Posts Tagged ‘free radical damage’

Are Superfruits Helpful to our Health?

With so much misinformation and exaggeration  found in the media, especially regarding health and health related products and foods, it is important to research carefully any claims made by the promoters of these products and foods.

The term “superfruits” is basically commercial terminology for a range of the more rare fruits deemed to have a particularly high nutritional value, especially their antioxidant value. Their perceived health benefits would seem to be the main reason for their popularity. But how reliable is the information that we may read in the media??

Some of the more popular “superfruits” include: acai, blueberry, cranberry, gogi, red grape, guarana, mango, mangosteen, noni and pomegranate. Fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are not included here even though they have many of the qualities of superfruits, mainly due to the fact that they are commonly known and have not attracted that novelty value of the other fruits.

The main characteristic of superfruits is the presence of antioxidant phytochemicals. These phytochemicals are thought to have potent antioxidant qualities that are thought to be particularly helpful in many serious degenerative diseases, as well as conditions such as mental fatigue and inflammation.

Antioxidants have a very important part to play in our overall health. Free radical damage can occur at cellular level due to a variety of reasons , including pollution, toxins and the stresses of daily life. These free radicals become unstable and attack healthy molecules. The antioxidants found in superfruits act as free radical scavengers, that is they mop up the free radicals and render them harmless.

If you don’t want to  have these superfruits as a daily part of your diet, instead you can choose to take them as a nutritional supplement. It is quite common to find the supplements contain a combination of superfruits to enable them to offer the best antioxidant activity. when taken in the form of a supplement  they are in a more concentrated form to ensure that the highest possible dose is made available. However it is my own personal opinion that the food itself is the preferred option as you will be hgetting the added benefits of the fiber contained within the fruit itself

To enable the consumer to have an understanding of the potency of the product they are purchasing and to inform them of the relative value for money, a measurement is given on all superfruit supplements. The potency of the the superfruit supplement is measured in ORACs – Oxygen Radical Absorbence Capacity. As an example, mangosteen juice has an ORAC value of 15 – 17 thousand whereas cranberry juice has a value of 8 – 10 thousand.

Although it is generally agreed that all fruits are good for our health superfruits do seem to contain more complex substances that help to maintain good health and keep certain diseases and illnesses at bay. Inclusion of the fruits themselves or a concentrated supplement will undoubtedly improve your overall health and wellness and ensure that your body is dealing effectively with any free radical damage they may be occurring on a daily basis

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