By Kevin DiDonato, MS, CSCS, CES
Superfoods, which are foods that possess powerful health benefits, are all around us.
Many different fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidant power, and some studies suggest, could increase your total serum antioxidant levels.
There are six powerful superfoods, which are not found in your grocery store, that can exceed the antioxidant power of your common everyday fruit and vegetables.
In fact, you would need to consume a large volume of fruits and vegetables to equal the antioxidant power of some of these unique superfoods.
Here are six Powerful superfoods for you to enjoy:
CoffeeBerry® gets its incredible antioxidant health power because the berry is grown in the South American regions where the sun’s rays are most powerful.
CoffeeBerry® produces powerful antioxidants in order to protect itself from the sun’s power.
One research study showed participants who took Coffeeberry® improved recovery from intense exercise compared to those taking a placebo.
The Coffeeberry® extract increased blood levels of Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC), while decreasing blood lactate (a common marker for muscle fatigue), and increased their Heart Rate Recovery Index.
Recently, studies with 100 mg of Coffeeberry® extract given to humans have also shown promising benefits for health promotion.
It appears that just 100 mg of Coffeeberry® is enough to see beneficial effects from this berry’s antioxidant content.
Scientists and researchers call Acai a miracle nutrient, due to the health and healing benefits it can provide.
Plus, research shows, Acai berry could potentially slow the aging process – in your body as well as in your brain
Acai berry also contains powerful nutrients, called Anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea, research suggests, could have the ability to block deformed growth (mutation) of cells, and can also reduce cell damage.
It does so by blocking potential chemical reactions that create free radicals in your body.
Green tea has also been proven by research to prevent, and possibly reverse, the clogging of veins and arteries which transport blood and nutrients to and from your heart.
In fact, a research study of more than 3,000 people found that the more tea consumed, the less the veins and arteries were blocked.
Nutrients found in green tea, could also act as vasodilators, which means they could improve the flexibility of blood vessels, which could prevent future complications due to clogging or platelet accumulation.
Other potential health benefits of green tea could include less joint pain, lower cholesterol levels, reduced tooth decay, and could also prevent gum disease.
Plus, research suggests, green tea could improve your memory, fight allergies in your body, fight off infections, and prevent aging of the skin which could lead to wrinkles.
Pomegranates are a low calorie, fat free, and cholesterol-free food.
Found in warmer climates, pomegranates contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals which are necessary for optimal health.
One serving of pomegranates (100 grams) could contain the same amount of calories as a small apple.
Plus, they contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber, which will keep your digestive system in check.
However, the most important nutrlent found in pomegranates would have to be Punicalagin.
Punicalagin is a water soluble nutrient which improves its availability, and it acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body.
Punicalagin, some studies suggest, could have the potential to decrease the oxidation of LDLs, potentially leading to a reduction in macrophages and foam cells.
Also, punicalagin could be a main driving force behind reducing oxidative stress caused by free radical damage.
The Wolfberry, commonly referred to as the Goji berry, is a plant native to the mountains of China.
The wolfberry contains many different nutrients, which could make it one of the most antioxidant-rich foods around.
It contains essential and trace minerals, like calcium, potassium, and iron, that provide your body with the minerals it needs for optimal health.
It also contains vitamins and amino acids, necessary for proper cell function and growth.
The wolfberry also contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that some studies suggest can reduce internal inflammation caused by free radical damage.
The most important nutrient contained in the wolfberry would be the carotenoid zeaxanthin.
Zeaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, which has been shown to reduce damage caused by oxidative stress, like exposure to smoke and in people with poor nutrition.
Biovin™ Grape extract
Grape and wine proanthocyanidins (a type of polyphenol in grapes) protect heart health by raising HDL cholesterol, decreasing plaque formation due to LDL cholesterol build-up, and relaxes the walls of your arteries and blood vessels.
Recently, Spanish researchers investigated the effects of grape seed extract polyphenols on Metabolic Syndrome. What they showed is that grape seed extract helped inhibit the effects of a processed food, high fat diet on the development of fatty liver, dyslipidemia and body fat gain.
These findings support other research showing that grape seed extract helps people achieve a healthy blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) profile, in addition to reducing inflammation and helping to control high blood pressure.