July 12, 2017 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Health Benefits of Superfoods
Many professional dieticians confirm health benefits of superfoods. The situation with dietary supplements isn’t as clear cut. In theory, both these products can boost your general wellbeing by providing extra nutrition. However, in most situations, filling your meal plan with superfoods is the healthier choice.
Health Benefits of Superfoods: Why Are They Good for You
Superfoods are called this way because they contain a huge amount of essential nutrients. The elements may vary, for example, blueberries have vitamin C and antioxidants and flaxseeds contain omega 3 fats. One thing they all have in common is that the vitamins and minerals they give you are very important for maintaining your health.
This means that any superfood is better by default, simply because it gives you much more than a single benefit. It’s also essential that unlike dietary supplements, these products always contain exactly what they claim.
The FDA doesn’t regulate the supplement market. Therefore, there is no guarantee that these products contain the ingredients listed on their labels. However, you can always be sure that you get all health benefits of superfoods because you can actually see what you eat.
Note that many dietary supplements today are actually made from these special foods. For example, you can find cranberry pills, flaxseed and coconut oil capsules, etc. If those are the products you are interested in, you can get a much bigger nutritional boost if you just eat these foods. Snack on dried cranberries or make ground flaxseed cookies. Cook with coconut oil or mix all these with other healthy foods to make a delicious vegan superfood salad.
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When Health Benefits of Superfoods Aren’t Enough
It’s important to understand that in some situations, even nutrient-dense foods can’t ensure you get all elements you need. This is especially important for vegans, who are at risk of several nutritional deficiencies.
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Taking supplements to get the elements you can’t find in your diet is a sensible choice. If you are a vegan, you should consider:
1. Vitamin B12
There simply isn’t vitamin B12 in vegan diet because it’s naturally present only in animal products. Therefore, no health benefits of superfoods can help you as there simply are no foods to do so. Vegan B12 dietary supplements contain synthetic vitamins and you should consult your dietician about which type is best for you.
Not everyone needs to take vegan calcium supplements, so it’s best to find out if you really have a deficiency. In case you do, there are some calcium-rich superfoods, like sesame seeds, broccoli powder, and some nuts. Take supplements only if you can’t change your diet to include more calcium.
68% of Americans take dietary supplements and this industry brings almost $122 billion to the economy. However, from the nutritional point of view, superfoods beat pills in most cases. They simply contain more of the important elements, especially protein and fiber. Supplements, on the other hand, can give you a concentrate of the mineral or vitamin your dietary restrictions prevent you from eating.