SuperFruits And Your Health.
Superfruit is a relatively new term used to describe fruits that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It came into use in the 2000s to refer to the most nutritious of all fruits and has since become a popular word for nutrient-rich fruits supported by enormous amounts of data and at the same time recognized as safe for regular consumption. These fruits are also linked to the prevention or treatment of diseases.
There has not been any standard put in place to define exactly what superfruits are. In fact, many common fruits that are not marketed as superfruits are just as nutritious. Marketing aside, research that lacks convincing results is the reason why those fruits are yet to earn the description “super”. In addition, superfruits contain phytochemicals that have been the subject of many studies.
High Antioxidant Content
Radical chemistry has grown in importance in the past few decades. It has brought to the attention of the scientific community that reactive oxygen species such as free radicals may be directly involved in mutations in DNA and formation of many known diseases, notably cancer. This remains a hypothesis, but a great number of studies concerning human health and pathology have been linked to radicals.
Scavengers of free radicals play an important part in nutrition today. Not surprisingly, superfruits are rich in organic compounds that display exceptional antioxidant properties. Oxygen radical absorbance capacity, or ORAC, is a method of measuring antioxidant values of fruits developed recently, and superfruits are rated the highest.
One major characteristic ascribed to all superfruits is their purported role in the prevention of diseases that inflict a significant fraction of the human population. For example, atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, and depression are among the diseases with the highest incidence in the US, and thus most superfruits marketed for Americans are commercially touted to be prophylactic.
Grapes, acai, goji, and blueberries have long been known to have cholesterol-lowering properties. The same list of fruits has shown anti-cancer activities in vitro. It must be noted that the scientific community has not come to a conclusion in connection with all the health claims of most superfruits, but anecdotal evidence has allowed them to become commercially successful.
Excellent Source of Nutrients
Superfruits are so named because they are among the best natural sources of many different vitamins and minerals. Plus, they contain a long list of plant-based nutrients that are believed to impact human health and promote longevity. The whole idea of identifying superfruit is to make it easier for consumers to achieve optimum nutrition.
The most frequently mentioned superfruits are the following: acai, blueberry, cranberry, goji, grape, mango, pomegranate, sea buckthorn, mangosteen, guarana, and noni. There are other fruits that are likely to earn superfruit status due to recent studies that are largely positive, such as strawberry, tart cherry, blackcurrant, elderberry, black berry, and kiwi.
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