Superfoods or Castilian superfoods have become a buzzword in the language of food and health. A simple search for the word on the Internet reveals nearly 12 million results – predominantly from health and nutrition blogs, newspapers and online stores of nutritional supplements shakeology.
However, there is no scientific definition. Superfoods are natural foods that contain in small quantities a high concentration of compounds that provide the cells with everything they need to live. They are considered an extraordinary source of essential nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids.
There is a group of uperfoods that we are best known as leafy green vegetables, broccoli, avocado, legumes, nuts, sunflower seeds, quinoa, salmon, egg, and green tea, among others.
However, there is a category of more unusual superfoods , they can even be defined as “exotic”. Here are some of them:
- Spirulina – although spirulina is often described as “blue / green algae”, it is technically a type of cyanobacteria. Unlike other bacteria, they have chlorophyll and use the sun as an energy source, just as plants and algae do.
Spirulina is a powerful source of:
- High quality protein: between 50-70% of its weight is protein (in red meat this percentage is around 27);
- 10 of the 12 essential amino acids from which the organism builds its architecture;
- large amount of vitamins, among which those of group B (including exceptionally high content of vitamin B12 – four times more than in raw liver) and vitamin K;
- Minerals: such as calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, potassium and zinc;
- Gamma-linolenic acid: a fatty acid difficult to find in any other food and which serves as a chemical mediator for inflammations and immune reactions.
Other of its properties of spirulina is:
- Maintain a good level of cholesterol and blood pressure,
- Decrease the symptoms of arthritis,
- Reduce allergic symptoms,
- Protection against cancer,
- Prevent nutritional diseases such as iron deficiency anemia, pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency), vitamin A deficiency etc.
2. Raw cocoa Cocoa provides:
- Antioxidants (help prevent aging and the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer). It is one of the most antioxidant foods in the world;
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C, E;
- Minerals: calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium and manganese;
- Essential fatty acids that keep the central nervous system healthy and are essential for the formation of certain hormones;
Among other benefits, cocoa helps:
- The heart,
- The asthma,
- The depression,
- The muscle aches,
- The retention
- And diabetes.
3. Wheatgrass or in Spanish wheatgrass – is the young wheat plant. It is valued mainly:
- Its high chlorophyll content (70% of wheatgrass is chlorophyll), amino acids, enzymes , vitamins and minerals .
- Helps the body eliminate toxic metals (cleans the blood),
- It has anti- cancer properties,
- It is considered a remedy against constipation therefore it is used to treat obesity.
4. Chia seeds – despite its small size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet because of their fiber content, proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids and several micronutrients.
In turn, chia seeds help us:
- Lose weight: reduces food cravings, facilitates metabolism, and helps in the control of hunger;
- Reduce blood pressure;
- Control blood sugar : because they slow down the speed with which our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars.
5. Chlorella – is a green algae can recognized for its high content of chlorophyll, which helps us to:
- Oxygenate and detoxify the organism;
- Strengthen the immune system;
- Improve the digestive system.
After all, the introduction of superfoods in our diet is a good way to recharge our batteries but it does not free us from the “responsibility” of taking good care of our body through food.
In other words, the way to become Superman or Superwoman requires going much further, providing our body with a variety of nutrients in the right amounts, reducing to the maximum the “empty calories” that come from foods that provide a lot of energy in form of calories, but very few nutrients.