Can Coconut Oil Really Boost Your Health? Here’s the Super Truth About Superfoods
GREEN TEA (rating: 4 out of 5), COCONUT OIL (rating: 1 out of 5), TURMERIC (rating: 3 out of 5), BLUEBERRIES (rating: 5 out of 5), CINNAMON (rating: 2 out of 5)
(link to the original article: here)
While the word “superfood” has no official definition, the word promotes images of a food that boosts overall health and might even reduce disease risk. And with superfood claims on the rise, it’s getting harder for consumers to separate the hype from the documented help these foods can contribute to healthy eating.
Here’s a look at five foods often called “superfoods,” and the many popular health claims that have consumers talking.
Check out this “superfoods” rating scale. It’s a 1—5 rating, with 5 having the most documented health benefits and 1 having the least amount of evidence to justify adding the food to your daily diet.
Remember that all foods can be included in a healthy diet, if you choose. And dietary impact on health is always part of an overall healthy eating plan, as is moderate physical activity, adequate sleep and good stress management. Food can support, but not replace, a visit to your doctor to manage short- or long-term diseases.
GREEN TEA (rating: 4 out of 5)
-Regular consumption is key: studies show 5- to 6-ounce cups daily. While 30 ounces sounds like a lot, it’s only two medium 100% green tea servings from a coffee or tea house.
-Loaded with antioxidants called catechins, long-term, regular consumption can impact the cardiovascular system and brain. These catechins act to “relax” blood vessels, which can contribute to a reduction in blood pressure.
-Foods that are good for the heart are also good for the brain, and the same changes in blood flow occurring in the brain can support optimal function.
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-One active ingredient — EGCG — has been suggested to boost weight loss, but no solid data support this. If a sugary drink is swapped out for unsweetened green tea, this might support modest weight loss.
-Claims of reducing cancer risk abound, but research is at a very early stage, and nothing is yet definitive. The National Cancer Institute does not have a recommendation for or against consumption of green tea to reduce cancer risk.
BOTTOM LINE: Green tea does have health-promoting qualities when consumed over the long term. Enjoy 100% green tea — but remember to skip the sugar, honey or other sweeteners, and skip the high-calorie green tea lattes if weight control is an issue. Drink daily in multiple servings to boost the likelihood of health benefits. There’s no downside to less consumption, but the impact on overall health is likely reduced.