December 19, 2018 9 min read

A lot of people wonder what makes a food a superfood. It is considerable to note that all fresh produce and food items share health benefits which is why eating well and following a diet that promotes eating raw food is ideal. If that is the case, what makes a food a superfod?

What Makes Them Super

The main reason why we eat food is for us to reap the nutritional benefits from them. Our food choices impact our health, overall wellbeing, and our general lifestyle because what we consume has a direct effect on the output that we are able to provide whether it be in our productivity at work or in doing our day to day activities. This is the reason why eating good food is very important because we not only feed ourselves to satisfy our hunger, we also eat them because they satisfy a lot of our nutritional requirements on their own

Superfoods are dubbed as such because they are simply that: super. They impart a wide variety of nutrients and health benefits that makes them worth every single bite. They come packed with nutrients that make them helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While these health benefits can be derived from taking in supplements, eating them in their rawest form is the ideal way of consuming them because this is when you get the optimal amount of nutrients.

Eating nutrition-packed food is great for your health.

Popular Superfoods

Walnuts this nut that’s popular all over the globe because of its flavor and texture lends itself well to a variety of dishes. Pesto tastes so much better with it, and so do chocolate chip cookies, and salad. This nut is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is an incredible brain food. It is also known to have Vitamin E, melatonin, and folate which also help in the cognitive functions of the brain. It also contains the antioxidant, ellagitannins, which is known to reduce inflammation and diseases such as cancer and alzheimer’s disease. The dietary fiber that’s present in walnuts, as well as the probiotic bacteria that is present in them, also promote a healthy gut system which in turn promotes good digestion and good nutrient absorption.

Broccolilow in calories and incredibly delicious, what more can you ask for? Broccoli offers quite a punch in terms of nutrient density and it truly is worth all the rave and love that it is receiving. Broccoli is rich in digestive fiber that is helpful in maintaining healthy weigh, in digestion, and preventing constipation. It also has a good amount of Vitamin C which is helpful in maintaining a strong immunity to ward of common colds and flu, and is a powerful in fighting off free radicals. The flavonoid, kaempferol, is also known to reduce inflammation and also works hand in hand with Vitamin C in fighting of oxidative stress free radicals. Because it contains potassium and calcium, broccoli is also helpful in keeping bones, joints and the teeth healthy and strong. Because of the folate present in broccoli, it’s also a good option for women especially in the first trimester of their pregnancy.

The dietary fiber in walnut helps in promoting a healthy gut

Broccoli is low in calorie and high in nutritional content

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that is good for the heart

Apples are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C

Kale contains more calcium than milk

Salmon a popular fish that’s loved in many cultures, salmon is not only delicious it is also incredibly healthy. Whether you have it as sashimi, steamed, or baked, the omega 3 fatty acids present in this delightful fish is sure to make its mark in your brain’s cognitive functions. These fatty acids also aid in reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. It also contains a plethora of Vitamin B-complex nutrients such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, B5, B6, and B12. Vitamin B is essential in maintaining healthy brain functions and in keeping the nervous system in its optimal state. Salmon also has selenium which is important in bone development and in preventing cancer and thyroid-related diseases.

Apples the saying that an "apple a day keeps a doctor a day" is true in so many ways and for good reason. Largely overlooked because of how popular it is as a health food, apples really deserve its popularity because of the incredible amount of nutrients and benefits that can be derived from a single apple alone. Quercetin, an antioxidant found in apples, is known to fend of oxidative free radicals that tamper with cellular health. The antioxidants found in apples are also helpful for those suffering from asthma because it helps protect the lungs, reduces inflammation, and boosts the immune system with the help of the Vitamin C that is also present in each apple that you eat. The high levels of dietary fiber found in apples not only improve digestion but also lower blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, and aids in weight reduction.

Kalethis superfood has been gaining more and more attention because of the powerful punch it brings to the table. One serving of kale has more calcium than one cup of milk, it is a great source of protein and dietary fiber, and it has B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids that’s much needed in brain development. Because of the high fiber content of kale, it helps manage blood sugar levels and together with the high levels of potassium in it, it can actually help prevent muscle degeneration, lower the risk of heart disease, and it helps in preventing kidney stones from forming. The best part? It’s just 33 calories for serving and it tastes really, really good. It’s no wonder that people have been going crazy over this green, leafy vegetable.

Superfoods That Need More Recognition

Moringathe tiny, green leaves that make up the moringa is slowly getting the attention of the health community because of how nutrient dense they are for their miniscule size. This plant that thrives in tropical countries has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which helps in maintaining a strong immune system and in fighting off free radicals. It is almost tasteless and is a great addition to soup and even in pastries. They are rich in galactagogue, which makes it a great friend for breastfeeding mothers because it helps increase milk supply and it also helps in preventing breast cancer. It is also known for lowering the blood sugar level and in maintaining a strong cardiovascular system. It also has high levels of polyphenols which protects the liver from any type of damage and helps in restoring the liver enzymes. For such tiny leaves, it sure brings in a powerhouse of nutrients.

Kefir less popular than yogurt but is definitely as nutritious, if not more so. Kefir is a great source of probiotics which helps in keeping the gut healthy; the healthier your gut is, the healthier you are as an individual. It also has 40 bacteria strains and 6 yeast strains, which is actually more than what you would normally get from yogurt. By eating more kefir, you are actually able to fight off disease-causing bacteria which means you get to avoid drinking antibiotics; it also helps in preventing viral infections. The good amount of good bacteria found in kefir is also said to prevent cancer and tumor growth. Kefir is also great for bone health and in preventing osteoporosis because of its calcium content and the presence of K12 which is essential in the absorption of calcium in our body. Because it has little to no lactose in it, it’s also a great option for those with lactose intolerance.

Moringa are tiny leaves that offer quite the nutritional punch

Kefir is a great source of probiotics

Mangosteens help regulate blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health

Guava offers amazing health benefits that can be derived from its leaves and from the fruit itself

Kelp helps in restoring the body's pH balance

Mangosteen this fruit that’s covered in a purple pulp may not look like it, but it actually has a sweet and fleshy interior that makes it perfect for a healthy dessert. It comes packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, C, B12 and B6, and have been known to reduce antifungal and antioxidant properties. The antioxidant, xanthone, is said to have 20 strains available in the mangosteen which helps in boosting the immunity and in combating free radicals. This fruit that’s popular in Southeast Asia is low in calories but is so nutrient dense that it has about 13% of the required dietary fiber that we need to consume daily, and is helpful in lowering cholesterol levels and has no fat content at all. Not only that, it also has the capability of curing and preventing acne due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also helps regulate blood pressure and promotes cardiovascular health which is why this fruit is not only a delicious dessert option, it’s also an incredibly healthy one too.

Guava this fruit is known for its unique taste and texture, but it should actually be more popular because of the amazing health benefits that can be derived from its leaves of the guava tree to its fruit. Guava has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can ward off diseases and boost the immune system. It also has a much higher vitamin C content than oranges, and it has lycopene which is helpful in keeping the heart healthy and in preventing the formation of cancer cells. A single guava can has as much as 12% of your dietary fiber needs yet is low on glycemic index which makes it a perfect snack or dessert for those suffering from diabetes. The leaves have enough anti-inflammatory properties in them to help and prevent dental problems, and it also prevents complex sugar from being turned into fat. The fact that there is no waste when it comes to this plant makes it so amazing and more people should know about them.

Kelpthis algae that’s prominent in Japanese and Korean cuisine, is a great source of iodine, potassium, magnesium, and calcium which has an overall effect of making the body more welcoming of nutrients that it receives from other food. Not only that, it contains the polysaccharide fucoidan which is known to prevent cancer, hinder the growth of tumors, and treat liver diseases all in one go. It is an alkaline food which aids in restoring the body’s pH balance and therefore aids in digestion. It also has a wide variety of amino acids which makes it a great source of protein, and is great for muscle development as well as in maintaining healthy cells. It is also incredibly helpful for women because it has been known to ease menstrual pain and other symptoms because of how much minerals can be found in it.

Food That You Didn’t Know Are Superfoods

Dark Chocolateincredibly delicious and is a definite crowd favorite, did you know that chocolate is a superfood? Not only does it decrease stress levels because of the oxytocin present in it, it also then prevents fat storage in the body because stress triggers the body to store fat in the form of increased cortisol levels. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidant which helps in fighting off free radicals and keeping the body healthy. It also contains flavanol which is important for cardiovascular health as it lowers blood pressure and aids in blood flow, as well as preventing blood clots and therefore, stroke.

Dark chocolate is delicious, rich, and helps fight stress

Garlic can help in detoxifying the body

Ginger can help keep the gut system healthy

Garlic is found in almost any dish. It has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and is known in aiding in curing diseases and in keeping diseases at bay. It can also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood which makes it a definite heart-friendly food. The antioxidants present in garlic also helps it in preventing the early onset of alzheimer's disease and dementia because it prevents oxidative damage in the brain. It also aids in detoxifying the body from heavy metals that you may inadvertently consumed because of the sulfur present in garlic. Because it tastes great, you can add it to virtually any dish. Garlic is a great addition to bone broth which amps up the health benefits of making broth a part of your diet.

Ginger contains gingerol which is a compound that has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which is essentially what makes ginger a medicinal plant. Zerumbone is another active compound found in ginger which is helpful for those suffering from asthma as it reduces muscle contraction in the airway making it easier to breathe. Another compound found in ginger, shogaol, is an effective treatment for eczema or allergic dermatitis. Ginger also promotes gut flow and therefore helps in keeping a healthy digestive system and in curing an upset stomach. Because of the high concentration of active compounds in ginger, it is also believed to be able to fight off cancer and prevent cancer cells from growing.

Appreciating Food

Food in its general sense, is meant to revitalize and feed the body with what it needs in order to continue to thrive. Knowing what your food can do for your body is essential not only in planning out your diet but also in appreciating just how much good food is available to us. There is absolutely no reason for us to not be able to take care of our health because all the resources we need in maintaining it in tiptop shape are readily available, we need only to look and be meticulous in choosing what we consume.

Food is life, but you know what’s even better? When food is able to give you the life you want to live because it keeps you healthy, strong, and feeling more capable of accomplishing many things. Food is a gift that gives continuously and choosing the right kinds of food is the best thing that you can do for yourself in order to make the most out of this life that you've been given the privilege to live.

At Lark Ellen Farm, we support your decision to live a nd eat healthy