Super Foods and Balance


Lately, it seems as though many foods are being designated with the label “superfood.” What allows something to be a “superfood” and how is it superior to other foods? And, it seems to follow that if there are “superfoods” there must also be “inferior” foods (although, I suppose anything manufactured would fall into this category).
According to webmd.com, an unprocessed food that can lower cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease and cancer, and improve mood is a superfood. These are foods that are often rich in antioxidants, omega 3s, and dietary fiber. The interesting thing about superfoods is no one seems to agree on which foods should make the top ten list. Even webmd.com has two separate articles with different foods on their “top superfoods list” (http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs, http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/10-everyday-super-foods?page=2). Superfoods that seemed most likely to show up were berries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and salmon. More unusual superfoods include chia seeds, seaweed, acai berries, and goji berries. Try to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and if you are ever curious about the nutritional benefits of a food, check out http://www.nutritiondata.com/. You can find a complete breakdown of a food’s composition, including fatty acids and minerals.
According the the Health in Aging Organization, one in three people over the age of 65 will fall, and one in two people over the age of 75 will fall. These are staggering statistics that can lead to broken bones and concussions. Balance will begin decreasing in adults as young as 25 unless they do things to challenge it, such as walking/running on uneven surfaces, practicing yoga or a martial arts, or incorporating it into their exercise routine. Balance is highly trainable and is something everyone, regardless of age, should practice. If you aren’t sure how your balance measures up, try standing on one leg for sixty seconds. Switch sides (it’s important to do both. One side is always better than the other). If that is fairly easy, try doing it with your eyes closed.
About six weeks ago, I gave up sleeping on a pillow and began an attempt to become a back sleeper. I am officially fine without a pillow, but I am not a full fledged back sleeper. I seem to love sleeping on my side, although whenever I wake up and find myself there, I roll back over on to my back. I am going to keep trying (stubbornness can be an asset). I have no neck pain, and no shoulder discomfort without the pillow, so at least I have adapted to something!
Yours in health and wellness,
Jenn