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Do You Know Which Superfood is Best for Which Disease? Oprah and Oz Do

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In the August issue of O The Oprah Magazine, writer Jessica Girdwain takes readers on a superfood matchup between some popular food choices to help readers choose which superfood is best for fighting specific disease/health conditions. The following is a summary of her findings as well as some supplemental superfood advice from Dr. Oz.

Best Superfood Mood Booster: Pumpkin Seeds vs. Sunflower Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are the winner in this matchup due to that they contain up to 68% more tryptophan than sunflower seeds do. Tryptophan is an amino acid often promoted by Dr. Oz toward the production of serotonin—a major mood-regulating neurotransmitter that the mind and body needs to keep upbeat and stave off depression.

Not only are pumpkin seeds a great snack recommended by Dr. Oz for curbing hunger as a quick and healthy snack food, but it is also 5 times richer in magnesium than sunflower seeds. According to writer Jessica Girdwain, a recent study showed that grad students whose magnesium levels met the recommended daily allowance of 320 milligrams (half a cup of pumpkin seeds) were less likely to be depressed compared to grad students who had lower daily levels of magnesium.

Best Superfood Bone Builder: Flax seeds vs. Chia Seeds

As great as a diet is that includes flax seeds that are widely known for their Omega-3 content, Chia seeds are its equal in this regard and even more due to Chia seeds are also a rich source of calcium needed to build strong bones. Furthermore, Chia seeds also beat out flax as a bone builder by providing both manganese and phosphorous—essential minerals for bone growth. Just two tablespoons of Chia seeds a day provides 16% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium.

However, as it turns out according to The Dr. Oz Show website, chia seeds are not just for eating but can be used as an inexpensive and effective exfoliating scrub. Just mix 1/2 cup coconut oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and apply to a wet face. Allow the chia seed mixture to set for two minutes, and then use a wet washcloth to remove followed by a splash cold water over your face when you've finished.

Best Superfood Cancer Fighter: Brussels Sprouts vs. Broccoli

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Just one cup of either Brussels sprouts or broccoli gives you all the vitamin C and K you need for the day. However, if you are looking for a cancer fighting superfood, Brussels sprouts also provides a good dose of glucosinolates that are further metabolized in the body into compounds that have been found to inhibit cancer cell growth.

Ms. Girdwain recommends steaming over cooking both of these veggie superfoods to ensure that you are getting the full nutritional benefit as per a 2009 study that showed that steaming retains more of Brussels sprouts cancer-fighting properties than boiling in water does.

If steaming your veggies is not your thing, Dr. Oz recommends tossing Brussels sprouts with a small amount of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then roasting in a pan at 400°F for 35-45 minutes. Do not overcook as this may cause a sulfurous odor.

Best Superfood Waist Whittler: Blueberries vs. Raspberries

According to the August O The Oprah Magazine article, if weight loss is what you are looking for in a superfood, then raspberries beat out blueberries due to that, “With 31 percent fewer calories, about one-third of the sugar, and 46 percent fewer carbs than blueberries, raspberries are the smarter choice,” states the article. In addition, raspberries have significantly more fiber than blueberries which makes you feel fuller and less likely to overeat.

Furthermore, on The Dr. Oz Show, raspberries possess ketones that due to their similarity to the capsaicin found in chili pepper plants are also believed to possess anti-obesity and lipid metabolizing properties. Currently there is still a lot of debate over its reported weight loss properties and whether red raspberries really do work for weight loss.

To find out what superfoods you should take to blast away belly fat, click-on the link titled “Dr. Oz Discusses Top 3 Superfoods to Blast Belly Fat” for more superfood recommendations.

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O The Oprah Magazine August 2013 issue

The Dr. Oz Show website