How super are the superfoods?
Superfoods are nowadays in demand. With fast-track, life, and an increase in awareness about healthy foods people are taking more and more interest in superfoods. Therefore what a superfood really is? Did they really have the healing properties for some diseases or those claims are just a hoax? Is there any scientific truth behind the same? Hence, superfoods are those foods that contain certain specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients above the normal quantity. Some of the facts about superfoods are as follows
1. Yes these foods are good for health but complete knowledge is very important
Superfoods are good for health and may give some health benefits but it is very important to understand how much should we take. For example, asparagus is a superfood and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Good for pregnant women and is diuretic in nature. But one should avoid eating asparagus if suffering from any kind of kidney dysfunction or diarrhea. As its diuretic property may cause problems in the above cases.
2. What makes a food a superfood
Superfoods are foods having more vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants. These foods are good because of their anticancerous, antioxidant, and other beneficial properties. For example, the high lignan present in flaxseeds makes them a superfood. This high lignan acts as an antioxidant and is antidiabetic in nature. Flaxseed is also gluten-free thus helping in reducing the cholesterol level.
But we have to keep in mind that if a superfood has good stuff which is beneficial for health then it may also contain some bad stuff that affects health when taken in large quantities. Flaxseed also contains hydrogen cyanide although it is far below the estimated toxic level. But it was recommended that an individual should take not beyond 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed per day.
Healthy Diet versus superfoods
As we are all aware that a healthy diet is a must to live a good life. A healthy balanced diet is a combination of many foods with various properties. A healthy complete diet fulfills the basic essential need of a body. It is the combination of all vitamins, minerals, carbs, etc in a specific portion required according to body type and gender.
Before eating anything specific for a specific problem we should understand the basic science behind that food. Whatever the component, which is good for health, we should understand their overdose and underdose before taking them. So before jumping to any conclusion let’s just read the basics of each so call food component and its activities.
Some of the top superfoods and their health benefits with side effects are thus summarised below
The general benefits of mushrooms are antimicrobial, rich in proteins, and good for red blood cells, and white blood cells. Having mushrooms in the diet thus keeps away the hematological problem. But excess intake may cause liver damage, and fungal contamination by eating stale mushrooms.
These beans are rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It is also rich in prebiotics. Because of these compounds, these beans help in lowering blood pressure a prevent heart diseases. But excessive intake may cause gas problems, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
They are rich in carbohydrates, fiber, lipids, and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, B12, B-6, and folates. Thus acts as an anti-diabetic, and an immune booster increases lactation and reduces stress. But excessive intake of cumin seeds may cause low blood pressure, male sterility, and liver cancer.
The fenugreek seeds are well known for their anti-diabetic nature, prevent heart-related problems, increase lactation, and reduce stroke. But excess intake of fenugreek seeds is not good for people who have low blood sugar and low blood pressure.
This vegetable is rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. They are low in calories and high in glutathione and are also rich sources of folic acids. The glutathione present in asparagus is mainly responsible for its diuretic properties. But excessive intake is not good for those who are suffering from kidney dysfunctions.
Mushrooms are always known for their high protein and mineral content. Portobello mushrooms help in the reduction of estrogen levels in the body thus preventing breast cancer. It also protects heart-related problems and improves memory. But excessive intake may cause allergy. also one should cook the mushroom properly because of a hydrazine derivative compound.