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Supercharge with Superfoods - Get Your Daily Rainbow





 What are Superfoods? The term “superfoods” is referred to foods that very nutritious, containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and various phytonutrients. There really isn’t a “superfood” it was created for marketing purposes and to distinguish those foods that are more nutritious than others.  Eating a variety of these foods daily is an excellent source of balanced nutrition- not just one food or ingredient is a health miracle.

Good health depends upon a balance of regular exercise, quality sleep, proper hydration, and consuming nutritious foods. A balanced diet can improve our overall health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and inflammatory responses.

               Balance & Moderation is the key to every healthy diet. 

Phytonutrients are a huge group of nutritious substances that contain antioxidative vitamins C and E,  and numerous other phytochemicals. These phytonutrients may contribute to the maintenance of good health, not only through their antioxidant activity, but also as anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic agents. According to the NIH ttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9102588


Phytonutrients don’t actually give us energy, they are used in our bodies for various processes and in our cells for specific functions. It is also important that, like some vitamins, we need to ingest them with food because our bodies do not make them on their own. 

One of the most important functions is their antioxidant ability, reducing free radical and oxidant damage in the body. This is especially important for our health and longevity. Each phytonutrient also has specialized actions in the body, within cells and cellular and metabolic processes which is another reason why ensuring we get these compounds is important. Nutrition impacts how our body works. The right nutrients in the right amounts are important: when we fuel well our cells function well. Healthy cells mean healthy metabolism which means we feel healthy and well and we function healthy and well. 

  Superfoods- Consume A Rainbow of Colors

There are more than 10,000 phytonutrients in dietary plants and substances. There are a variety of different classes of phytonutrients, each found in different foods, and have specific actions in the body. Concentrations of these nutrients vary from plant to plant; climate to climate year after year depending upon climate and how the plants were raised or farmed. Examples: Phenolic Acids, Flavonoids, Tannins, Anthocyanins, Carotenoids, Organosulfur Compounds, And Caffeine.


Phytonutrients 5 Main Groups

1. Polyphenols- Phenolic Acids, Flavonoids, Tannins, Anthocyanins, Coumarins, Lignan

Anthocyanins (The color of anthocyanins varies from orange to purple. concentrated in cherries, berries (such as blackcurrants, elderberries, and blueberries), and plums. They are also present in root vegetables such as beets and radishes, red onion bulbs, and in drinks such as fruit juices and red wine. Anthocyanins are also found in eggplant and red cabbage)

Coumarins are commonly used in treatment of prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, leukemia, and have the ability to counteract the side effects caused by radiotherapy. Both natural & synthetic coumarin derivatives draw attention due to their photochemotherapy and therapeutic applications in cancer. Found in many veggies, spices and herbs- Cinnamon. Too much can be hepatoxic.

Flavonoids (present in a very wide variety of plants, tea, onions, and apples, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and herbs, celery and olives. Pears, red wine pigments of the yellow, red, and purple colors, are the molecules that give plants their ‘colorful hues’ also are co-pigments).

Lignans are fiber-like substances- means “wood” . Found in seeds (flax, hemp, chia), whole grains and veggies. Lowers risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis, menopause symptoms and heart disease.

Phenolic Acids found in many foods such as artichoke, cereals, wheat flours, onions, coffee, kiwis, berries, apples, and citrus fruits.

Tannins are acids that act as astringents in the body. Usually Brown, Dark Red to Dark Purple. Found in Plums, cocoa beans, carob beans, tea, and wine, as well as pomegranate bark, sorghum and barley seeds contain high levels of tannins.


2. Alkaloids- Caffeine. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world and is found in coffee or kola nuts, tea or mate leaves, or guarana seeds.


3. Phytosterols- help lower cholesterol in the body and are inflammatory.  Found in broccoli, red onions, carrot, corn, oranges, mangos.


4. Organosulfur Compounds- responsible for strong odors and tastes. found mainly in cruciferous vegetables (cabbage and broccoli); onions & garlic.


5. Carotenoids – large family of over 800 molecules 20 found in food, Beta-carotene precursor to Vitamin A. Ranging in color from yellow-orange to red, found in carrots, spinach, tomatoes, herbs including parsley and basil, leafy greens such as lettuce and arugula, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, squash and sweet potato, peppers, citrus fruits, seeds, some mushrooms, and in many other plants & flower petals- Violas, Marigolds, etc.


Types of Superfoods-  10 Main Groups

1.        Fruits- Berries, Various Fruits, Exotics

2.        Vegetables- Leafy Greens, Cruciferous, Rainbow of Veggies, Roots

3.        Legumes – Beans, Lentils, Peas

4.        Good Fats- Olive Oil, Avocados 

5.        Nuts & Seeds- Sunflower, Pumpkin; Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts

6.        Lean Proteins- Fish, Eggs

7.        Whole Grains- Oatmeal, Rice, Barley

8.        Fermented Foods- Kombucha, Kefir

9.        Stimulants- Coffee, Tea, Chocolate

10.   Herbs- Algae/Seaweeds, Mushrooms, Herbs


Feeding Your Tree- How to Introduce Superfoods into Your Diet

Did you know that adding color to your meals will help you live a longer, healthier life? Colorful fruits and vegetables can paint a beautiful picture of health because they contain phytonutrients, compounds that give plants their rich colors as well as their distinctive tastes and aromas. Phytonutrients also strengthen a plant's immune system. They protect the plant from threats in their natural environment such as disease and excessive sun.

When we consume phytonutrients they protect us from chronic diseases as they have potent anti-cancer and anti-heart disease effects. And research suggests that including fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, and may be protective against certain types of cancers.

Superfoods- Eat Your Rainbow of Colors

Fruits and vegetables that are green are rich in EGCG, isothiocyanate, lutein, zeaxanthin, isoflavones, flavonoids, and coumestans. Isothiocyanates are powerful phytochemicals that have anti-carcinogenic activities. Lutein is an antioxidant and may also contribute to eye health, heart health, and skin health. Flavonoids are antioxidants and have anti-carcinogenic, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral activities.  


The American Cancer Society recommends 2-1/2 cups per day of fruits and vegetables. The most recent US Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming even more: 2-1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.


Daily Example- Vary each Day with a Rainbow of Foods

AM Beverage: Coffee or Tea

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Berries/Fruit, Seeds or Nuts

    Smoothie with “milk” (almond, oat,  cow) fruits (berries, banana) or veggies (kale, carrot)

   Eggs with Whole Grain Toast with Avocado

              

Lunch:                Fresh Veggies, Salad with Apple or Pear, Walnuts

PM Beverage: Green Tea, Mate or Fermented Drink


Dinner:               Lean Protein (Fish, Chicken or Legumes) Whole Grains (Rice or Quinoa), Veggie Mix

PM Beverage: Fermented Drink, Herbal Tea or Wine





Along with eating your Rainbow of Superfoods- Remember to Get Your Daily S.H.A.D.E.

S.            Sleep- 8hrs (7-9hrs)

H.           Hydration- 8 glasses a day (or ½ your body weight in ounces)

A.           Attitude- 8 Aspects. Read, Learn, Self-Care, Meditate, Organize, Plan, Joy, Contact

D.           Diet- Nutritious Diet- eat 8 Superfood servings per day

E.           Exercise- Movement at least 8 minutes each hour you are awake.   


I hope this helps you on your “Restore You” health journey. Explore further by reading my other blogs related to this topic, as well as classes and new podcast coming soon!

 

The following information is intended for educational purposes, not for self-diagnosis. Consult with your doctor or other medical professional when starting a new program, especially if you are taking medications, are pregnant, lactating or have pre-existing health conditions.


Links / References

 

 

 


 

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