A quality superfood should be:
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A better understanding of nutrition over the last 20 years has allowed scientists to begin to identify foods that are so beneficial, and have so few drawbacks, that they deserve to be labeled the best superfoods. Now that the public has become aware of superfoods, healthy eaters have incorporated many of them into their diets. Scientists have also been searching for other foods that are so powerfully nutritious that they might be called superfoods. In this article, we'll look at some of the most newly discovered superfoods. By adding these foods to your diet, your health is sure to improve.
Maca is a plant that is found in the Andes Mountains in Peru and Bolivia. It has been used by the people of the Andes for over two thousand years, both as food and medicine. In the areas where it grows, it is considered to be an energizing food as well as a medicinal herb that can be both an aphrodisiac and a strength-enhancer. The plant was used as currency when the Spanish colonized the region.
Maca powder is a dried preparation of the maca root. Maca powder has a high nutritional value, and is about 10-15% protein and 9% dietary fiber. It also contains a number of dietary minerals and is thought to have powerful effects on sexual energy. Maca powder also contains p-methoxybenzyl isothicyanate, a chemical with reported aphrodisiac qualities.
Mesquite is a plant native to northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States. The mesquite produces beans, which have a sweet, nutty taste. The beans can be ground up into flour that can then be used in breads, wine, or jellies. Mesquite leaves also have a medicinal history, and the beans have high nutritional value. They are rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc, among other nutrients.
Coconut oil is formed from the innards of coconuts, and is a source of dietary fat for people worldwide. While it is high in saturated fat, however, coconut oil also has ingredients that have been shown to have a positive health benefit. Lauric acid is a major component of coconut oil. Lauric acid is used by the body to produce monolaurin, which aids the body in fighting off bacteria. Indian medicine has made great use of coconut oil for this reason, but it has also been shown to maintain skin health and bone strength.
Spirulina is made up of two types of cyanobacteria. It is a microalgae that is often taken as a dietary supplement and whole food. It was used by the Aztecs until the 1500s, although there is speculation it has an even longer history in Africa. Spirulina is made up of about 60% complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids. It also is a rich source of B-vitamins. Spirulina is thought to be helpful in treating a number of conditions, as well as in maintaining normal health. There are currently trials underway to test its use in treating arsenic poisoning, hay fever, and hypertension.
The best superfood powders are truly the next generation of foods. Now that we understand the nutritional import of some of these foods, we can begin refining our diets to contain only the most nutritionally-impactful foods. Incorporate superfoods into your diet, and watch the health benefits add up.
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