Have you ever truly taken the time to get to know what super foods really are? You've probably heard the term superfood thrown around before, but never fully appreciated what it meant. Today, hopefully that's about to change, and after reading this to the end, you have a newfound appreciation of what super foods are.
Spoiler alert – super foods are simply foods that have an exceptional density in one or more nutrients. Now without further ado, let's see the exciting ways superfoods may benefit your body.
Super Foods May Help Support Digestive Health
The majority of superfoods are plant-based; being fruits, vegetables, and even some pseudo-plants such as the mushrooms.
But how exactly do super foods contribute to digestive health? For one, is thanks to their amazing fibre content. The majority of fruits and vegetables are extremely high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which add bulk to food and shorten transit time of waste material through the body.
This is a good thing, as shorter transit time prevents constipation. In addition to this is the fact that many plant-based super foods act as a source of nutrition for the probiotic bacteria, which surprisingly comprise about 70% of the body's innate innate immune system[i].
Ensuring the health of these probiotic bacteria can help lower your risk of infections and many digestive issues.
May Help Balance pH Levels
Your body’s pH is a measure of the relative acid to alkaline balance, which under normal circumstances is supposed to be neutral to very slightly alkaline. Unfortunately, the current Western diet encourages the consumption of processed foods that are acidic in nature in which throw our bodies critical pH out of balance.
The plant-based super foods are primarily alkaline, or alkaline forming when consumed. What this helps to do is neutralize the harmful free radicals that are more abundant under acidic pH, and return the body to optimal levels.
Many chronic inflammatory processes are believed to be affected by suboptimal pH include those such as diabetes, heart disease, or even vascular damage that can cause high blood pressure. Cancer cells are also thought to proliferate in acidic pH environments.
Superfoods May Help With Weight Loss
Many of the plant-based foods are high in fibre and low in sugar which generally contribute to healthy weight loss strategies. Fibre, for instance, creates a feeling of fullness that reduces the number of calories consumed, plus the treasure trove of nutrients they contain aren’t too shabby either. Certain superfoods (such as green tea) may also increase metabolic rate and enhance fatty acid utilization[ii]