Superfoods to Boost a Healthy Lifestyle – Dt. Pramod Machimada


Dietitian Pramod Machimada is a Master of Science in FOOD SCIENCE & NUTRITION (2009) from University of Mysore, Karnataka. He has cleared Karnataka State Eligibility Test for Assistant professorship (2018). 

Currently he is working as Guest faculty Member in Post Graduation Studies in Food Science and Nutrition, Mangalore university, Karnataka. He has a total 9 years of teaching experience (Clinical & Community Nutrition) in Food science and Nutrition Programme both for Under graduate and post graduate Programmes.Beginning of the career he worked as a Clinical Dietitian in Bhagavan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Bangalore.

He even participated as a Resource person for creating awareness about wellness in TATA coffee pvt ltd, Karnataka.Also, he trained students in conducting Nutrition education programme and workshops at Anganwadi centers, schools and at community level.

In an exclusive conversation with Zotezo, he has spoken about Superfoods. Here is the edited excerpts of his interview.

Team Zotezo: What defines a superfood?

Dt. Pramod:

Superfoods are foods that have high nutritional value, which can be considered as nutrients powerpack as they have a large number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals other than basic macronutrients. The food we consume plays a major role in our life span, so we need to include these superfoods in our daily diet while paying less attention to the calorie load.

These superfoods in our diet can slow the aging process, and also helps to reduce age-related diseases like cardiac diseases, osteoporosis, diabetes and many more. Almost all superfoods are plant-based, except for a few species of fish and dairy products.

Team Zotezo: What are green superfoods?

Dt. Pramod:

Greens always carry a positive vibe in the diet. As mentioned almost 90% of superfoods are of plant origin. These green superfoods include leafy greens, seaweeds, vegetables, fruits, berries, grasses, seeds of some fruits, juice extracts, even sometimes the skin of some fruits and vegetables.

Green superfoods contain a high amount of digestive nutrients, fat burning components, micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals which really helps in maintaining proper metabolism in our body. It also contains substances like antioxidant, phytochemicals and other beneficial fibers which aid in digestive functioning. Green superfoods contain a good amount of chlorophyll pigments which is very helpful for Hemoglobin production in our body. Some of these are also available in the form of dietary supplements in the market.

Team Zotezo: Name a few green superfoods?

Dt. Pramod: It can be green leafy like spinach, seaweeds like Spirulina, vegetables like tomato, carrot, and berries like blueberries, grasses like barley grass, wheatgrass are some of the green superfoods.

Team Zotezo: What exactly is the role of superfoods for your body?

Dt. Pramod: Superfood delivers a positive effect on the overall functioning of our body to keep us fit and healthy. It provides a wide variety of component, which includes vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fiber, and other non-nutrient components like phytochemicals including lycopene, isoflavone, flavonoids. These vitamins and minerals in superfoods help to maintain the proper metabolism of macronutrients, strengthens the bone, improves the immune system. Healthy amino and fatty acids in superfoods prevent cardiac disease, and fibers play a major role in gastrointestinal health.

Apart from this superfood also acts as an antioxidant. These antioxidants stabilize the unstable free radicals, that cause oxidative stress in our body, which damages the cells leading to several diseases and disorders, like macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, asthma, impairment of the immune system, hormonal disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis. Superfoods also reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Phytochemicals rather than antioxidant property also play a role in hormonal action, by imitating human estrogen, which reduces the menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis in women. These phytochemicals also stimulate many enzymes affecting DNA replication and also possess strong antibacterial effects.

Team Zotezo: Are superfoods superior to other foods?

Dt. Pramod: All foods are superior in their own way if you consume it in the limited and required quantity. Superfood creates a positive impact on our other than just providing energy. It must be backed by scientific evidence.

In our routine diet, if we make some small alteration by adding these superfoods it will work as functional foods that maintain our well-being. By including superfoods in the meal, our meal becomes a ‘SUPER MEAL’.

Team Zotezo: Can you share a list of the top most popular superfoods?

Dt. Pramod: Colored fruits and berries content components essential to health. Colored fruits like berries, oranges, grapes, papaya, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, consist of a good amount of vitamin C, beta carotene, flavonoids, lycopene, fibers, calcium, essential minerals. They remove free radicals from our body and prevent muscular degeneration and the risk of developing cancer.

Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene phytochemical, which gives the red color to the tomato. Lycopene Benefits heart health and it also prevents stroke.

Pumpkin is filled with beta carotene, and antioxidant. It is a major source of vitamin A, which is very beneficial for age-related disorders, and very important for our eye sights.

Spinach is a good source of vitamin K and magnesium which helps in blood clotting, and also builds strong bones and fights against free radicals.

Barley contains a soluble fiber known as beta-glucan which lowers cholesterol, and helps to control blood sugar, and maintains healthy body weight.

Garlic carries a sulfur component, which plays a major role in preventing the risk of cancer. It also helps in reducing blood cholesterol levels and helps in maintaining the blood pressure level.

Turmeric carries a component, curcumin which has an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and is beneficial for some Chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Avocados contain fibers, healthy fats, and most vitamins and minerals. Oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fatty acid, which is predominantly present in avocados shows an anti-inflammatory effect and is beneficial for heart disease and diabetes.

Fish like salmon, sardine, mackerel are a good source of lean protein and omega 3 fatty acid, as well as Calcium, iron, and selenium. Lean protein and omega 3 fatty acids play a significant role in reducing cardiovascular diseases, Selenium also acts as an antioxidant that scavenges the free radicals. These nutrient profiles of fishes are super strong.

Sweet potatoes are filled with potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. It is also a good source of carotenoids, which is an antioxidant and also Protects the body against cancer and other age-related diseases.

Nuts like Cashew, walnut, almond, pistachio, hazelnut contain selenium, calcium, potassium, vitamins, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acid that helps in brain development, lower cholesterol level, maintain skin tone, also has an antioxidant property that reduces the risk of cancer.

Photo of Team Zotezo
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