Superfoods are a group of natural (unprocessed), ultra-nutritious foods that provide many essential health benefits. They’re powerful enough to help lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and may even put you in a better mood. Do they sound too good to be true? Nope. Superfoods are readily available at your local grocer.
Dietary experts have flagged the following foods as being superfoods: berries, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, eggs, green foods, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, oats, olives and olive oil, fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, orange vegetables, sea vegetables, seeds, soy, tea, tomatoes, turkey, whole grains, yogurt and kefir.
The language of superfoods can also be confusing, because many of the terms for nutrients overlap. Here is… a basic glossary:
Antioxidants are an umbrella term for many substances that retard the body’s normal process of oxidation: a reaction to oxygen that releases “free radicals” that damage cells and break the body down. Free radicals are released from food through digestion. Antioxidants help prevent this and are thought to destroy free radicals and slow oxidation, reducing heart disease, cancer, aging effects and allergies.
Flavonoids are the best-known antioxidants (tea and dark chocolate, for example) among a group called polyphenols.
Carotenoids are pigments that protect dark green, yellow, orange and red fruits, and vegetables from sun damage. They also function as antioxidants in humans—beta-carotene (or vitamin A) being the best known. Other famous carotenoids are lycopene and lutein.
Vitamins are nutrients considered essential to health; a shortage of vitamins can create health problems this is why it is so important to obtain them in fresh raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. These are also knows as Phytonutrients which are plant-derived compounds believed to improve your health, this includes many antioxidants.
So, how does this all translate? You should definitely eat the following every day: at least one or two cups of blueberries, half cup each of broccoli and pumpkin, five to seven servings of oats, one of tomatoes, one orange, at least half an ounce of soy, one cup of steamed spinach or two cups of raw, one cup of tea and two cups of yogurt. Every week you should also have four servings of beans, two to four of wild salmon, three or four of turkey and five ounces of walnuts. Do this and you are sure to be getting your fair share of essential superfoods. As police officers it is important to give your bodies the nutrients they need to be as effective in your jobs as you can. Superfoods can help you accomplish your mission just as CopsAlive can help bring you the information you need to succeed in life and on the job.
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