Jacqueline Herron is a contributor to several publications on health and wellness. In the following article, Jacqueline Bryce Herron delves into the powerful connection between superfoods and overall sense of well-being. While we frequently associate our diets with physical health, it’s crucial to recognize the substantial impact of nutrition on other areas of our lives.
A pumpkin is always much more than a pie.
Not only is it low calorie and low fat but it’s bursting with nutrients. Its skin is a good source of anti-inflammatory vitamin A. It’s rich in antioxidants and potassium. Eating pumpkin may also help with lowering blood pressure to improving immune and eye health. Pumpkin seeds may even be helpful for those with diabetes since they are high in both vitamin E and zinc.
Pumpkin isn’t just considered a superfood — it’s a super superfood.
Jacqueline Herron Explains What Makes a Food “Super”
Superfoods are characterized by their enhanced nutritional benefits and minimal calories and fat content. They tend to be plant-based and come with high levels of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Jacqueline Herron says that superfoods have been shown to decrease inflammation, help prevent heart disease and cancer due to high antioxidants, and typically help one keep a wealthy weight and increase energy levels.
Common superfoods include berries, such as blueberries and cranberries, soybeans, various types of tea, and leafy greens like spinach and kale.
Superfoods and Holistic Health
Jacqueline Bryce Herron says that designating certain foods as superfoods is a relatively new phenomenon, but from the start, they have been linked to better holistic health.
Holistic nutrition considers how multiple forms of health and well-being — emotional, spiritual, and physical — are interconnected and integral to overall good health.
The concept generally reflects a mix of traditional medicine approaches with energy-based and biology-based therapies. Along with food, it may include supplements, herbs, essential oils, artistic therapy, prayer, mindfulness, and meditation. Overall, in the context of holistic health, food is considered a powerful form of medicine.
Jacqueline Herron explains that superfoods are good examples of whole foods, foods that are free as much as possible from artificial substances and processing. They tend to be high in fiber and low in sugar and often contain levels of cognition-boosting healthy fats and gut health-improving probiotics and prebiotics.
Many grains, seeds, and nuts have gained in popularity after being designated as superfoods. These include flaxseed, chia seed, quinoa, oat, and buckwheat.
What Superfoods Can Do
They aren’t a magical cure for health issues and chronic diseases, but they have been scientifically shown to hold numerous benefits. For example, Jacqueline Bryce Herron says that antioxidant-rich foods alone have been observed to help ease the effects that heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, immune deficiency, and more can have on the body.
Other superfoods can potentially play big roles in better holistic health:
Along with the aforementioned spinach and kale, leafy greens such as collard greens, beet greens, and Swiss chard are bursting with vitamins K, E, A, C, and B. They are also excellent calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron sources.
Jacqueline Herron also notes that a person doesn’t have to eat a lot of leafy greens to get the benefits. Just a cup of kale comes with nearly 700% of one’s daily need of vitamin K intake. Such leafy greens are also high in water and fiber content, all of which promote healthy digestion and prevent painful constipation.
Ditch milk chocolate for the darker stuff. Jacqueline Bryce Herron explains that dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, one of the best sources of antioxidants that elevate the immune system and help stave off heart disease and some cancers. Look for chocolate with high levels of cacao powder but without added sugar.
Fatty fish, including salmon, herring, and trout boast high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, slow plaque growth in arteries and lower the risk of abnormal heartbeat activity.
Ditching coffee for tea may be difficult for some, but it may also make a big impact on one’s holistic health. Along with being a great source of antioxidants, teas are very low in calories. One study found that white and green tea may also reduce levels of stress. Jacqueline Bryce Herron says that green teas are also particularly good at lowering inflammation and easing the symptoms of arthritis.
Grapes and Other Fruits
Lastly, Jacqueline Herron reports that red-skinned grapes are where to find resveratrol, the aspect of wine that most consider “heart healthy.” Various studies have found that resveratrol may play a role in preventing diabetic neuropathy and neural changes. Research has even found that resveratrol may help treat certain conditions related to menopause and Alzheimer’s disease.
Other fruits considered superfoods include blackberries, goji berries, jackfruit, and passion fruit.
It’s evident that these nutrient-rich foods, such as pumpkin, leafy greens, dark chocolate, salmon, tea, and grapes, offer a myriad of benefits, from bolstering the immune system to reducing inflammation.
While they may not serve as magical cures, their scientifically proven advantages make them powerful additions to a balanced diet. By incorporating these superfoods into our meals, we can take significant steps towards achieving overall well-being and vitality. Remember, the path to good health often starts with the choices we make at the dinner table.