Do's and don'ts while consuming superfoods
While superfoods can do wonders if taken properly, we need to remember that there are a few disadvantages as well, writes SN Rao, Managing Director, Supreem Super Foods.
The term “superfoods” or “power foods” is a fairly new term referring to foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits with very few calories. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural molecules that occur in certain foods. They help neutralise free radicals in our bodies.
There is no precise explanation of what makes a certain food, “superfood.” Nonetheless, superfoods are basically nutrient powerhouses that offer huge capacities of antioxidants, phytochemicals (elements in plants responsible for colours and smells), vitamins, and mineral deposits. Most of the superfoods are plant-based, but some are fish and dairy as well.
Things to keep in mind while consuming superfoods -
The extraordinary vitamin and organic content present in superfoods can support the body zone of ailments, and keep everyone fit. While combined into a balanced regime, these diets can endorse heart health, weight loss, advance energy levels, and even decrease the properties of getting old.
Antioxidants found in superfoods help in preventing cancer or help to cope up with the side effects of cancer treatment, whereas fats can lessen the hazard of heart disease. The fiber in superfoods can aid in inhibiting diabetes and intestinal difficulties although phytochemicals have several health benefits including decreasing the danger of emerging heart diseases.
Superfoods also protect the organs from toxins, help in lowering cholesterol, regulate digestion and reduce irritation.
It is highly important to note that although superfoods are beneficial for health and help in providing lots of nutrients that a human body needs on a daily basis, consuming superfoods does not only contribute to a fit diet.
Consumption of one type of food in huge quantities can actually be harmful to health and prevent the body from receiving all of the nutrients it requires. This is the reason why superfoods should be supplementary to a well-balanced food, and not by replacing one.
A coordinated and wholesome intake should comprise fruits, vegetables, slim protein, whole grains, pulses, and nuts. Intake of sodium, bad fats, and refined sugar should be controlled. While practiced with workouts and systematic physical activity, a balanced and nutritious diet can work like wonders.
Here are some superfoods which can create a visible difference once included in daily diet:
Berries are filled with antioxidants that can help protect the cells. Berries can act as a shield against cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.
Amla is popularly known as Indian gooseberry. It helps to fight the common cold while strengthening the immune system. It is loaded with vitamin C and imparts strong antioxidant properties. Amla can help in improving eyesight, ease chronic conditions, and is a natural pain reliever.
Apart from health benefits it also helps in promoting hair, skin, and nail growth. It also helps in reducing sugar levels. Doctor’s advice is to consume amla during pregnancy because of its nutritional benefits and its ability to fight disorders like anemia and gestational diabetes.
Garcinia can help in losing weight, reduce appetite, lower cholesterol, improve rheumatism, and even help to get rid of intestinal problems.
Chia seeds comprise quercetin, an antioxidant that can lessen the possibility of developing numerous health disorders, including cardiac diseases. The seeds are also high in fiber, which can help to lesser high blood pressure.
Quinoa is a decent source of protein, fiber, iron, copper, thiamin, and vitamin B6. It is one of the only plant sustenance that delivers whole proteins, and also offers all vital amino acids in a fine balance. It is a go-to solution for cardiac diseases, cholesterol problems, digestion problems, and many others.
Jowar helps in reducing body inflammation and further protects the body against cancers. Its other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help in preventing illnesses like flu, migraines, and even acidity.
Oats are highly nutritious and help in preventing and controlling diabetes levels along with other digestive benefits.
Black cumin is proven to have encouraging properties on decreasing swelling and shielding the brain against deteriorating conditions including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory factors.
While superfoods can do wonders if taken properly, we need to remember that there are a few disadvantages as well.
Disadvantages of consuming superfoods
Incorrect treatment of serious diseases
Although superfoods can have positive health effects, some serious diseases require further treatment, and relying on superfoods alone will often not be sufficient to cure those diseases.
Too much of those superfoods may even hurt your health
Eating too many superfoods can be detrimental to your health by the overdose of antioxidants. Antioxidants slow down damage to muscles and other organs whilst pro- oxidants can trigger the issue which can cause the damage. It is important to keep these two nutrients in balance, otherwise, it can lead to impaired muscle function.
Superfoods are a long-term game
Many people also live in the illusion that they only have to consume superfoods for a certain period of time before switching back to an unhealthy diet. But if you want to stay healthy in the long run, you will also have to engage in a healthy diet basically forever.
Overdose of antioxidants: Consumption of too many superfoods can be unfavorable to health as there is a probability of an overdose of antioxidants.
Antioxidants usually slow down damage to muscles and additional body parts at the same time as pro-oxidants. Scientists have given evidence that it is essential to keep these two nutrients in equilibrium, otherwise, it can lead to weakened muscle function.
Superfoods are not a magic pill
Many people expect that superfoods can make that miracle happen. Even though superfoods can lessen the danger for definite health concerns, they are definitely not a magic pill to resolve complications, and individuals must not exclusively depend on those foods. They should rather take additional vitamins and minerals in order to move their way of life in a healthier direction.
Although there is no conventional description of a superfood, there is no disagreement on the health benefits of some superfoods, such as berries, citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, and many others.
While combining superfoods into the nutrition regime is expected to advantage overall health, it is also essential to emphasise more on the overall superiority of the diet rather than on some specific foods.
Consuming a wholesome and balanced diet that is particularly rich in vegetables and fruits is one of the best methods to promote health and reduce the risk of various health circumstances.
Thus, before relying on a superfood diet, check out all the pros and cons in order to evaluate whether superfoods are the right way to go for you or not.
Edited by Anju Narayanan
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)