What is a Superfood?
Is there a correlation between superfoods and well-being? Let us first explore what superfoods are. Superfoods are foods that are mostly plant-based, nutritionally dense, and thus, good for one’s health. Some popular examples of “superfoods” are: blueberries, kale and acai, just to name a few. However, according to the American Heart Association, there are no set criteria for determining what is and what is not a superfood.
“Superfoods don’t have their own food group,” according to Despina Hyde, a registered dietician with the weight management program at New York University. On the contrary, ‘”superfood” is more of a marketing term for foods that have health benefits.
Superfoods contain a variety of nutrients, such as antioxidants, which have been lauded for all kinds of health benefits. Additionally, they may contain healthy fats, which are thought to help with heart disease, and fiber, thought to assist with diabetes and digestive problems. Likewise, they may also contain phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits. Therefore, when you consume superfoods packed with nutrients, you help your body ward off disease, support its internal health, and most of all, improve your wellbeing.†
The key to overall wellbeing is to consume a variety of nutritious foods in the right quantities.
Superfoods and Wellbeing
As noted, no one superfood offers all the nutrition, health benefits, and energy you need for overall well-being. On the contrary, proportionate balance is key for success. As such, research shows that consistent healthy nutritional choices, combined with healthy eating patterns can tremendously improve your well-being. Eat these examples of superfoods and improve well-being:
- Green Tea: Originally from China, green tea is a lightly caffeinated beverage with a wide array of medicinal properties. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds which have strong anti-inflammatory effects. One of the most prevalent antioxidants in green tea is the catechin epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. EGCG is likely what gives green tea its apparent ability to protect against chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Additionally, research also indicates that the combination of catechins and caffeine in green tea may make it an effective tool for weight loss. In summary, green tea is antioxidant-rich with many health benefits including possible cancer prevention.
- Goji Berries: Goji berries contain chemical compounds called phytochemicals that plants produce. Phytochemicals in goji berries include polysaccharides, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. Whiles polysaccharides in goji berries help with improved immune function and increased total antioxidant activity in the body, beta-carotene is vital for eye health, bone health, skin health, and cell development. And in fact, the amount of beta-carotene in goji berries is among the highest of all edible plants. Lastly, zeaxanthin plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system and many researchers believe that zeaxanthin can prevent macular degeneration, a progressive vision impairment that occurs when the central part of the retina, or macula, deteriorates.
- Kale: Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet due to its many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Kale is rich in minerals, antioxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamins A, C and K. Additionally, it also contains antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene, which reduce the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress. In order to receive the most benefits, eat kale raw, to avoid reduction of the nutritional profile of the vegetable.
- Chlorella: This s a single-celled, green freshwater algae with an impressive nutritional profile. While nutrient content depends on growing conditions, the species and supplement processing, nevertheless, it’s clear it packs several beneficial nutrients. These include protein, Vitamin B12, iron, Vitamin C, Fiber, Omega3, and other antioxidants.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. They are a good source of B-vitamins (riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin), iron, and selenium. Moreover, mushrooms contain a powerful micronutrient called ergothioneine. Ergothioneine is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which mushrooms have in very high concentrations. Cooking actually releases this powerful nutrient from the mushroom cells. Mushrooms also have high levels of polyphenols that give them a higher antioxidant level than green pepper and zucchini. Overall, include a variety of mushrooms in your diet along with a mix of high antioxidant foods and micronutrients.
Kratom is a Superfood
In addition to the superfoods mentioned above, likewise, kratom is a superfood that supercharges well-being and wellness. At ETHA Natural Botanicals we sustainably harvest kratom, an alkaloid rich plant. For centuries kratom has been used to help with pain and energy by those doing strenuous labor. Traditionally, kratom was an anesthetic that helped with coughs, and with intestinal issues like diarrhea. Another popular way to enjoy kratom would be to brew some leaves in hot water to make a kratom tea. Or enjoy our convenient kratom herbal tea bags.
The video below made by the American Kratom Association highlights the many amazing kratom features that qualify kratom as a superfood.
In summary, kratom is not a drug and not a synthetic. Rather, kratom is a superfood that goes beyond mere nutrition to promote and improve overall well-being.
Optimal health through food and nutrition is about more than focus on one or two latest “it” foods. Instead, support good health by consuming a variety of nutritious foods every day. Plant-rich foods consumption may bring up concerns of increased metals in your body. Therefore, try pairing superfood Chlorella (above) with kratom to support elimination of metals from your body. When you include and mix and match all or some of the superfoods like Chlorella and even kratom as part of a balanced diet, you support your health, may prevent certain chronic diseases, and will absolutely improve your overall well-being.