Americans love to eat. There’s no doubt about it. And this is evident in the multitude of restaurants that line our downtown centers, whether in major cities like New Orleans and New York City or in small but modest towns across the heartland.
We may love our food, but our diets are far from superior and healthy. In fact, here in the states, we have a growing problem with obesity, which is the top most preventable cause of death.
The American diet is full of our favorite foods with those tasty bits that get us into trouble with our health. And this can cause everything from heart problems to heartburn. And though heartburn might be treatable with OTC medication, medications like Zantac have been linked to serious health conditions.
But instead of worrying about developing heartburn or health problems from the food you eat, it’s time to adopt healthier choices. And you can do this by considering some of the following “superfoods” on the market today.
A Word About “Superfoods”
Just to get you up to speed. There’s really no such thing as a “superfood.” So don’t go thinking that by eating any of the following substances that you’ll gain superpowers.
The term “superfood” was coined by marketing professionals to help sell certain products, and to steer the public toward eating healthier foods. However, the label of superfood does land on healthier, more nutrient-rich food varieties.
Those dark, leafy greens that we all loved as children are probably one of the best in the line of modern superfoods.
Leafy greens such as Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, and Turnip greens are all rich in vitamins and nutrients, particularly zinc, folate, iron, calcium, and magnesium. And additionally, these greens also act as anti-inflammatory agents containing carotenoids which can also help prevent the development of cancer.
Further, dark leafy greens can also aid in the mitigation of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, which truly makes them a food of the “super” variety.
Most people have heard of ginger. This popular root has been used for centuries and is native to China. But what makes ginger so special is its medicinal properties.
Ginger is actually a natural substance that can aid in heartburn relief, but most notably is the antioxidant compound Gingerol that is known to be an anti-inflammatory and can also help with moderating chronic pain.
Over the centuries, ginger has been made into teas, elixirs, beers, powders, glazes, salves and everything else you can possibly imagine due to its healing properties. But perhaps where ginger consumption can be most beneficial is that it is linked to the prevention of brain disorders such as dementia, the prevention of heart disease, and certain cancers.
About a decade ago, everyone was introduced to the “superfood” acai. The acai palm, native to South and Central America, produces the acai berry. Our modern culture has seen huge demand for the berry since the mid-2000 era.
But what the acai berry contains isn’t exactly unique. In fact, most berries contain powerful antioxidants that can reduce the effects of aging, which is what the acai berry is largely known for and why it was dubbed a “superfood” years ago.
The fact is that most edible berries contain a range of vitamins and nutrients and are largely considered “brain foods,” which are known to help with memory, concentration, and are thought to help prevent the development of brain disorders such as Alzheimers and dementia.
Additionally, most berries also hold anti-inflammatory qualities which also makes them great at preventing chronic illnesses, heart disease, and other cardiovascular health problems.
If you really think about it, most of our natural fruits and vegetables are “super” in their own right. It’s when we humans get to messing around with them that they become not so super. This is why a natural diet is recommended by most nutritionists and dieticians in today’s modern societies.