Superfoods are foods that are especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being.
Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Acclaimed by health specialists as “life-altering”, superfoods may lower cholesterol levels, improve your mood, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and prolong life. The best thing about superfoods is that there’s nothing wrong with them.
Here are 10 superfoods, found at your local grocery store, that you need to try:
The kale plant is a leafy vegetable rich in vitamins K, A, C, manganese, fibre, copper, tryptophan, calcium and B6. It is full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer nutrients, and supports detoxification. Similar to other leafy greens, it can be added raw to smoothies or salads or cooked lightly to boost the antioxidant content.
The spinach plant is full of vitamins K, A, C, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium vitamin B6, tryptophan, vitamin E and plenty of others. It also contains high quality protein and rates highly as a weight-loss food.
Specifically almonds and pumpkin seeds. Almonds are a good source of fibre, riboflavin, iron, manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, tryptophan, copper and B12. They can help lower LDL cholesterol and therefore reduce your risk of heart disease. Pumpkin seeds provide a healthy dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and serve protective benefits against prostate disease and osteoporosis. Nuts add texture and flavour to salads, baked goods, and cereals – they taste great alone too.
Salmon is a superfood because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help to protect heart health. Not only is salmon low in saturated fat, it is low in calories, has lots of protein, and is a good source of iron. Simply grill or bake it, top it with salsas or other low-fat sauces, or serve it on top of a salad.
Broccoli, a well-known superfood, is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fibre to fill you up and help control your weight. Broccoli also has detoxifying abilities. Eat it raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled.
Eggs contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is necessary for maintaining healthy cell membranes and promotes healthy nerve function. Enjoy them at any meal or hard-boiled as a portable snack. Boost the benefits by opting for omega-3 eggs.
Quinoa is an increasingly popular seed that is actually related to spinach. It is high in protein and fibre and is a good source of iron. Quinoa also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley.
All berries pack an incredible amount of nutritional goodness into a small package. They’re loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, low in calories, and high in water and fibre to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. Blueberries lead the pack because they are among the best source of antioxidants and are widely available. All berries can add flavour and nutrition to numerous dishes, from salads and cereals to baked goods and yogurt.
- Low-fat yogurt
Yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. It boosts immune response and has a beneficial effect on cholesterol; lowering LDL and raising HDL. Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories.
Beans are loaded with insoluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fibre, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They’re also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. Black beans, kidney beans, and edamame beans are all excellent examples to include in a meal.
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to feeling good now and in the future. Introducing these superfoods into your meals can help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live a healthier life. During your next trip to the grocery store, make an effort to search the aisles for foods with high nutrient content – superfoods. Who knows, you may discover a new favourite!
What are some of your favourite superfoods?