Can "Superfoods" Give the Body Power to Heal?
In the world today, our population is becoming more and more unhealthy. We eat so much processed food today, so many unnatural chemicals are added to our food and so much nutrition is processed out of our food as well. Could it be our bodies were designed to eat the foods that only occur in nature? Could it be... given the proper nutrition from these foods our bodies have the power to heal and prevent these ailments so prevalent in our culture today? Could it really be this simple?
Pharmaceutical companies would not like you to think so, there is not much money to made curing people of diseases, but treating the symptoms can go on forever and sell more drugs. I worked at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies for 11 years.
Listen...I'm not knocking the pharmaceutical companies, they are businesses and need to turn a profit to stay in business and pay their share holders. They spend millions developing a new drug and from the day it gets FDA approval and is released into the market they have a very small window of time to make profits and settle all the potential lawsuits they know and expect to take place before the drug comes off patent and be made as a generic. What I am saying is they are unlikely to support natural cures such as superfoods. Natural cures are simply unprofitable, so unfortunately little is said about how nutrition from the foods we eat can truly empower our body to do it's own healing.
Let's Take a look at this really great article from Web MD:
'Superfoods' Everyone Needs'
Experts say dozens of easy-to-find 'superfoods' can help ward off heart disease, cancer, cholesterol, and more.
By Susan Seliger
WebMD Feature Reviewed by Charlotte E. Grayson Mathis, MD
Imagine a superfood -- not a drug -- powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You'd surely stock up on a lifetime supply. Guess what? These life-altering superfoods are available right now in your local supermarket.
"The effect that diet can have on how you feel today and in the future is astounding," says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, author of Nutritionfor aHealthy Pregnancy, Food & Mood, and The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals.
"Even people who are healthy can make a few tweaks and the impact will be amazing," Somer says. "I'd say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension can all be impacted."
You don't need specific foods for specific ailments. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of the following superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer. One thing they all have in common: "Every superfood is going to be a 'real' (unprocessed) food," Somer points out. "You don't find fortified potato chips in the superfood category."
How to Enjoy Nutritious Exotic Fruits
Top Superfoods Offering Super Health Protection
Tea (green or black)
Blueberries -- Antioxidant Superfood
Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.
"Inflammation is a key driver of all chronic diseases, so blueberries have a host of benefits," says Ann Kulze, MD, of Charleston, S.C., author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet, A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality. When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more anti-oxidants they have. "I tell everyone to have a serving (about 1/2 cup) every day," Dr. Kulze says. "Frozen are just as good as fresh." Be sure to include lots of other fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants.
Omega 3-Rich Fish -- Superfoods for the Heart, Joints, and Memory
"We know that the omega 3s you get in fish lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may possibly help with memory loss and Alzheimer's," Somer says. "There is some evidence to show that it reduces depression as well."
Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish: Look for wild (not farmed) salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Aim for two-to-three servings a week. Other forms of omega 3s are available in fortified eggs, flax seed, and walnuts. These superfoods have the added benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol.
Soy -- Superfood to Lower Cholesterol
A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association (2003) showed that a diet of soy fiber, protein from oats and barley, almonds, and margarine from plant sterolsstatins, the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine. "Look for tofu, soy milk, or edamame -- not soy powder," says Somer. In other words, soy sauce won't do the trick. One caveat: If you have a family history of breast cancer it is not recommended that you eat extra soy.
Fiber -- Superfood Aids Weight Loss and Checks Cholesterol
A diet high in fiber will help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. As a bonus, because fiber helps you feel full longer, it's a great tool in weight management. Whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables are all good sources. Try throwing some beans in your salad, recommends Kulze. "Fresh, frozen, or dried are the best. You can use canned, but they tend to be higher in sodium," Kulze warns.
Tea -- Superfood for Lowering Cholesterol and Inhibiting Cancer
"The overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea," says Kulze, "but green tea does have ECGC, a powerful antioxidant that we really do think is quite special." A recent Japanese study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn't. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. For a double health whammy, replace sugary sodas with tea.
OK, OK, you know the drill: Calcium helps build strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. Look for it in dairy products or supplements. Added bonus: Some studies show that calcium helps with weight loss. Here are the calcium levels recommended for adults by the USDA:
Age 9 to 18 -- 1,300 mg
Age 19 to 50 -- 1,000 mg
Age 51 and over -- 1,200 mg
And Finally, the Yummiest Superfood Yet ... Dark Chocolate
New research has shown that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Kulze recommends that you look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content; the darker, the better. In addition, the darker it is, the lower the fat and sugar content. Now that's our kind of health food!
Check it out at WebMD