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What are superfoods and why are they good for us?

The term superfood is thrown around constantly. From the superfood smoothies you get at cafes, to superfood muesli bars you can purchase at the supermarket, it seems to be following us everywhere! However, there is a good reason behind why the term “superfoods” seems to chase us like a lost puppy.

 

What are superfoods?

First, let’s start by defining what superfoods are? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines superfoods as “A food rich in compounds such as antioxidants, fibre or fatty acids considered beneficial to a person’s health.” [1]  Superfoods also allow us to get more nutrition with less eating. [2] Superfoods that are dense with antioxidant molecules can help to decrease the effects of free radicals (molecules that can damage the cells in your body) which have close links to health problems such as Parkinson’s disease, immune deficiencies, arthritis and some respiratory diseases. 

Adding superfoods to your diet will not only help support your health they will also allow you to get a more diverse portfolio of nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts and other healthy plant foods are a very important part of our diet, but they don’t always compare to the nutrient density of superfoods.

Eating superfoods as a part of a healthy balanced diet is a great way to ensure you're getting the range of nutrients you need to support ongoing health and wellbeing. Superfoods that are eaten in their natural state provide an abundance of synergistic elements that work together in the human body in ways that scientists have not yet begun to fully comprehend. [3]

 

What are the specific benefits of some of nature's best superfoods?

It’s easy to say that superfoods have a long list of health benefits as there are so many of them! However, getting down to the nitty-gritty of it is important to understand if you want to make sure your body is getting what it needs. 

Below are five of nature’s best superfoods and the specific benefits each of them gives us.

 

Organic Blackcurrant

Organic New Zealand blackcurrants are quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best superfoods available globally due to the high levels of CGP in them. Studies have found that due to the hole in the ozone layer above New Zealand, our blackcurrants form a thicker and darker skin which is rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols. [7] Anthocyanins work by preventing free radicals from attacking our cells thereby giving us a stronger immune system. Additionally, New Zealand blackcurrants are also becoming a gold standard for boosting energy, enhancing sporting performance, improving mental clarity and focus, and so much more! You can get your daily dose of Blackcurrants by taking our Red Shot or Double Shot each day.

 

Dark Chocolate

We know what you’re thinking - why is dark chocolate included in a blog on superfoods? Although chocolate is often thought of as a treat full of sugar with little nutritional value, dark chocolate varieties can do wonders for your health. Dark chocolate possesses powerful antioxidant properties, which are known to positively influences your mental health, assist with a healthy digestive system and decrease blood pressure. [4]

 

Organic wheat grass

Organic wheatgrass is packed full of antioxidants, and high levels of vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. Wheat grass helps support a healthy digestive function and reduces inflammation. Don’t be fooled by the name – wheat grass is gluten-free as it’s the young plant before it forms a grain head (where the gluten is found). [8] The wheat grass in our Green Shots and Double Shots is NZ grown and organic, so you know you’re getting the best of the best.

 

Nuts

Snacking on a handful of nuts a day or sprinkling them over your granola helps ensure you’re getting enough of the healthy fats - monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The fats in nuts can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. [5]

 

Boysenberry

Boysenberries are not only little bundles of sweet juicy goodness, they’re also packed full of anthocyanins, flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins, folate, dietary fibre and much more! The benefits of all these powerful compounds can help to reduce inflammation due to their potent antioxidants, and the high levels of dietary fibre can help to manage healthy bowel function. Folate can reduce the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline and is crucial in preventing some birth defects which is why pregnant women take a daily supplement. The boysenberries in our Red Shots or Double Shots are full of their natural goodness as the berry is harvested whole, freeze-dried and ground to powder, so all of the “good stuff” stays in. [6]

 

Broccoli sprouts

Sprouts are the baby plants that grow into the broccoli we usually eat. We all know that Broccoli is a great vegetable full of nutrients, but did you know that the broccoli sprout contains the same amount of nutrients as the mature plant in a much smaller quantity? You’d have to eat a lot of broccoli heads to get the same nutrient punch as a handful of broccoli sprouts.  Sprouts are rich in a compound that coverts to sulphurophane, a chemical that is thought to have enormous health benefits. People take broccoli sprouts for many ailments including high cholesterol, allergy, asthma, cancer and stomach ulcers. [9] Sprouts are easy to add to salads and sandwiches. 

 

How to get more superfoods into your diet

Now we know what you’re thinking, wow these superfoods sound amazing why haven’t I seen the positive effects of them sooner? The key benefits of superfoods come with the assistance of a healthy balanced diet. Making sure you're eating a well-rounded diet is important to superfood success. If you are eating a nutrient-deficient diet with a few superfoods sprinkled in here and there they won’t be any good at helping you to reap the benefits.

 

Here are a few quick tips on how to ensure you are getting enough superfoods into a healthy, balanced diet:

  1. ➜ If the colours on your dinner plate are mostly brown and beige it is likely there aren’t enough superfoods in your meal! Try adding foods vibrant in colour, as the more colour you can see the more antioxidants.
  2. ➜ Have fruit or vegetables every time you eat. This can be as a snack, added on top of your toast or added to mealtimes.
  3. ➜ Switch out snacking on lollies and crisps for dried fruit and seeds with no added sugar or flavouring.
  4. ➜ Add herbs and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon and oregano to your cooking for an extra superfood boost.

 

Taking a wholefood powder like Nutrient Rescue will ensure you’re getting a good dose of superfoods daily. We’re firm believers that natural whole foods always outweigh synthetic forms of supplements which can’t give you the same benefits.

 

If you’re not already taking Nutrient Rescue, then give it go, and give today your best shot! To find out how to get started on the Shots, check out our Get Started page.

If you're a returning Shotster head over to the Online Store.

For more help refer to our FAQs or contact us.

 

References

  1. [1] Superfood | Definition of Superfood by Merriam-Webster (merriam-webster.com)
  2. [2 & 3] Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future - David Wolfe - Google Books
  3. [4] Chocolate: Superfood of the Gods - Linda Woolven , Ted Snider - Google Books
  4. [5] Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  5. [6] Boysenberries NZ
  6. [7] Blackcurrants NZ Benefits
  7. [8] Wheatgrass - Cleaveland Clinic
  8. [9] Broccoli Sprouts - Wed MD
Superfoods NZ
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