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Superfoods are loosely defined as foods that have some sort of health benefit beyond their nutritional content, preferably backed up by science and research.
A few foods have enough research to qualify for health claims. For example, oats count as a superfood because they have a good nutritional profile and contain a fiber called beta-glucan that has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels if they're elevated.
Here's What Science Says
Surveys show that very few Americans know how much exercise they’re supposed to get. But many people are familiar with the idea of walking 10,000 steps per day (or roughly five miles). And it’s not unusual to see members of the 10K-a-day club constantly checking their fitness trackers (even jogging laps around their dining room table) in hopes of achieving the magic number.
Kombucha can be described as 'fermented tea, 10' and it's sometimes called mushroom tea even though it doesn't have any mushrooms. People who drink kombucha often do so because they believe it has health benefits. It's possible that kombucha may have some antibacterial properties, but beyond that, there isn't much research evidence to support health claims.
Among the crunchy set, essential oils have a reputation as catch-all solutions to major health problems. Have a fever? Rub peppermint oil on your feet. Suffering from shoddy memory? Put some rosemary oil in a diffuser. It doesn’t help that woo-woo bloggers are running around the internet touting the glory of essential oils in the same breath as some pretty paranoid fantasies ("This is what Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know!!!").
So, what’s the truth behind essential oils? Do they help? Do they harm? Are they just useless placebos? Are there real health benefits? We dug into the research and spoke to experts in the field to figure out what essential oils are, how they work, and what they really can do for you.
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