29th August 2016 by Jess
There are a lot of foods that grow in our world that for me are all ‘super’ in their own unique way. Nature is beyond smart and we’re constantly discovering new and incredible ways in which the food that grows on our planet delivers health benefits for us humans.
When looking at a food to see if it’s worthy of being teamed up with the word ‘super’, I would look at the nutrients it offers, as nutrient density is key.
Our bodies are reliant on vitamins, minerals, essential fats, amino acids and other building blocks to steer our billions of chemical reactions that go on in our body every second of every single day, and without these raw materials, our bodies can’t thrive in the way they deserve.
Let’s take the mineral zinc as an example, which is a mineral that is found in pumpkin seeds, oysters, spinach, beef and nuts.
Zinc is critical for wound healing. Whether that is a cut on your finger, the place where a surgical incision was made, or the aftermath of a pimple, zinc is necessary for the skin involved in these traumas to heal, and it helps prevent scar formation. It is an important component of healthy skin, especially for acne sufferers.
Zinc acts by helping to control the production of oil in the skin, and it also helps balance hormones that can be involved in driving acne.
Zinc even nourishes the scalp, helping to maintain the integrity and strength of hair, and low zinc levels have been linked with hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp.
It is also required for proper immune system function, as well as for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell. It is essential to the creation of over 300 enzymes necessary for you to have great digestion, the foundation of all health and beauty.
Magnesium is another mineral we don’t talk enough about. It’s the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and it has a vital role to play when it comes to great health and energy, as well as disease prevention. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in our bones.
Magnesium is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong.
Magnesium also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. Most importantly, it activates enzymes, contributes to energy production and helps regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D and other important nutrients in the body.
It’s also a wonderful mineral for helping us to relax. It can be particularly beneficial at night to assist with muscle relaxation and a good night’s sleep. Basically, it would be more accurate to ask, what doesn’t magnesium do?
These are just two minerals out of the selection of 13 vitamins, 14 minerals, 20 amino acids, various fatty acids and all the plant nutrients, known as phytonutrients, which we know deliver our body an abundance of health.
In short, foods are amazing, there are a lot of super ones out there, the key is to look at what nutrients they bring to the table and how much your taste buds enjoy them!
By Jess, graze nutritionist.
Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to her website at jessntom.com for even more.
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