Diet & Plans
Diet & Plans
Reducing Body Fat
Super Foods to Lose Weight
Written by Diet Bites
Raw, Natural Foods for Burning the Fat
Some of the best sources of health benefits come in packages wrapped by Mother Nature. So beautiful to the eye, so health-wise to the body. And so fresh.
Fresh fruit, vegetables and hearty nuts add health and flavor to any diet plan. Let's review some of the healthiest super foods on the planet, shall we?
Super Foods in the Fruit Group
All varieties of the following fruits: apricots, apples, avocado, bananas, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, gooseberries, figs, plums, watermelon, pineapple, honeydew melon, mango, papaya, coconut, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, oranges, grapefruit, pomegranates, kiwi, tangerines - commonly known as mandarin orange, lychee fruit, passion fruit, acai berry, dragonfruit, nectarines, tomatoes, pumpkin and grapes of all varieties.
Super Foods in the Vegetable Group
All varieties of the following: mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, English peas, artichoke, rhubarb, lettuce, onion, garlic, leeks, shallots, cabbage, greens, turnips, parsnips, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, green beans, yellow wax beans, carrots, celery, cucumbers, all herbs, spring greens such as dandelion leaves, summer and winter varieties of squash.
Super Foods in the Protein Group
Eggs, black walnuts, English walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, Macadamias, hazelnuts - commonly called filberts, Brazilnuts, nut butters such as almond butter and peanut butter, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, all varieties of beans - from Adjuki to pinto beans.
Super Foods in the Dairy Group
Milk which is also rich in protein, and yogurt.
Super Foods in the Grain Group
All varieties of flour, particularly when produced with whole grains, oats, groats and whole grain rice.
Super Foods in the Grain Group
But when a health benefit for a particular food is associated with a particular manufactured product, the situation becomes a manufacturer's dream machine.
How Manufacturers Negatively Impact the Nutritional Values of Super Foods
People want to be healthy; they seek products that will make them look younger, feel better and those that offer substantial benefits to the body. So when a manufacturer picks-up on the latest and greatest food which is circling the village, they can rake in a lot of dough. Green dough.
The Acai Berry Explosion of Health Claims
Take acai berries. They are one of the more recent foods which have been touted to have superior properties which combat a number of ills which commonly afflict the human body. They are a super food. However, ALMOST-ALL raw and natural foods are indeed super foods.
In addition, most of the claims related to acai berries remain unproven. Fact is, there have not been sufficient health studies to accurately substantiate or disprove those claims.
They have been touted to detoxify the body, and increase energy levels, as well as assist with weight loss as they combat appetite. They became so popular that manufacturers developed an acai supplement. The side effects of these pills may cause allergic reaction, headache, fatigue, irritability and diarrhea. In addition, numerous products remain at the market which target the Acai Berry followers.
Unnecessary Vitamin Supplements
Another example - vitamins sold over the counter. Very few individuals benefit from commercialized vitamin supplements. If the individual is of a healthy state, consumes a healthy well-rounded diet based on the Food Pyramid, gets ample activity, isn't pregnant, lactating, elderly or on a restricted diet - the natural vitamins consumed in the daily diet should suffice.
In fact, taking a multi-vitamin can potentially trigger all sorts of health woes particularly where some vitamins are concerned - such as Vitamin A. In addition, a build-up can create vitamin toxicity issues which may not be reversible.
One of my grandfathers took so many vitamins that I was awed at how he managed to swallow them all. He took daily walks; he ate exceptionally well, so well that he needed to drop about 50 pounds. But he was certain that those over the counter vitamins were the key to his longevity - that he would live well into his eighties just like his mother and father (who by the way, never took a multi-vitamin in their lives and worked most of their adult life as field farmers). He died of a massive heart attack at a traffic light while in his early 60's after attending a wrestling event.
Nonetheless, our point is that vitamins are a multi-million dollar industry. And now, super foods that have been plied or combined with other powerful formulas, foods and/or elements have quickly become very popular. Healthy, beneficial, energizing - all attention-getters for not only the health conscious individual, but for all individuals seeking ways to improve their overall health and increase longevity.
Fiber Health Claims
Fiber in cereals, calcium in dairy products and vitamin C in citrus fruits - a healthy bounty that can receive FDA approval for boasting privileges which in turn boosts sales while providing a product that is beneficial. Everyone's a winner. An FDA endorsement solidifies health benefits currently known in a particular food and it's a good idea when shopping to look for that endorsement on product labels, as well as on packages.
Although we have a very good idea of the Super Foods that currently exist, as well as their healthy benefits - time will increase our knowledge through carefully monitored studies, as well as the time line of man in relation to certain foods. Fact is, some foods become overnight Super Food sensations while other are left coughing in the dust - standing straight-up even.
We can't say this enough: almost-all foods in their natural state can be considered super foods with super-healthy benefits to the body. And as with some products, studies have indicated or shown that additives that were considered beneficial to the health may actually be harmful.
Unproven Claims Related to Super Foods
And some foods defined as super foods have never been proven effective.
When super foods become infused and combined with products that enhance their already-super powers, by listening to certain advertisements surrounding these products it lends the impression to the consumer that if we purchase the product that we'll be better, faster, stronger - and best of all, healthier.
My mind goes back to a time when I was at the supermarket and this little old lady was examining a container of cranberry juice. She looked at me and mumbled that she and her husband had been drinking the product for months and it was supposed to make them feel better but to-date, she felt no different than before they had purchased the product.
Given such, this validates and demonstrates the necessity of the ineffectiveness of product concentration. Unfortunately, one single product isn't that powerful to combat a malady of potential ills that threaten the body and any 'peace of mind' that fortifies the product is simply 'in the mind'. For the body to benefit from super foods and those enhanced with super-products, a variety of particular foods are necessary for the body but not necessarily those products infused with super-products.
Simply put, a single food that can reap body-altering health benefits isn't currently available and it probably won't ever be a viable option in our future dietary landscape. Therefore - if and until that time does arrive, we recommend a diet as close to nature as possible and one based on the Official FDA Food Pyramid.
Oh - and don't forget to check out the labels on those health-wise products. Every little bit adds up to your good health!