Super foods, this phrase is bandied about. Many food producers, from unprocessed grains and fruits, to highly processed concoctions, use this to try to sell the health benefits of their wares. Are there truly super foods out there? The kind of edibles that pack a nutritional punch? How about the claims of being able to fight disease and lower cholesterol? Let’s look at a few foods that seem to live up to these claims
Oatmeal; Keeps you Regular and Lowers Cholesterol
The consumption of oats is probably as old as the cultivation of oats. Oats are the main ingredient in porridge. Oats can be steel cut, coarsely ground or steamed then flattened to make rolled oats. Because of oatmeal’s high soluble fiber content, it is thought that oatmeal helps lower serum cholesterol levels. In fact, in January of 1997, the U.S Food and Drug administration let producers of oatmeal or foods with high oat content place a label on their product with the claim that a diet containing their food when combined with an overall low-fat diet would help lower the risk of heart disease. In fact, the Mayo Clinic strengthens this claim by making oatmeal one of their top five foods that can help lower your cholesterol. Not only does it lower your cholesterol, because of the high fiber content, oatmeal helps keep your bowels moving.
When picking oatmeal, be sure to pay attention to the label. Whether you go for the organic steel cut, or the quick cook rolled variety, keep to a product that has nothing but oats in it. The temptation to by processed oat meals, full of sugar and other ingredients to cut your preparation time down. Nothing could be further from reality. Rolled oats can be cooked up in a microwave in as little as a minute and the other varieties that have more fiber are not far behind this cook time. Add a half a cup of your favorite fresh fruit and you have a quick meal that will pack a healthy, nutritional wallop.
Super Fruit to the Healthy Rescue
Many fruits are touted for their amazing disease fighting powers and dense nutritional value. It is easy to cut to the core of fruit nutrition. Just about any fruit you pick will add to your diet. But all fruits are not created equal. Some do pack a bigger nutritional wallop than others. Some of the top fruits, according to nutritional experts are the star fruit. This aptly named fruit, because when sliced, it looks like a star, is full of vitamin C. As a matter of fact, an average serving of star fruit will provide you with about 45% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin C. Not only that, but it will give you 15% of the RDA for vitamin A.
Mangos, known as “the king of fruits”, when added to your diet, are another excellent source of Vitamins C and A. A single mango can provide you with 40% of your daily fiber requirement. Mangos are also an excellent source of potassium, a mineral which is essential to heart and other muscle function.
The pomegranate, thought to be the “apple” in the Garden of Eden, has long been looked at a sustainer of good health. Pomegranates provide, in an average serving 58% of the vitamin K needs and 48% of the vitamin C needs for the average adult. It is the seeds of the pomegranate that are eaten. They are also used for super-healthful juices. Just scoop the seeds out of these super-healthy fruits and enjoy as is or add to your yogurt. Of course, like the other fruits mentioned, they can be ejoyed mixed in with your morning oatmeal.