Superfoods are those rich in antioxidants, vitamins, dietary fibre and other factors thought to confer health benefits well above those of ordinary foods.
Antioxidants are extremely beneficial to our health as they fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms with an unpaired electron in their outer ring. As they are lacking an electron, they steal an electron from healthy cells causing inflammation and leading to oxidative damage and disease. They are also considered a major factor in the aging process.
The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables and we should eat as many and as wide a variety of these as possible. Fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients, fibre, enzymes, complex carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, C, E and K and a host of minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, lutein, beta carotene and manganese. It is recommended that we eat vegetables raw or lightly steamed as cooking can destroy some of the important nutrients found within them.
I was researching the subject of Superfoods for a new client who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and came across some interesting data I would like to share with you.
The article listed almonds, brazils, cashews, pecans, walnuts and tahini all of which are in my second lowest bar let alone the top ones.
I then looked at a couple of other sites and wanted to tell you that the Premium Energy Bar is jam packed with ingredients commonly accepted as superfoods, quite apart from the nuts. Blueberries are touted as great antioxidants. They have a rating of 2,400 on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) index compiled by the US Department of Agriculture. While we do not use Blueberries in the bar we do use Goji Berries - they have a rating of 25,000! - and raw, cold-pressed cacao (the base from which chocolate is made) which rates at 95,000! So what they call a Super food for its antioxidant value we are besting by 10 to 40 times the antioxident value.
Apart from the above mentioned foods, my Premium Energy Bar contains cinnamon, currants, flaxseed/linseed, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds which are all included on some people’s list of Superfoods.
I just learned something really interesting and I wanted to share it with you. Apparently combining foods high in antioxidants is even more beneficial than eating them separately. From http://www.sunfood.com/MyPages/understanding-antioxidants.aspx comes this: “To be clear, based on the evidence supplied by Hort Research, superfoods like cacao and goji berries or cacao and acai or cacao and camu berry when combined in smoothies or snacks create a synergistic effect thus increasing the utilization of the antioxidants. This is one more piece of evidence indicating that the habit of combining unique superfood ingredients in smoothies or snacks is being increasingly validated by science.”
So the Premium Energy Bar having Cacao, Goji and Camu Camu in it is even better for you than I thought. I would love to have the funding and volunteers to undertake a 10-20 year study of the health benefits of eating a Premium Energy Bar a day.