What exactly is a superfood? Superfoods are whole foods that have extremely high nutritional values and health benefits for a human body. Doctors, nutritionists and scientists around the world agree that eating superfoods not only prevents certain diseases, but also boosts your immune system, lowers your cholesterol, fights stress and even helps you to lose weight.
You probably heard many times about the health benefits and nutritional values of certain foods like tomatoes, blueberries, broccoli or spinach. These vegetables are of course great, but there are many other superfoods that have been used for centuries in different parts of the world for better health and longevity. The good news is these superfoods have already made their way to your local supermarket. You don’t have to travel far to find them. You just need to know what they are. I have listed three superfoods that you will easily find in your local supermarket.
In the United States, high nutritional values of blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and blackberries are well known. But there is another very powerful antioxidant in the berry family. It is called goji berry (sometimes called wolfberries). Goji berries in the US are usually found dried. They look like red raisins and has somewhat of a sweet and sour taste. They grow on an evergreen shrub in regions of China, India, Mongolia and Tibet. It is a newer kind of food/snack in the United States, but goji berries have been used for over 5,000 years by herbalists in different countries. Goji berries are especially known to keep the liver healthy. It is also known to boost immune functions, improve circulation, help eyesight and reduce inflammation. Like most fruits, it has essential vitamins and minerals in them too.
For the last couple of years, goji berries have been getting much attention as one of the anti-aging wonders. And it really is one of the best superfoods that you can eat, but remember, this is true only if you are eating the purest form of it. The market is overloaded with various marketing campaigns – goji berry chocolates and energy bars, goji berry teas and drinks, goji berry this and that. If you are buying these products to get the health benefit of goji berry, think again. It is like eating spinach on a fatty hamburger. Spinach itself is good, but it is still a fatty hamburger. This principle applies to any other superfoods. You need to eat wholesome foods and its purest form to absorb its benefits.
It is believed that pure juice from fresh goji berry helps to keep your liver healthy. The juice from the goji berry is also used for various medicines to treat various illnesses. It is popular to consume goji berry in your tea. Just drop a couple of dried berries in your cup of tea. Also, you can use them to garnish your salad or in stir-fries. Because goji berries are very delicate on the plant, they are usually not picked by hand; they are gently shaken from the vine. Then, they are set out under the sun to dry. They are not processed. This is the type of goji berry you should eat to absorb the health benefits. Avoid the processed products that claim to have goji berries in them. If you can’t find them fresh, try either frozen or dried goji berries.
This sweet tropical fruit is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Philippines. It has a thick dark purple rind that you cut open, inside is white creamy soft edible center that is full of vitamins and antioxidants. It is very sweet. Mangosteen requires a warm, very humid equatorial climate to grow. In the United States, the juice of mangosteen is becoming widely available. It is also available in tea form in your local supermarkets, if you can’t find the fruit.
Ointments made from mangosteen rind has been used in the medicine for skin infections, skin disorders, wounds and allergies throughout Southern Asia. The studies show that the primary active component of mangosteen is called xanthones. This powerful component is shown to have many benefits for a human body including anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial abilities. It is also shown to support immune system, fight stress and even uplift your mood.
Many studies said that the rind has nutritional values and contains cancer-fighting chemicals. Some studies even suggest eating the rind raw to absorb the cancer fighting benefits. I do not recommend eating the rind. The rind of the mangosteen is designed to be carefully cleaned and used in creams, ointments and sometimes capsules; it is not meant to be eaten raw, because the thick rind contains various unpleasant substances that is intended to discourage insects from eating the fruit in the center.
Whether you are trying mangosteen for health reasons or for just pure enjoyment, it is one fruit that is worth trying. I like it because of its sweet taste. All the other benefits are just a plus. If you can’t find the real fruit, try frozen, dried or in a tea form.
Mustard greens are related to kale, cabbage, collard greens and arugula family. It is a leafy green vegetable that is commonly used in Chinese, Japanese and Indian cuisines. This vegetable has been used in culinary preparation as far as 5,000 years back, and it is full of vitamin A, C and E and high in antioxidants. Many studies have shown that mustard greens, like many other greens, have anticancer effects. It tastes great, too. When cooked, it tastes a lot like spinach, but with more body. It is available year-round, but freshest at its peak from February until April.
The mustard plant that gives us the leaves also produces seeds. Mustard seeds are used for medicinal purposes too. It is also an important spice for many regional Asian cuisines. The seed is believed to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Mustard oil (made from mustard seeds) are used to preserve food. It is also used for body massages and believed to protect your skin and keep the skin healthy and moist.
Mustard greens are used in many vegetarian dishes, stir-fries, soups and curries. It also makes a wonderful side dish or an appetizer. To prepare mustard greens, just wash them and cook them in the olive oil with a little bit of fresh garlic on a medium heat. Then, add just a few drops of dark sesame oil. This is a quick, easy and a healthy side dish to any meal.
In the US, many food items have been altered to contain ingredients that our bodies don’t need. This causes many problems for our bodies: obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure just to name a few. This is simply because our bodies don’t need those chemically produced ingredients. So, on your next shopping trip, try one of these three superfoods: goji berry, mangosteen or mustard greens. Also, experiment with different health foods, and find the ones you like. There are many healthy foods that are absolutely delicious!!! When it comes to your health and body, always eat the purest and freshest foods that you can find. Cheers to your health!