What’s in a name? Nutrient-dense foods or superfoods are important for healthy eating – Cardinal News

Carrots and broccoli in a skillet (PHOTO CREDIT: RitaE / pixabay).

Superfood is a marketing term that identifies foods said to contain exceptional nutrient density. Many experts, such as nutrition scientists and dietitians, do not use the term “superfood” professionally, and may even technically dispute the rationale for categorizing a food as a superfood. Still, maintaining good eating habits is difficult for many people, and the marketing appeal of the thought of a superfood can motivate people to make smart food choices while finding the right foods with a little extra nutritional knowledge. .

Here’s why “superfoods” can help your diet.

Most people have heard of “superfoods” but aren’t entirely clear what they really mean and how they complement healthy eating habits. If the experts aren’t sure what they are, how can we expect everyone to understand the definition of a superfood. First of all, these foods aren’t magic cures for energy, chronic disease risk reduction, or weight loss, but their natural properties make them appealing to people trying to improve their health habits. personal and their well-being.

In 2007, the marketing of products as “superfoods” was banned in the European Union unless a specific authorized health claim supported by credible scientific research accompanies the food labeling. Some experts avoid the term “superfood” and instead refer to the phrase “nutrient density.”

Without getting too technical, it’s pretty easy to figure out that white bread, crackers, pretzels, and licorice aren’t superfoods. It’s unprocessed foods, like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, that are more likely to be superfoods.

Sunflower seeds ready to eat (PHOTO CREDIT: pictavio / pixabay)
Ready-to-eat sunflower seeds (PHOTO CREDIT: pictavio/pixabay).

What are superfoods?

Superfoods are defined as foods that contain an extraordinary amount of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants – foods with high nutrient density.

Many different types of foods hold the distinction of “superfoods” in the world of food and health marketing, and many of these foods fall into the same category known as nutrient-dense foods or PFVs (Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables).

Here they are (in general marketing terms):

Fruits and berries: apples, avocados, acai berries, kiwi, goji berries

Vegetables: bok choy, kale, pumpkin, tomatoes, seaweed, chard, cauliflower, beets, sweet potatoes

Nuts, spices, seeds and grains: almonds, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, chia seeds, pistachios, flax seeds, quinoa

Protein: beans, eggs, lentils, salmon, Greek yogurt

Almonds read to eat (PHOTO CREDIT: Nicholas Demetriades / pixabay)
Almonds read for eating (PHOTO CREDIT: Nicolas Demetriades / pixabay).

At least one food manufacturer claims that processed products beef jerky contains enough nutrients be considered a real superfood in an article that minimizes the risks of nitrates, nitrites and MSG (as long as they are in small amounts). When it comes to beef jerky as a superfood, it’s the high protein content (nutrient density) of low carb beef jerky that scores the votes for beef jerky as a superfood. Low carbohydrates, low total calories, and high protein promote stable blood sugar levels, which may promote alertness, good energy levels, and promote physiological conditions that may prevent diabetes or alleviate serious conditions that lead to diabetes. See the bottom of this article for a list of 41 foods that score high for nutrient density, according to a scientific article cited by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Claimed benefits of superfoods

“Superfoods” Offer Superior Nutrients

A sentence like that without details can cause trouble for asylum seekers. Vitamin C is vitamin C. The amino acid Arginine is arginine. One food does not have higher quality vitamin C or arginine than the other, but the food may have a greater amount of it, or it may involve a better supply of a particular nutrient without interference from others. molecules.

So what are the benefits of all these foods? Primarily, superfoods contain high levels of essential nutrients. They offer a constant supply of vitamins, minerals and even molecules with antibiotic properties. People with severe nutritional deficiencies can suffer from debilitating illnesses or conditions such as anemia, goiter, or general weakness, but remembering to include adequate nutrients in your diet can offset these issues.

Superfoods Protect Your Immune System

In the midst of a global pandemic filled with unknown variants, keeping your body prepared against pathogens is essential. Scientists are constantly looking for nutrients that show a link to resistance to viruses and disease. Researchers are also still looking for a link between the destruction of cancer cells and diets containing nutrients that interfere with cancer progression. Additionally, the fiber and phytochemicals found in superfoods reduce the risk of high cholesterol, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and poor metabolism.

Superfoods fight the effects of aging

Superfoods with antioxidant properties can help slow cell destruction. Foods containing the antioxidants selenium, vitamin E and vitamin C have been shown to decrease the harmful effects of the sun on the skin and prevent further damage. Food sources of the mineral selenium include whole grain cereals, seafood, garlic, and eggs. Vitamin E is found in peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and red pepper. Vitamin C is found in vegetables and citrus fruits.

Understanding why superfoods are important for healthy eating helps you create healthy eating habits that promote longevity and happiness. With these helpful foods, you can start making healthy lifestyle changes that benefit your physical and mental well-being.

41 NUTRITION DENSE FOODS UNDER THE ADS…


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In June 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cited a research article published in the scientific journal Prevention of chronic diseases which included 41 nutrient-dense foods. Powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV), the foods most strongly associated with reduced risk of chronic disease, are described as leafy green, yellow/orange, citrus, and cruciferous foods, but that explains why a clear definition of PFV lack. It is suggested to define the PFV on the basis of nutrients and phytochemical constituents. However, uniform data on dietary phytochemicals and corresponding intake recommendations are lacking. This article describes a classification system defining PFV based on 17 nutrients important to public health according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Institute of Medicine (i.e. potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K).

Forty-one foods ranked according to a nutrient density score for food consumption likely to reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Watercress 100.00
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Swiss chard 89.27
Green beet 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Green cabbage 62.49
Green turnip 62.12
Mustard green 61.39
Chicory 60.44
Chives 54.80
Kale 49.07
Dandelion green 46.34
Red pepper 41.26
Arugula 37.65
Broccoli 34.89
Pumpkin 33.82
Brussels sprouts 32.23
Onion 27.35
Kohlrabi 25.92
Cauliflower 25.13
Cabbage 24.51
Carrot 22.60
Tomato 20.37
Lemon 18.72
Iceberg lettuce 18.28
Strawberry 17.59
Radish 16.91
Winter squash (all varieties) 13.89
Orange 12.91
Lime 12.23
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Rutabaga 11.58
Turnip 11.43
Blackberry 11.39
Leek 10.69
Sweet potato 10.51
Grapefruit (white) 10.47

See also…

Di Noia, J. Defining flagship fruits and vegetables: an approach based on nutrient density. Prev Chronicle Dis. 5 Jun 2014;11:E95. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.130390.

National Library of Medicine
Di Noia J. Defining potent fruits and vegetables: an approach to nutrient density. Prev Chronicle Dis. 5 Jun 2014;11:E95. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.130390. PMID: 24901795; PMCID: PMC4049200.

Carrots in the ground (PHOTO CREDIT: klimkin / pixabay)
Carrots in the ground (PHOTO CREDIT: klimkin/pixabay).

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