Recent studies regarding chili peppers, mushrooms, and blueberries might confirm their superfood status. Their health benefits are truly amazing.
Chili peppers as superfoods
A recent paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology presents a large-scale epidemiological study on the association between chili pepper intake and mortality risk. The analysis was performed between 2005 and 2010 on 22,811 Italian men and women. Regardless of their specific diet, those who ate chili peppers at least four times per week had 23 percent lower risks of death from any cause and had 34 percent lower chances of death from cardiovascular disease.
This is not entirely new. Back in 2015, a study on 487,375 Chinese people across 10 regions found out that those who reported eating spicy foods six or seven times per week had 14 percent lower risks of death than those who ate spicy food once per week.
Mushrooms as superfoods
Mushrooms are good. From pizza to soups, simply fried on a hot stove or filled with ground meat or cheese and baked in the oven, mushrooms are really good. But it's not just the taste. Mushrooms are good for your health, too. Similar to the human skin, mushrooms are using solar energy to produce vitamin D. Add them to your regular diet for a healthy intake of vitamin D, especially during the long and dark winter months.
They are also low in carbs and fat (with virtually no cholesterol), but high in fiber and protein. Mushrooms are also rich in B-vitamins, polyphenols, iron, and selenium. But the most important compound in mushrooms is ergothioneine, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory micro-nutrient, released in larger amounts during the cooking process.
Blueberries as superfoods
Two recent papers investigated several tens of other studies evaluating the effect of blueberry intake on children and adults. The results were unanimous: blueberries can improve overall cognitive performance and help elevate mood.
These studies appear to confirm the idea that eating flavonoid-rich foods can improve cognitive decline. If you are willing to try, most research suggests two cups of blueberries a day may be the ideal dose.
Still, remember that other sources of polyphenols have similar benefits. If you hate blueberries or you simply want more variation, you should know that orange juice, black tea, green tea, and extra-virgin olive oil are also rich in polyphenols and will to wonders in your diet.