Superfruits are a category of fruit than do more than carry a trace of a nutrient or two. Superfruits get their name because they are able to offer the user more than one benefit at the same time or a lot of just one, all from a single piece of fruit. One superfruit can offer a day’s worth of Vitamin A while another superfruit may be good for boosting energy or may provide essential enzymes for a healthy body.
Breadfruit, Fruita De Pan (Artocarpus altilis)
A gluten-free source of high energy carbohydrates it is also relatively low on the glycemic scale. Yellow-fleshed varieties can be a good source of beta-carotene.
One cup of breadfruit contains more than 100% of the DRA for Vitamin C as well as good amounts of thiamin, niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, and choline. It also contains significant amounts of minerals magnesium and potassium.
Amla is one of three fruits included in the popular remedy, “Triphala”, a formula applied for digestive health.
Much of its health benefits were mistakenly attributed to vitamin C. However, further research has revealed that most varieties only contain trace amounts of vitamin C, if any. Instead, its main biological activity is attributable to the tannins.
Not only do its tannins have antioxidant properties, but studies on rats have shown that amla triggers the body’s activation of its own antioxidants such as glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in the liver.
Acai (Euterpe oleracea)
Acai is known for it’s high antioxidant level. Some researchers have questioned whether antioxidants in food actually survive digestion to fight free radicals in the body. However, a small clinical trial published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed a short-term increase in the antioxidant capacity of participants’ blood after consuming acai.
However, acai’s antioxidant content does not tell the full story. In addition it contains omega fatty acids, protein, phytosterols, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Acai has been reported to boost energy and vitality as well as help on a number of health issues from skincare to cholesterol management. The claims for weight loss associated with acai have not been substantiated by any research.
Goji, Wolfberry (Lycium chinense)
Goji berries contain more beta-carotene than carrots, more vitamin C than oranges, as well as linoleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid, zeaxanthin, iron and polysaccharides that support probiotic health. Not only does goji score well on the antioxidants it brings with ingestion, but it also stimulates the body’s production of its own antioxidants like the enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.
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