Superfoods are foods that are rich in nutrients and are packed with amazing health benefits. They do not necessarily have their food group; in fact, they are mostly plant-based but also contain some types of meat and dairy products. There is no standard defined for superfoods by any health organization or dietitian.
This article will walk you through some of the best superfoods out there that you can include in your daily diet for you and your family to live and lead a healthy lifestyle. Each of the superfoods is healthy and are beneficial in their ways, some of which have targeted health benefits, ginger, for instance, is also a superfood and is great for digestion and respiratory infections. Have a look at the 10 best superfoods and consider being a frequent consumer of such nutritious and delicious options.
The term ‘superfood’ was coined for a marketing perspective by brands who tried to persuade customers to buy their product with the food trends that may prevail accordingly. Yet there are still some evident healthy foods out there that are worthy of the superfood title. Such kinds of foods primarily include vegetables, fish, yogurt, olive oil, and even algae-based superfood i.e. spirulina.
1. DARK LEAFY GREENS
Dark leafy greens are probably one of the most obvious superfoods out there. These include kale, swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, and much more. Leafy greens add fiber to your diet and are very rich in vitamins A, C, and calcium. Leafy greens are also rich in phytochemicals that are chemicals produced by plants and have a positive impact on your health. But let’s be real, even sometimes most of us do not enjoy vegetables, especially such leafy greens that have a slightly bitter taste attached to it. Consider consuming them in your way in the form of salads, soups, stews, and your daily meals.
Fish is probably one of the miracle meats out there. It is densely packed with omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in protein. The best kinds of fish out there include; tuna fish, salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and anchovies. Adding such kinds of fish in your daily diet could reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases and could help you maintain a healthy diet. Salmon is also rich in potassium and selenium, therefore consuming fish 2-3 times a week would be an ideal intake for this superfood.
Berries are a great source of antioxidants. They also contain disease combating nutrients. Berries such as raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries are all naturally sweetened and rich in color, which makes it very easy to consume. Berries could easily be used in your cereals, smoothies, salads, or are delicious on their own. This superfood lowers the risk of getting any kind of heart disease, cancer, and other inflammatory health issues.
4. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils out there that exist. It is extracted directly from the fruit of olive trees and is considered a staple of the Mediterranean diet. It is a great source of vitamin A, E, and K polyphenolic compounds and monounsaturated fatty acids. Adding oils to your daily diet may reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and also reduces inflammation. Olive oil also contains antioxidants and vitamins that protect against cellular damage and oxidative stress.
5. GREEN TEA
A trend originating from China, green tea is another excellent source of antioxidants, polyphenolic compounds which contribute to strong anti-inflammatory effects. The most dominant antioxidant present in this lightly caffeinated drink is epigallocatechin gallate, which prevents the risk of attainting chronic health diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Some health experts even claim that the combination of properties present in green tea also helps with weight loss. Having a cup of green tea with a hint of fresh lemon could be a very refreshing and relaxing drink for you to have, especially after hectic days at work.
Even though eggs are a debatable and controversial topic as per the nutritionists and health experts. According to them, it is not confirmed yet whether or not it should be a superfood due to its high cholesterol content, but it still is one of the healthiest foods out there. Eggs are a source of protein and are rich in vitamins A and B, choline, selenium, iron, and phosphorous. Eggs are also great for eyes due to the two important antioxidant properties it contains, which are zeaxanthin and lutein that protect eye vision.
Yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It contains probiotics, and the good bacteria it contains, protects your body from other harmful bacteria. Yogurt is also rich in vitamin B12, phosphorus, and riboflavin. It helps prevent digestive problems, and due to its richness in calcium, it can offer protection for strong bones and teeth. Many health cautious people consume low-fat yogurt as a source of protein as it claims to aid with weight loss. You can buy fresh, organic yogurt and add your fruit and flavorings to it, but avoid consuming canned fruits due to the high level of sugar present in it.
Ginger is a flowering plant originating again from china, is used in several cuisines as a flavor enhancer and also for the several health benefits attached to it. The multiple medicinal effects it has are probably due to the gingerol and other antioxidants present in ginger root. Ginger is effective for digestive problems and helps treat nausea and reduces pain from chronic and acute inflammatory conditions. Ginger tea, ginger powder, and oil could be easily consumed or added to your daily diet.
Legumes are also a broad category, also referred to as pulses or lentils are plant foods made up of beans, peas, peanuts, and alfalfa. They are loaded with nutrients and help prevent various diseases. They are an excellent source of fiber, folate, and plant-based protein. Legumes help prevent heart diseases and also improve type-2 diabetes and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Legumes promote healthy weight maintenance due to the stomach filling feeling it has. It could be used in soups, salads, and spreads.
Spirulina, also known as ‘veggie of the sea,’ is blue-green algae (yes, it’s an alga, not a vegetable) with 55-70% complete protein content. Spirulina contains a rich dose of beta-carotene, trace minerals, vitamins, and pro-vitamins. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Spirulina is available in the form of a powder and is also used for poultry feed and aquaculture. Unfortunately, it is not the best when it comes to tasting. However, it is very beneficial for health. It also helps with blood pressure and is effective for anemia.
Try some of these superfoods, add them to your daily diet, and reduce the risk of several health issues and diseases. You do not necessarily have to focus on one of the above foods. Instead, try and encourage your friends and family to consume a balanced diet to remain fit and healthy. You might be having some of the above superfoods already, and now you have all the reasons to permenantly add them to your meals.