The superfoods- They’re packed full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and goodness. Today, we examine the many benefits of superfoods.
The Amazing Benefits of Superfoods
Superfoods as their namesake suggests are foods that are ‘super’ good for you. They are packed full of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and important ingredients. Most of these foodstuffs are grown, although many include fish and dairy too. Superfoods include a wide variety of options, not least of which are modern-day favourites in the form of açai, kale, medicinal mushrooms, salmon, blueberries, nuts, raspberries, et al. Salmon and omega-3 fish oil routinely tops the charts as one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods on the planet.
The AHA (American Heart Association) has indicated that there is no specific set of rules that determines what is or what isn’t a superfood. Any food that has significant health benefits can be labeled a superfood.
Antioxidants are Free Radical Scavengers
Of particular importance is the antioxidant value of superfoods. According to cancer.gov, antioxidants are routinely prescribed in cancer prevention regimens. Cells in the body can be harmed by free radicals. When atoms and molecules gain or lose electrons, they become known as free radicals. When they are densely packed, these free radicals are detrimental to your health. They damage cell membranes, proteins, and your DNA. When combined with environmental toxins, and radiation, these free radicals can kill cells, and stimulate the production of additional free radicals. [Source: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet]
Superfoods rich in antioxidants can help. These chemicals act to neutralise free radicals, preventing them from causing further damage to your body. Endogenous antioxidants are created within your body, but our systems depend upon exogenous sources from our diet to do this job. Several examples of important antioxidant-rich substances include grains, fruits, fungi, and vegetables. One of the foods with the highest concentrations of antioxidants is medicinal mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane mushrooms. There is typically no limitation on the recommended dietary intake of superfoods. The body uses precisely what it needs.
Medicinal Mushrooms as Superfoods
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are the smart vegan alternative packed full of nutrients. These are deemed brain-healthy superfoods with near-endless commendations from those who promote their use. According to Medical News Today, these mushrooms a.k.a. Hericium Erinaceus is excellent for the treatment and prevention of inflammation, and heart health. People across the orient have been consuming Lion’s Mane mushrooms for eons, both as a culinary delight and a therapeutic.
The name fits; Lion’s Mane Mushrooms assume the appearance of a thick and healthy lion’s mane with long white strands in a puffed-out shape. This superfood is rich in antioxidants, which are excellent for cancer-fighting properties, depression, and anxiety, and improved immune function. The literature on antioxidants and cancer prevention is already well established. With antioxidant-rich superfoods like medicinal mushrooms, animal trials have found that these mushrooms can assist in fighting gastric cancer, colon cancer, and liver cancer although the same has yet to be proven in human consumption.
Nonetheless, medicinal mushrooms have many applications including controlling blood sugar levels, improving heart health, aiding the central nervous system, improving digestive health, and better cognitive health. Extensive studies into Lion’s Mane mushroom side effects are promising. The only noted side effects that have been reported when high concentrations of this medicinal mushroom are consumed are skin rashes and breathing difficulties. However, this was largely the result of patients that have a mushroom allergy. Several reports of loss of libido (due to its ability to block DHT and lower sex drive) have been reported by men. Overall, the consumption of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms was not associated with severe, long-lasting side effects.
Beware How Superfoods Are Processed
Many naturally grown superfoods are processed in a way that makes them more palatable – tastier, sweeter, and more attractive to the consumer. It is this very marketing-oriented process that diminishes and degrades the quality of the superfoods you are consuming. Green tea is a case in point. When it is commercially produced, lots of sugar is added to make it more appealing to consumers. The same is true of pomegranates, açai, orange juice, all of which are promoted and marketed with lots of sugar, preservatives, and other additives. The best advice is to get the product in its raw form, in pristine condition.