Thursday, June 01, 2006

Another Superfoods List… Can You Resist?

If I'm tired of hearing any buzzword in the health sphere it's "superfood." They've got it printed on bags of spinach at the store, Odwalla has a product based on the term, I've seen complete books and magazines dedicated to it and every couple of weeks, a new article appears online with this term in the headline.

However, I reluctantly admit I'm a sucker for scanning these pieces. I figure the more I read these articles, the more that individual foods will stick in my head and the more likely I'll be to buy them. Then again, if you've seen these lists, you know that superfoods are either A) really expensive or B) not so tasty.

Today, the piece I'd like to bring to your attention is WebMD's "
5 Superfoods for Your Heart." Below, I'll give you the food and what it does.

Blueberries
These berries are packed with antioxidands. So what, lots of fruits are packed with antioxidants, right? Well, according to WebMD, "blueberries rank No. 1 in antioxidant activity when compared with 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables." So what are antioxidants good for? Glad you asked. "Antioxidants help neutralize harmful byproducts of metabolism called free radicals that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases," reads the WebMD piece.

Salmon
This fish usually makes superfood lists because its rich in omega-3 fatty acids. According to WebMD, "This fat is believed to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by lowering the levels of triglycerides in the body." Triglycerides are believed to cause heart disease and diabetes. The article also points out that omega-3s fight blood clots and make blood vessels "less likely to constrict"-- two things your cardiovascular system likes.

Soy Protein
If you don't eat meat (including fish), then you can get your omega-3s from soy protein. This stuff is also full of protein, vitamins and minerals that help lower cholesterol and make it a "good alternative to red meat," says WebMD.


Oatmeal
Who eats oatmeal anymore? I don't know. But it's a standard on superfood lists. It makes the cut because for the low, low price of 130 calories you get 5 of the 21 grams of fiber that your body needs each day. According to WebMD, "[fiber] helps to lower cholesterol and keep body weight to a healthy level." Oatmeal, because it is a whole grain, also sticks to your ribs, so between meals, "you're not tempted by unhealthy snacks," one doctor told WebMD.

Spinach
This is a tough one for people to swallow, but it's packed with "vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may protect against cardiovascular disease," reads the WebMD report. The article also explains that spinach has lots of folate, which cuts the level of an amino acid called homocysteine. This stuff is suspected as one of the nasties that, in high amounts, causes cardiovascular disease.

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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.