 2: Wheat grass powder — a grass known for its superoxide radicals. It's chlorophylls are believed to diminish harmful bacteria, regulating and purifying.

1oz (28g): dietary fibre — 7g; vitamin A — 14000 IU; vitamin C — 66mg

Everyday food: Baked sweet potato (flesh and skin) — fibre- and energy-rich, low glycemic index (blood sugar-friendly)

One cup: dietary Fibre — 7g; vitamin A — 38450 IU — vitamin C 39mg

 

The superfood hype

The promotion of superfoods adds a wider variety of foods to the plates of the public. Additionally, there is an increased awareness of natural foods and their benefits, but sadly, everyday superfoods are lost in the media din.

For a diet filled with superfoods, avoid spending your money on processed foods. Focus on natural, unprocessed foods, vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, probiotic foods, and healthy oils. Vary your natural foods as much as possible.

If you have a dislike for vegetables, peas, nuts and such, well, let me put it this way — prepare your produce or prepare to suffer. Your body will not last long or do well without these.

With the widest variety of natural foods, you will have the best chance for a healthy, relatively pain-free life. These include: fish, vegetables, grains, nuts, beans, legumes, peas, seeds, spices, peppers, healthy oils, fruits, and teas.

It's time to make every day healthy, natural foods your superfoods.

 

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863- 5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org.


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