Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself; what is superfood? We’d like to thank you for asking and get right down to answering that question to the best of our ability. Superfoods are those foods which are thought to possess an extremely dense amount of nutrition, making them an excellent resource for good health. Most superfoods will fall into the plant-based categories of vegetables and fruits; however, you can also find a handful of superfoods in the fish and dairy section as well.
The AHA (American Heart Association) has stated that there isn’t an established set of criteria for determining which are, and which are not, superfoods. Blueberries, beans, and nuts are just a few of the edibles that have been given the label of “superfood.”
Superfoods contain nutrients such as antioxidants, believed to help battle cancer; healthy fats, which help reduce the risk of heart disease; fiber, which aids in the treatment of diabetes; and phytochemicals, which are thought to be responsible for several health-related benefits.
This fruit group is rich in phytochemicals, fiber, and vitamins. The same type of nutrients can also be discovered in other kinds of berries, such as cranberries and strawberries. Studies have found that young women who consume a higher than average amount of phytochemicals, often exhibit a reduced risk of contracting heart disease and certain other heart-related conditions.
Kiwi is another fruit that finds itself perched atop most superfood lists. The benefits associated with Kiwi are very similar to those described for berries. Kiwi is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Kiwi is known to contain far more nutrients than other fruits, serotonin included, which if consumed in large enough quantities, helps promote a good night’s sleep.
Beans & Whole Grains:
Beans contain fiber that assists in lowering cholesterol levels. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, such as manganese. They are also a low-fat source of protein. Whole grains retain their nutrient rich germ and bran throughout the processing procedure, unlike refined grains which are stripped of anything beneficial. Whole grains will provide many of the same benefits as beans, without offering the same level of protein.
Nuts & Seeds:
Everybody knows that nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats and minerals. These contain much higher calories than other additions to the superfood list. When eaten, they should be consumed in small quantities. We recommend eating nuts and seeds that are still in the shell, this will slow consumption rates considerably as each shell needs to be cracked and removed before the nut/seed can be consumed.
Kale, Swiss chard, collard & mustard greens, spinach, cabbage and broccoli are all plants that contain dark, leafy greens. These vegetables are packed with Vitamin A, C & K. They are also loaded with calcium, fiber, and minerals, which makes each of them an excellent addition to the superfood list.
Sweet Potatoes & Squash:
These two vegetables are normally included on the superfood list because they exhibit similar characteristics to the dark, leafy greens listed above. They both contain high quantities of fiber and Vitamin A.
Salmon, sardines, and any other fish that is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, always make the superfood list, as they are known to reduce the risk of heart disease. Some fish contain high levels of mercury as well; if this is a concern for you, then consider consuming smaller fish, such as sardines or smelt as they will contain lower levels of mercury than their bigger cousins.
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