A superfood is a group of foods that contain in themselves a large amount of health-promoting nutrients, such as fiber, fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants.
We can be satisfied, because many of them are at the heart of our Mediterranean diet: olive oil, garlic or salmon, to name but a few, are among the main foods that could have almost curative effects if consumed frequently and according to specific cooking principles that reinforce all their benefits.
As research progresses, new foods are being added to this list, with a long list of scientific studies certifying their health benefits. The goal: to find the ultimate superfood, designed to prevent serious and life-threatening diseases in humans while delaying aging as much as possible. There has been much speculation that it might be cockroach milk, the mere mention of which evokes disgust and revulsion, even if one is very attached to a healthy lifestyle.
The idea of genetically modifying the rice plant began to gain traction in the 1990s as a way to end vitamin A deficiency.
Another avenue of research on superfoods is to enhance the beneficial effects of already healthy foods. In this sense, there are techniques for genetically modifying certain products to improve their properties, known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which also aim to increase global food security. One of them, perhaps the most famous, is golden rice, a variety of golden rice produced by the biosynthesis of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) precursors. This artificial superfood was brought to public attention in 2000 by an article in the magazine Science and since then he has been the undisputed protagonist of all scientific conversations about the superfoods of the future.
The idea of genetically modifying the rice plant began to germinate in the 1990s as a solution to end vitamin A deficiency and reduce malnutrition around the world, especially in underdeveloped countries. As a widely consumed food, rice could have a significant impact on global health if it were nutritionally improved on an industrial scale. Its production method has also been applied to other natural products such as potatoes, as shown in an article in the MIT Press Reader which reviews all these superfoods.
On the other hand, products consumed by ancient civilizations have also been found and, under the scientific scrutiny of the twenty-first century, have proven to be very beneficial. For example, quinoa, the cereal consumed by the Aztecs. Another one, which is also talked about but not yet very popular, is the algae spirulina. Up to 70% of its composition is pure protein, and it has strong antioxidant properties thanks to its high vitamin and mineral content. Another of its advantages is that it can be grown in adverse climatic conditions: it can thrive in relatively dry and arid areas, its production does not require too much water and it can germinate in both fresh and salt water.
Another idea related to the world of superfoods that is getting a lot of attention is the idea of being able to get a range of a la carte, fully customized benefits from 3D printers or food synthesizers. Imagine having a week's worth of iron deficiency and being able to make any food you want at home.
Another idea related to the superfood world that is getting a lot of attention is the idea of being able to get a range of a la carte, fully customized benefits, from 3D printers or food synthesizers. Imagine that you have an iron deficiency one week and you can prepare any appetizing food at home, regardless of its composition, rich in iron. It is possible that in the future, this “specialized nutrition”, as it is already called, will become very common, creating specific and hyper-customized food supplement packages according to the nutritional needs of each individual, who undergoes a genetic analysis beforehand to know what type of deficiency he or she is more prone to and thus balance the balance.
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