Let’s clear something first. The term “superfood” is marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits. It’s not like Superman or Batman eats “superfoods” and become the way they are.
The term is also used frequently in a wide variety of contexts. First is referenced by Aaron Moss in the journal Nature Nutrition in the August edition of 1998, which stated, “Humans have many options when it comes to fueling their bodies, but the benefits of some options are so nutritious that they might be labeled as superfoods.”
However, these so-called superfoods carry various health benefits and we have to eat them on a daily bases so we can function well, both physical and psychical.
Here are the 5 necessary superfoods for healthy life and vigorous body.
Kale can provide us with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if we cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when it’s steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.
Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits.
Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.
2. Collard greens
The cholesterol-lowering ability of collard greens may be the greatest of all commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. In a recent study, steamed collard greens outshined steamed kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage in terms of its ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract.
When this bile acid binding takes place, it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted from the body. Since bile acids are made from cholesterol, the net impact of this bile acid binding is a lowering of the body’s cholesterol level. It’s worth noting that steamed collards show much greater bile acid binding ability than raw collards.
We get unique health benefits from collard greens in the form of cancer protection.
3. Swiss chard
Recent research has shown that chard leaves contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including kaempferol, the cardio-protective flavonoid that’s also found in broccoli, kale, strawberries, and other foods. But alongside of kaempferol, one of the primary flavonoids found in the leaves of chard is a flavonoid called syringic acid. Syringic acid has received special attention in recent research due to its blood sugar regulating properties. This flavonoid has been shown to inhibit activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. When this enzyme gets inhibited, fewer carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars and blood sugar is able to stay steadier. It makes sense to think about chard as a vegetable whose flavonoid phytonutrients are unique and may offer special benefits for blood sugar control.
4. Brussels sprouts
You’ll find nearly 100 studies in PubMed (the health research database at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C.) that are focused on Brussels sprouts, and over half of those studies involve the health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable in relationship to cancer. This connection between Brussels sprouts and cancer prevention should not be surprising since Brussels sprouts provide special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body’s detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. Among all types of cancer, prevention of the following cancer types is most closely associated with intake of Brussels sprouts: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.
It’s no coincidence that more than 300 research studies on broccoli have converged in one unique area of health science—the development of cancer—and its relationship to three metabolic problems in the body. Those three problems are (1) chronic inflammation (2) oxidative stress, and (3) inadequate detoxification. While these types of problems have yet to become part of the public health spotlight, they are essential to understanding broccoli’s unique health benefits. Over the past 5 years, research has made it clear that our risk of cancer in several different organ systems is related to the combination of these three problems.
It’s almost unbelievable how one piece of a “green stuff” can positively affect out mood, brain, and body. We have to strive to eat more superfoods (as said in marketing) and leave aside the Three While Killers.