Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. -- Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C.
Eat Food. Not Too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan, renowned food expert and journalist, 2007 A.D.
The healing properties of food have been reported by cultures worldwide throughout history. However, the past decade has presented an explosion of clinical research to show specifically what health benefits individual foods can offer, identifying the various nutrients and phytochemicals associated with these benefits.
Many fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed whole foods have properties that can benefit our health. Studies in the past decade have taken nutritional research beyond protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Chemicals in the plants called phytochemicals have been a specific focus in the past decade, offering benefits such as cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, and hormone regulation, to name a few.
There is truly a cornucopia of nutritional benefits that have been discovered. Here are a few "superfoods" that have received a lot of press in the past decade for their research-supported health benefits: