The idea of a superfood has been around for a long time now. These are foods that have been discovered to be so powerfully beneficial for the human body that they have gained special status. But many people don’t know which foods are superfoods and which foods aren’t, thanks to the diversity of food on supermarket shelves. Here’s a rundown of which foods actually are superfoods, and how they boost your health.
Regular potatoes aren’t superfoods, and despite the name, they aren’t actually related to sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are most closely related to spinach and were traditionally eaten in East Asia and in North America.
Sweet potatoes were first theorized to be a superfood back in the 1990s when researchers suddenly discovered that people living on the Japanese island of Okinawa were living a heck of a lot longer than individuals in mainland Japan – or anywhere else for that matter.
They dug into the data and tried to find out what it was that was causing this fascinating longevity in the population, and why people aged 90 were still able to work in the fields as if they were forty years younger.
They soon found out that the locals got more than 70 percent of their calories from their main crop, the sweet potato, and so scientists wondered whether it was protecting them in some way. After a little bit of digging, they found out that sweet potatoes have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, making them the perfect food for humans wanting to live a long time.
What exactly is wheatgrass? Simply put, it’s the grassy shoots of the wheat seed, Triticum aestivum. Wheat grass is now considered a dietary supplement, but it didn’t enter the Western diet until the 1930s.
Wheatgrass has been hailed by advocates as having numerous health properties, including the ability to get rid of gout, reduce constipation, prevent cancer, and quickly deal with colds, fevers and infections.
Usually, it can’t be bought fresh from the store, so it’s worthing finding out how to grow wheatgrass yourself.
Broccoli, as you probably already know, is packed with nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. But that’s probably not the star of the show when it comes to this flower-like vegetable.
The most important constituent of broccoli, and the thing that makes it a superfood is all the sulforaphane that it contains. It turns out that this little compound is responsible for clearing out our livers and making our skin appear younger and most robust. People who eat broccoli on a regular basis – a couple of servings a week – usually have fewer health problems that those who don’t.
Almonds and almond butter are all the rage right now, thanks to their mild, marzipan flavor. But there’s a reason to eat almonds besides the tastiness: they also happen to be extremely good for you.
Like most nuts, almonds are great for weight loss. Even though they are calorie-dense, nuts are so filling they actually reduce the overall number of calories people eat in a day. Nuts have also been linked to longevity: vegans who eat nuts live seven years longer than those who don’t.
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