What is a “Superfood?”
Dr. Oz describes his favorite superfoods as “short on calories and dense in nutrition.” Although some so-called “superfoods” may or may not always contain the powerful nutritious punch their advocates suggest, others are highly recommended by doctors and nutritionists alike. We’ll examine the benefits of each of Dr. Oz’s (and some of Dr. Axe’s, WebMD’s, and other sites’ favorites) recommended superfood list, which is as follows:
Garlic– According to an interview with NaturalNews, Director of North American Institute of Herbal Medicine Paul Bergner states that “garlic is anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral, as well as anti-protozoan,” which Bergner backs up with tests showing garlic to be more effective than penicillin and tetracycline — without the side effect of destroying gut flora. Prevention of cancer and promotion of a healthy cardiovascular system put the icing on the cake with this superfood!
Olive Oil – Popular for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats which lower the body’s risk of heart disease, promote good cardiovascular health, help regulate blood sugar, as well as helping to prevent cancer and bone loss.
Cruciferous Vegetables– WebMD agrees, naming cruciferous veggies as “super-veggies” due to their fiber, vitamin, and disease-fighting phytochemical constitution. According to Oz, upping your intake of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower can help the body detoxify the liver.
Walnuts– Heart-healthy and rich in rare essential Omega 3 fatty acid or polyunsaturated fatty acid, walnuts are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, Vitamins E and B6, folate and thiamin. These help lower the cholesterol and triglycerides. Dr. Mercola agrees, and adds that walnuts can help prevent both breast and prostate cancer, support a healthy brain, and improve sperm quality.
Apples – Considered by many to be the “first superfood,” apples are easily remembered by their famous rhyme, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Doctors agree, too! According to Organic Authority, apples contain phytochemicals and antioxidants like catechin, quercetin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid — all of which contribute to lowering the risk of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses.
Blueberries – Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, a natural compound that protects the brain’s neurons from oxidation and inflammation. According to Dr. Oz, blueberries contain the highest antioxidant content of all the berries.
Dark Chocolate – Dr. Axe agrees with Dr. Oz on the benefits of dark chocolate, the ideal composition of which includes at least 70 percent cacao or cocoa. This formula is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants known to lower blood pressure, free radical fighting and heart health improving power.
Green or Black Tea– WebMD agrees with Dr. Oz on this one, citing a Japanese study on green tea “found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn’t. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.” Quoting Ann Kulze, MD, of Charleston, S.C., WebMD shared that, “The overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea,” says Kulze, “but green tea does have ECGC, a powerful antioxidant that we really do think is quite special.”
Turmeric – Though not on Oz’s list, many nutritionally aware folks of the day swear by turmeric’s numerous health benefits enough to call it a superfood. Full of curcuminoid polyphenol antioxidantswhich cause its rich yellow color, turmeric is known for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress as well as helping to stabilize blood sugar. Not sure how to integrate turmeric into your family’s diet? Check out some of these recipes to up the yellow stuff on your plates and in your cups today.
and last but not least…
Cockroach Milk– Yep, you read that right. In anticipation of potential food shortages some believe the world may eventually face, the milk of the cockroach may soon near the top of the superfood list. A team of researchers from India recently studied the nutritional value of the substance and found it to be among the most nutritious on the planet. Packed with protein and a much lower detrimental effect on the environment, some believe cockroach milk may end up in our diets of the future.
- As with all my articles, please consult your physician before attempting to change your diet as recommended here in order to make sure such a shift is right for your body or household.