“Superfoods” – you might have seen this buzzword all around town and wondered what they are. Are they a new food group introduced to the food pyramid? Are they foods that have special healing powers? Well, not exactly. Unlike superheroes who have superhuman abilities, superfoods don’t actually have cool powers of magnetism, flight or mind-reading. In fact, superfoods are just foods – but known to be more nutritious, and with enhanced anti-oxidant benefits to the human body.
The idea behind superfoods is that they are certain foods that contain a large percentage of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants that are good for your body. “Superfoods” just became an easy term to refer to these foods that are chocked full of nutrients. They include a range of healthy foods such as greens, herbs, fruits, and nuts.
But adding superfoods to your routine is not just about swapping your pop tarts for a kale-and-spinach smoothie for breakfast. According to Mintel global food science analyst Stephanie Mattucci, “Superfoods are not only limited to food and drink, they are regularly springing up in the beauty, health and hygiene and pet food aisles as a result of today’s consumers becoming much more aware of what they are putting into and onto their bodies.”
Beauty brands are certainly jumping onto the bandwagon of supercharging their products with superfoods, from kale-packed nail polish to seaweed detox baths. Using products that contain superfoods in addition to consuming them in your daily diet seems to be the best 360-degree way of holistically incorporating superfoods into your life. Here are some superfoods to look out for that are quickly gaining popularity amongst informed consumers.
Cranberries make for the perfect snack because they are low in calories – did you know that a cup of cranberries contains only 45 calories? But they are also high in Vitamins C, A and K, and fibre. Cranberries are especially beneficial in preventing urinary tract infections because of their high level of antioxidants which stop bacteria from adhering to our urinary tract walls. In fact, in terms of disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable, even healthy greens like spinach and broccoli, and other berries like strawberries and raspberries.
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We probably all dislike how turmeric leaves bright orange-yellow stains on our aprons, clothes, hands, everywhere! But guess what, other than make our curries extra yummy, turmeric also contains curcumin, which has medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It is known to not only block the free radicals in your body but also stimulates your body’s production of its own antioxidant defences. Turmeric is also known as the anti-cancer spice because research suggests that it can help slow cancer growth, make chemotherapy more effective, and help protect the body’s healthy cells from radiation therapy damage.
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Mm-mmm, we love cinnamon in our coffee, bread pudding, apple pie, muffins… the list goes on! But apart from its distinct flavour, cinnamon also packs a punch in terms of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties just like turmeric. It also has a positive effect on our metabolism, helping diabetics lower their blood sugar levels. It’s also great for our heart health since it lowers blood pressure, and LDL aka “the bad cholesterol”. There is also some evidence that cinnamon can be effective in cancer prevention and on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but more research is needed.
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Kale is like the superstar of superfoods because it is jam-packed with everything your body needs! One cup of chopped kale delivers double your daily requirement of Vitamin A, and almost 700% for Vitamin K! And it doesn’t stop there, kale also boasts a truckload of other goodies like Vitamin C, calcium, manganese, potassium, copper, antioxidants, good fat and fibre. Kale contains compounds that work their anti-cancer magic by eliminating potential carcinogens from the body, protecting DNA damage and stimulating the self-destruction of cancerous cells. On the beauty front, kale does a superb job of fighting against harmful, collagen-destroying UV rays which leads to more wrinkles and fine lines. It’s also a diet food because it’s rich in thylakoids which tells your brain you’re full, so you don’t overeat.
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When we think of roses, we may think of romantic displays of rose bouquets especially in February, but the best part of the wild rose plant actually lies in its “hips” – rosehips, that is. The fruit that is left on the branches is rich in Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K, and contains minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium and zinc, amongst others! Like the other superfoods we have mentioned, rosehips are also beneficial against cancerous cells, free radicals, and diabetes. On top of that, rosehip also stimulates white blood cells which boosts your body’s immune system and promotes faster wound healing and skin recovery. Rosehip oil is rich in beta-carotene and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, and is often used to treat skin conditions like acne, dermatitis and eczema, as well as heal scarring and stretch marks. Studies have also shown rosehip to be beneficial against joint pain and obesity.
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This month of April, we celebrate superfoods with a special e-store promotion: Receive a FREE Essano Superfoods Cinnamon Purifying Gel Cleanser worth $24.95 with any 2 Vagisil products purchased!