What is the definition of a Super Food? Basically, super foods are foods that contain unusually high levels of two or more nutrients not found in mainstream foods. The ratio between nutrients available and caloric count is unusually high.
If you include any two of the food groups mentioned in this article, you could live out your life in glowing good health, at least nutritionally. There are many other foods that could fit into this group, but according to the world's great diets, such as the Mediterranean and Japanese diets, to name just two, these foods are a common denominator, consumed by the healthiest people worldwide and are readily available.
The first food in this super group is definitely cold-water seafood, specifically salmon, sardines and tuna. These fishes are extremely rich in the fatty acids DHA and EPA Omega 3, which for one thing is essential for optimal brain health. The brain is about 60% fat. The membranes of neurons, specialized brain cells that form the nucleus for all thought and communication are composed of two layers of fatty acid molecules. Fatty Omegas are used to build and protect neurons, keeping the brain well lubed and running at peak performance,
Also, fatty omegas have been shown to control the bad cholesterols in the blood stream, aiding in cardiovascular health. There are other numerous benefits, far too many to list in an article.
The next group is Nuts, such as walnuts, peanuts, macadamias and most other nuts. Nuts are loaded with Omega fatty acids as well as phytonutrients, needed for cellular health and metabolism. Just 5 small handfuls of nuts per week, especially walnuts, have been shown to improve cholesterol levels from 15% to over 40%. That beats most drugs and it's safer too.
The Berry family, especially blueberries, are extremely high in vitamins and antioxidants, antioxidants being essential in controlling free radicals, nasty little compounds that eventually destroy cell walls, contributing to aging and a whole host of illnesses. Berries are also high in water and low in calories, making them a great choice for your waistline.
Whole Grains are definitely in the super food category. You've probably heard the old adage that "Bread is the staff of Life"? It's not hard to see why as whole grains are excellent sources of B vitamins as well as E, folic acid, magnesium, iron, fiber and antioxidants, even more so than some fruits and vegetables.
Whole wheat, brown rice, wild rice and popcorn, yes popcorn, are good examples of whole grains.
Legumes or Beans are nutritional powerhouses in every sense. If you think about it, beans are seeds, containing the genetic code and all of the chemicals and nutrients to produce a plant. To start, beans are loaded with high quality protein and amino acids with a low caloric count. Toss in B vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium and most other trace minerals and large amounts of fiber as well as hundreds of phytonutrients and you may have the super food A list with beans alone.
A quick note to vegans. Traditionally, the best sources of Amino acids, full spectrum, along with Omega acids and protein have been animal products. But if you combine a grain, corn for instance along with a legume, peas for example, you will get high quality proteins without the cholesterol as well as the valuable Omegas and full range of Antioxidants. To your health!