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A year-end look at superfoods: What’s good, bad and just odd


Image: A year-end look at superfoods: What’s good, bad and just odd

(Natural News) Over the past few years, the term ‘superfood’ has become a popular buzzword in the food and health language. We all know that an active lifestyle combined with a balanced diet packed with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables remains the best way to ensure optimal health. However, some foods are so nutrient dense that they stand out from the rest.

These super nutrient-dense foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other health-boosting phytonutrients. When we think of superfoods things such as kale, blueberries, chia seeds, and goji berries immediately spring to mind. While these are touted for their super powers, every year new contenders that offer a tremendous dietary and healing potential are added to the superfood list.

The superfood fad is set to continue in 2017, so here are the past year’s trendiest health foods that will carry their superfood status into the new year.

1.      Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is the green plant pigment crucial for the process of photosynthesis. It pulls in light rays from the sun and converts them to energy. Besides sustaining plant life, it turns out adding chlorophyll to your yogurt bowl, water, or cold-pressed juice has some tremendous effects on human health too.

Chlorophyll is an excellent liver detoxifier that promotes energy, mental clarity, and weight loss. Furthermore, it has been shown to bind and eliminate environmental pollutants including toxic heavy metals, pollution, and certain carcinogens.

2.      Activated charcoal

While this chalky substance has been used for ages to treat poisonings and drug overdoses, activated charcoal in lemonades and hangover pills seem to be a growing trend. However, Vogue warns that regular use may not be such a great idea because it can interfere with the absorption of other vital nutrients.

3.      Maple water

Introduced as the alternative to coconut water, maple water stimulates the immune system and is loaded with abscisic acid (ABA), which helps move sugar out of the bloodstream. However, critics are not sure if this trend will still stand in 2017 as it has less flavor, fewer electrolytes, and is more expensive than coconut water.

4.      Bone broth

Celebrities like Salma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow swear by it. Bone broth is rich in collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline, all essential to muscle and ligament function and repair. Furthermore, the collagen has also been shown to reduce intestinal inflammation for a healthier gut.

5.      Almond butter

According to researchers at the Harvard Medical School, a diet containing nuts can contribute to lessening the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This overly delicious snack is believed to grow in popularity within the next year.

6.      Banana flour

While you might not have heard of banana flour yet, it is on its way to rocking the superfood world. This gluten-free flour is an excellent prebiotic that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, which boost immunity and weight loss and improve overall health.

7.      Acai bowls

If you haven’t seen an acai bowl passing by on Instagram, then you’ve probably lived under a rock for the greater part of 2016. Acai berries are the superstars when it comes to antioxidants that fight inflammation, lower oxidative stress, and promote brain health. Furthermore, they are packed with fibers and heart-healthy fats.

8.      Kefir

In 2016, a lot of attention has gone to our gut health and pre- and probiotics. While many cultures have been drinking the fermented dairy beverage for centuries, the West has now jumped on the kefir bandwagon and has called it a superfood.

9.      Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most revered spices in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. Recently, word of turmeric’s powers has spread through the rest of the world. It works wonders in the treatment of chronic inflammation and has been linked to reducing the risk of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer.

10. LaCroix

Since the 1990s, LaCroix’s sugar-free seltzer water has been a favorite amongst Midwestern mothers. As more influential and famous people openly began popping cans of LaCroix’s sparkling water as a healthy alternative to soda, it has massively grown in popularity.

Sources:

Vogue.com

Shape.com

Health.Harvard.edu

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