The so-called super foods such as chia seeds, turmeric, dark leafy greens and blueberries are constantly hyped for some reason. But there are some other foods that should be given the limelight for their nutritional value and uniqueness. Superfoods is a hyped term in the nutrition industry and to know more about these hyped foods, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that contains proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Spirulina contains 18 different amino acids (that are highly digestible), interesting micronutrients like vitamin B12, K and E and iodine, calcium, magnesium, selenium, manganese, potassium and zinc. This alga also contains gamma-linolenic acid for skin, joint and heart health. The source of spirulina determines its value addition to health. Spirulina harvested from polluted waters or cultivated incorrectly can accumulate toxins from the environment. So, choosing organic ones or those available at the local farmer’s market is of utmost importance. The dark green color of spirulina can make stools greenish in color and cause intestinal gas, both of which are not harmful.
Categorized as an exotic fruit, dragon fruit has the combined flavor of a kiwi and a pear. The multitude of black seeds found inside the fruit are filled with healthy fats and fiber and the red pigmentation found in the fruit comes from betacyanins which help to prevent against oxidative damage and reduce inflammation. Improved digestion, reduced cholesterol, improved immune system, antibacterial and antifungal properties makes this fruit an excellent snacking option.
A fermented soybean cake, tempeh uses whole soybeans and the fermentation process produces enormous quantities of probiotics (good bugs that live inside human body). Probiotics are suggested to improve digestion, decrease inflammation, improve production of neurotransmitters in the gut and brain and aid in weight control. Tempeh helps to improve bone density due to the soy isoflavones, calcium, phosphorus and copper. Tempeh is considered to be a meat substitute and can be used on days when you wish to go meatless.
Some evidence exists linking consumption of tempeh with breast cancer. So, people with a history of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer should limit their consumption to once a week.
Also known as the Inca Peanuts, these seeds are rich in protein, fiber, imega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Individuals consume sacha inchi as it is suggested to improve digestion, blood lipid profile, mood, cognition and reduce inflammation.
A boon to people with celiac disease, this gluten-free grain-like seed with a nutty, earthy flavor and grainy texture can be made into a hot porridge or baked as a bread. Packed with iron, teff aids in the production of hemoglobin. The phosphorus, calcium and manganese in this seed can help in the reduction of bone loss due to aging. Improved digestion and heart health and reduced bloating, gas and cramping are other advantages of consuming teff.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.