Superfoods are everywhere today, and it can be a little overwhelming. What is a superfood? What are the health benefits? What makes them “super?” What makes one seemingly better than another? Never fear we have created a guide for you so you can know just what adding a superfood to your diet can do for you!
What is a ‘superfood’?
According to the American Heart Association, a superfood is mostly plant based but can include fish and some dairy products. All that really matters is they are packed with nutrients and can be found in everything from berries to grains. Some of the most popular superfoods include baobab, matcha, and acai berries, but did you know dark chocolate is also a superfood? Yes, the delicious tasty treat packs quite a healthy punch.
What are the health benefits of ‘superfoods’?
We are going to look at the health benefits of adding baobab, matcha, goji berries, dark chocolate, pomegranates, blueberries, and acai berries into your diet. First, it’s important to know all the superfoods listed contain a healthy dose of the recommended minerals our bodies need to remain healthy. Not only do they provide minerals, but they all have incredible amounts of antioxidants which is the key to superfoods.
- Baobab – Supplies beneficial minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Supports elasticity of the skin by helping the formation of collagen and elastin. Reduces the glycemic response to aide in weight loss, and protects against damage of the liver. One of its biggest health benefits if the Vitamin C content. Baobab contains more vitamin c than a health consumption of oranges.
- Matcha – A powdered green tea which is said to be more potent than regular tea varieties. It can lead to an increase in energy without causing jitters. Like other varieties of green tea, it can increase burning of stored fat and decrease the formation of new fat cells. Matcha is said to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and absorption of free radicals into the skin. It too can increase focus and concentration while providing a feeling of calmness.
- Goji Berries – Orange-red berries from China that are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and iron. Goji Berries contain all 8 essential amino acids, and are said to improve sleep quality. They may aid in weight loss due to their low calorie/low sugar combination making them perfect for a snack. This also leads research to show they maintain blood sugar levels, and can even boost the immune system.
- Dark Chocolate – Loaded with fiber and minerals like iron, magnesium, and copper. Improves blood flow and can lower blood pressure. Consuming dark chocolate 2 or more times a week can lower the risk of heart disease. Flavonoids can protect against sun damage and increase the skin’s ability to hydrate. It supports brain function due to its caffeine content, but remember just because there’s health benefits don’t make the calories go away. Chocolate in moderation always!
- Pomegranates – Technically a berry and one of the healthiest foods on the planet, pomegranates contain 3x the antioxidants of green tea. Pomegranates are anti-inflammatory reducing the chances of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. It may lower blood pressure when consumed daily for 2 weeks. Most of all, it is said to, improve memory and even exercise performance.
- Blueberries – Decrease the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Their calcium and magnesium make them a prime candidate for maintaining healthy bone structure. They are naturally free of sodium and cholesterol, and that combined with their fiber content, makes them useful for warding off heart disease. They fight stubborn wrinkles by increase the body’s ability to create collagen, and can improve mental health by lessening mental decline as we age.
- Acai Berries – This grape like fruit reduces fat deposits in the body to aid with weight loss. It contains more antioxidants than most berries which can improve the skin’s natural, healthy glow. They boost the immune system and support healthy energy. It’s said they, like blueberries, can improve mental function and healthy brain aging.
So, which superfood is best? It’s hard to say because they all have their own unique benefits as well as many similarities. It’s important to look at their ORAC count. The ORAC is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or, in simple terms, the level of antioxidant activity within the food. Baobab powder contains 24,950 ORAC overall, the highest of the superfoods per serving, and is a simple addition to your daily routine. Baobab is also high in electrolytes making it a great addition to any post-workout smoothie or shake. The ORAC count of the other superfoods, while beneficial, is still less than the baobab. It would take a combination of multiple options to reach the same levels. Are you ready to incorporate baobab into your diet? Try Atacora Certified Organic Baobab Powder!