Voted best gym in HRM 2013, 360fit an award winning personal training and group fitness studio, located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 360fit is owned and operated by Canada's #2 trainer 2015, and 8 time award winning Best Personal Fitness Trainer Devin Sherrington.
Devin lives in Fletcher's Lake, Nova Scotia with his girlfriend Lauren and children Reign and Journey.
Monday, July 29, 2013
360fit - What Makes Super-Foods So Super?
This blog post was inspired by one of my
fellow 360fit trainers. Earlier this week, he mentioned some of the new super
foods he was incorporating into his diet. This conversation got me thinking; I should
incorporate more super-foods into my diet as well, because I know that they are
packed with nutrition… but what is it exactly that makes
"super-foods" so super? The answer: Phytonutrients!
Phytonutrients are naturally occurring
plant chemicals, thought to have some serious health protecting qualities. Some
of these qualities include protection from different types of cancer, heart
disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The main phytonutrients I want to
talk about are Carotenoids, Ellagic Acid, Flavonoids, and Reservatrol. The
technical names of these phytonutrients make them sound very complex and hard
to understand, but It is actually incredibly easy to add them into your regular
diet. With all of the health benefits that come with these phytonutrients, why
wouldn't you want to eat them everyday?!
Carotenoids are chemicals that your body
can convert into Vitamin A, which is important for a strong immune system, and
needed to keep your eyes healthy. Carotenoids are found in yellow and orange
foods, such as carrots, mangoes, oranges, papayas, pumpkins, red and yellow
peppers, and acorn squash. A couple of ways you can get the benefits of
carotenoids is by adding chopped peppers into salads, and stir-fry, baking
squash and pumpkin as a side dish with dinner, or chopping up the fruits
mentioned and enjoying them all on their own.
Ellagic Acid is known to help protect the
body against cancer, and Flavonoids can help reduce risk of heart disease,
asthma, and some cancers.Ellagic acid
is found especially in strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranates. Flavonoids
can be found in apples, berries, and grapes. Try mixing these fruits into yogurt,
or blending them into smoothies, for a light snack. Apples, berries, and grapes
are also easy to eat on their own, throughout the day.
Resveratrol acts as an antioxidant, and
an anti-inflammatory. Antioxidants prevents cell damage caused by oxidation
reactions that occur within the body; not all oxidative reactions are bad, but
some can lead to cell death or free radicals, which can contribute to diseases
such as cancer and heart disease. Anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce
pain associated with arthritis, tendonitis, and asthma. Reservatrol can be
found in grapes, and red wine, however, there are tons of other foods that
contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties as well. For example,
antioxidants can be found in berries, garlic, tomatoes, spinach, and whole
grains, and anti-inflammatory properties are high in green vegetables such as
kale, spinach, and broccoli.
In addition to phytonutrients,
super-foods tend to be minimally processed, helping to maintain all their
nutritional integrity, and usually contain a mixture of essentials needed by
the body to maintain optimal health, such as fibre, protein, vitamins, and
minerals. The best way to reap the benefits of these phytonutrients is by
consuming them through whole foods. If you consume these whole foods raw, you
will doing yourself an even greater service; by eating them raw, none of the
nutrition is lost through the cooking process, maximizing the nutritional
benefits your body will receive from them.
Please keep in mind that I have only
mentioned a few super-foods, and that there is a vast range of other
super-foods that you can explore; I encourage you to take some time and explore
the produce isles and organic sections of your grocery store, and local
markets, to find others that you may enjoy. Incorporate super-foods into your
daily diet, and know that you are helping to push your body towards optimal