The Great Super-Food Debate

The great super-food debate, which will win:

Purple Potato, Chia Seeds or Seaweed?

 

The first real super-food that I heard of was the acai berry, in 2008. Since then it seems like every week there are super-foods being discovered all around the globe. It is very important to understand how the nutritional content in these foods make them super. For the acai berry the density of antioxidants was the key component in making that food a super-food. Other super-foods may have different components.

So what makes a food a super-food?

The most important aspect of judging a food’s superiority are the nutrients that the food contains. Typically when talking about nutrition we think about macronutrient categories. Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fats. When discussing whether or not a food is a super-food often the micronutrients are what come into play. With Americans consuming more meat and less vegetation often micronutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins are consumed in very small quantities.  Super-foods pack powerful punches in diets lacking micronutrients by providing high quantities of nutrient in low volumes of food.

 

What’s new?

Currently there are three super-foods being discussed in the news. The two big names are chia seeds, which were featured in Forbes Magazine, and seaweed which has been featured as a super-food in which was in Shape Magazine. One of the newest arrivals in the arena of super-foods has been the purple potato which has yet to hit the mainstream media.  Each of these super-foods has its own special properties that enable them to contend in the class of “super-food.”

Which is best?

When evaluating what makes a food super or average the key is to look at the components. Of the three super-foods here the most super would have to be the chia seeds. Chia seeds are a complete protein with a low glycemic index and they have incredible volume. They fill you up and provide essential vitamins like B, Iron and Zinc. The overall qualities that the chia seeds possess make them a very well rounded food. They have great amounts of polyunsaturated fat like Omega-3, which can improve cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart attack.

Seaweed and the purple potato come in at the number two position because they mostly show to have secondary affects related to eating them. Both foods have been shown to affect blood pressure. They both lower blood pressure and seaweed has chemicals that have even been reported to act the same way as some heart medications.

However if you look at these items from a traditional nutrition menu, that can be found on any food item in the United states, ounce for ounce seaweed is the superior super-food. With 0g of fat, 0g of carbs and 11.4 g of fiber, seaweed is a great food. The only problem that may be encountered is that to consume an ounce of seaweed in a single sitting would be equivalent to eating 11 sheets of seaweed. I just can’t picture having it as a snack item or being able to consume it in bulk.

The best way to judge whether or not a food will be a super-food for you, is to look at your diet and discover what micronutrients you may be missing. Find a food that fills that gap, and you will have a very personal super-food.

 

In Health and Fitness,

FR Rowlett Team

 

 

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