The inner power of superfoods

An emerging trend decodes the ‘super’ component in superfoods, for a healthy output.

Published: 19th May 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2019 03:50 PM   |  A+A-

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Sandwiched somewhere between micro and macronutrients lies the trend of mesonutrients. The word literally means ‘middle’ and corresponds to active compounds found in certain foods that make them powerhouses of nourishment. So, instead of focusing on the food, we pay attention to the source.

To sum it up perfectly, it’s being called the ‘super in superfood’, a component that is charged up to expend a salubrious output. Take for example Turmeric, a spice with a medicinal active ingredient called curcumin with benefits such as anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties. So, if curcumin has powerful wellness properties such as reducing joint pain, fungal infections, cholesterol, blood sugar, and others such, then why not look at incorporating curcumin as a standalone component in our diets as opposed to turmeric that comes with a mix of other compounds. “The easiest way of doing this is to make food items from ingredients rich in the supply of mesonutrients. Instead of putting turmeric in our food every day, one can make turmeric ladoos or have turmeric shots first thing in the morning.

It’s now also available in bottled smoothies,” says Mumbai-based nutritionist Sangeeta Bhal. Indians are widely familiar with turmeric, but there are other compounds found within a plethora of plants and vegetables that form a part of mesonutrients and derserve a mention. “Take saffronal present in saffron that aids better skin and hair; Epigallocatechin Gallate found in green tea known for its antioxidant properties, anti-cancerous and weight losing agents; berberine from the Berberi plan that’s excellent for acidosis; resveratrol in wine and dark chocolate that works as a nerve relaxant, promotes heart health, balances mood and depression; lycopene from tomatoes that contains anti-cancerous properties; and others,” says Megha Jaina, Clinical Nutritionist, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi.

Other such elements are anthocyanins found in blueberries, blackcurrants, and blackberries that doctors recommend to control high blood pressure and urinary tract infections; berberines in goldenseal herb that lower blood pressure; and resistant starch in green bananas that works as a source of iron.But the important question is: how long will it take to show effect? This is being addressed by a trend called meso-dosing or supplements that pack in all punch. “It’s quick, it’s easy and gives you all the benefits that traditional ways of consuming these do. And given that botanical medicine is becoming popular in many parts of the world, it was natural for it to reach Indian shores too,” says Bhal.

There are multiple kinds available and Jaina is first to point them out. Aiming for two-three cups of green tea in a day is a good point to start at, according to her.One Vitamin C Amla Tablet in the morning before breakfast can be taken. Two or four grams Goji Berry powder in shakes is a good supplement too. “While these are harmless, one must seek the guidance of their physician before consuming them,” she says, adding, “Having said that, no matter how much the market for such  supplements flourishes, it is still advised to take nutrition in its natural form instead of ingestible tablets.”

The meso debate sparked off after last year’s obsession with micro and macronutrients that headlined as one of 2018’s best health trends. It re-introduced these two words and concepts in conjunction with each other to fulfil the need of the complex machine that the human body is.But researchers are now talking about this crucial substance in between micro and macro, which is meso, that has been overlooked
for years.While health trends can be hard to keep up with and can also get a bit confusing given all myriad hypothesis waiting to be tried out there, here we are treading the middle path, or as they say, the meso path.

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  • Jaya Prasad

    1 month ago reply
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