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Supplementing with Superfruits

By Chris Jensen, July 6, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Chris Jensen
Exotic and extraordinary, superfruits are filling the shelves and the news. They’re “super” because they’re packed with antioxidants and nutrients beyond their common fruit and veggie relatives. Listen to learn about the benefits of some you’ve heard of already, and several that are new to scene. Dr. Rob Wildman is a registered and licensed dietitian with a PhD in Human Nutrition, and has dedicated his life to helping people learn how to eat and to live their lives longer and healthier.

We’re hearing about “superfoods” everywhere these days. What exactly is a Superfood or Superfruit?
  • Superfruits are like regular fruits or vegetables but they have extraordinary nutrition benefits.
  • They may have higher levels of unique types of nutrients that may be found in other fruits or vegetables, or they may contain very unusual nutrients that are only found in that particular fruit.  For example,
    • Acai has phytosterols which are important in promoting healthy circulation. It also has a very good antioxidant profile.
    • Acerola has 9 times the vitamin C as a typical orange.
  • The properties stem from where the fruits are grown. The environment they’re grown in and the stresses of nature in that environment may cause them to produce higher levels of certain nutrients that help protect them and promote their own longevity.
    • It’s thought that if people then consume the fruit, we’ll reap those benefits as well.
Why do you think they are so popular these days? Are Americans really in need of things beyond common fruits and vegetables?
  • Superfruits are popular for a number of reasons:
    • They are exotic.  They come from around the world. (ex. Acai comes from Brazil. Goji comes from Mongolia. ) There are fascinating.
    • The validation of their nutritional strength.
  • People want to get more from the foods that they eat. They want to connect the foods that they eat to their desires to live longer and with greater health and wellness.
  • People are looking for better nutritional opportunities throughout the course of the day.
    • The expert calls it “Nutritional economics” (i.e. getting more nutrition out of every calorie that we consume.)
    • In the US we have a weight problem: At least 40% of adult population is watching how many calories they consume.
    • People are making more choices about foods that they eat based on nutrition per calorie.
Can you tell us about the most popular (or new to the scene) superfruits, and what makes them beneficial for our health? Acai is the most popular of the superfruits:
  • It has a long history and comes from Brazil.
  • Known as the “beauty berry, “ it has strong antioxidants profile which promotes healthy cells and healthy skin.
  • These antioxidants help protect the body from harsh exposure to sunlight and other toxins or pollutants that can damage our skin.
Goji is also very popular:
  • Goji has unique polysaccharides not found in other fruits which have health-supporting properties.
  • Goji is rich in carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin to support eye health.
Mangosteen is another very popular superfruit:
  • It is high in antioxidants and it has unique molecules called xanthones which seem to support healthy inflammation processes.
Maqui is becoming more popular because of its really high antioxidant strength.
  • It is rich in polyphenolics, antioxidant molecules that the maqui berry makes.
  • It has a deep purple color and nice flavor.
  • If you are making more attempts to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet, targeting superfruits can help to maximize the nutrition benefit.
  • Be an informed and savvy consumer. Make better purchase decisions. Make sure that what you’re getting isn’t mostly marketing, but that you’re getting what you want.
For example, read labels. Turn the package around and look for actual levels of real superfruit that you would find in 1 oz, 4 oz, or 8 oz servings.

 

16 Comments

Comments

Kari says ...
I found this article interesting and informative. I have been incorporating more Superfruits into my daily diet and have noticed a significant increase in my energy and wellness. Great to know I am on the right track to a longer, healthy life.
07/06/2010 2:19:18 PM CDT
Supplementing says ...
Thanks for giving me ideas on super fruit supplements, liquid Health Complete Multi. It has a list of all the fruits in it, with how many milligrams and have a list of ingredients and a nutrition guide.
07/06/2010 9:17:48 PM CDT
Jessica says ...
ever heard of Fucoidan?
07/07/2010 10:31:53 AM CDT
Denita says ...
Where can you find these superfruits?
07/07/2010 11:52:00 AM CDT
Marcos says ...
You GOT TO PUT The Pineapple Among the BEST Super-Fruits!
07/08/2010 6:48:10 PM CDT
G Straight says ...
I think it is terrific to eat fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and many things of this glorious earth. I just wonder it consuming too many superfruits may actually alter our health in a negative way? It seems the age'ol philosophy of 'too much of a good thing' might just apply to antioxidants as well. Have there been scientific studies to disprove that too many superfoods might actually be harmful thus throwing our natural state out of balance? Might taking too much medicine be a harmful thing if we are not sick? It seems to be along the lines of chemotherapy. Too much medicine may kill the illness but what if you do not have an existing illness then the chemo can kill you. Just food for thought! G
07/11/2010 12:51:06 PM CDT
Lorena B. says ...
I found this article fascinating and informative, I will do anything that will keep me away from getting sick, I drink the mongosteen juice and I highly recomend it, will have to try the Acai, never heard about Goji where can I find. it. Thank you
07/15/2010 8:50:01 AM CDT
Jatana says ...
My son is flying helicopters on a MN farm and doesn't cook. I sent him the green vits. and green supplement mix. My hope is that he'll get his greens and fruits this way. I was pleased to hear that he's taking the at least of two of the three pills a day he should take and has started the supplement mix. I'm hopeful!!! In addition I had gum surgery last week and could only eat liquid foods for a week. I'm adding green mix to everything I'm drinkiing. Thanks!!!
07/15/2010 11:34:30 AM CDT
Supplementing says ...
Thanks for sharing this article, i agree that "Exotic and extraordinary, superfruits are filling the shelves and the news. They’re “super” because they’re packed with antioxidants and nutrients beyond their common fruit and veggie relatives".
07/18/2010 9:22:06 PM CDT
Supplementing says ...
Taking a daily vitamins is good. But there are more things to consider on what supplements and vitamins should take on. Nowadays, there a re a lot of supplements in the market that we cant sure if these supplements really works.
08/08/2010 9:49:53 PM CDT
rosalind Mayfield says ...
do you have the maqui juice or freeze dried? Also goji
07/06/2011 10:19:37 PM CDT
Rachael says ...
You forgot to mention the aroniaberry (chokeberry). The aroniaberry contains the highest levels of anthocyanins (the pigment in the berry that gives them their dark purplish-black color) and proanthocyanidins (plant-based super-antioxidants) when compared to many of the other well-known “superfruits.” Learn more www.superberries.com.
08/18/2011 4:02:21 PM CDT
David says ...
Does Whole Foods sell actual maqui berries? I can't seem to find this fruit anywhere. There is an amazing amount of shady websites out there selling maqui supplements, but where is the actual fruit sold?
01/07/2012 2:28:54 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@David Since each of our stores does things a little differently, the best way to get the most accurate information regarding products offered is to reach out to your community Whole Foods Market directly. The link below will help identify the contact information for your store and a Team Member there will be happy to chat with you about the maqui berries. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
01/09/2012 1:54:34 PM CST
Emma says ...
Do you carry Mangosteen in your stores?
06/18/2013 11:48:39 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@EMMA - Our products vary between store locations. Check with your local store to see if they have some in stock!
06/18/2013 1:39:05 PM CDT