What is superfood?
Update 2020: The world had to face the COVID 10 pandemic, which infected millions of people and took the lives of tens of thousands of patients from around us. There is no better time to educate people on the benefits of using superfoods to strengthen our immune systems than now.
You would have probably heard the term superfood thrown around frequently these days about all the benefits of this nutrient-rich addition to the diet. It is becoming more popular as people have become more conscious about their health and healthier lifestyles. But, you might still be wondering what superfoods are.
Superfoods do much more than meet your daily vitamin and mineral needs while helping shed a few extra kilograms in time for the swimsuit for the summer. These foods will help you achieve better health and help prevent chronic diseases while improving your daily feel. Some of these superfoods also have anti-ageing properties.
A combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet with the addition of these superfoods to your daily lifestyle can benefit various aspects of your health.
What Are Superfoods?
More and more people are aware that eating healthy has a significant impact on the way we feel. For example, you are highly likely to feel lethargic, weighed down, and sluggish if you fill up processed junk or fast food. Instead, fill up with loads of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, and you will most likely feel good and full of energy.
Superfoods take you to the next level by helping to optimize your bodily functions by providing abundant nutrients.
There are no benchmarks to the definition of a superfood. But, generally, these foods are loaded with nutrients that provide your body with vitamins and minerals; you need to feel great and thrive.
You are bound to feel much better than ever if you include a few servings of these foods in your daily diet paired with regular workouts.
The benefits of top 15 Superfoods
1. Acai Berries
The acai berry is an essential player in defining what superfoods are. They contain a high content of healthy fats, phosphorus, potassium, fibre, an assortment of vitamin Bs, and magnesium. In addition, studies have shown that acai berries’ compounds can help maintain healthy blood sugar levers, enhance cognitive function, and enhance lipid profiles. Due to its increasing popularity, acai powder is more commonly available at health food stores, making a nourishing bowl or mixed into smoothies.
Almonds are one of the nuts that are rich in nutrients that is available,
They are among the best non-dairy sources, high in protein, vitamin E, and calcium. Almond provides more milligrams of calcium per serving than any other nut.
You can enjoy these nuts by soaking, roasting, or even raw as a tasty snack. However, you will have to keep in mind that almonds are high in calories, so you will control your consumption to avoid unwanted weight.
Avocado is a perfect example of the question – What are superfoods? It is near impossible not to include this super nutritious fruit in the superfoods group. Although avocado is enjoyed chiefly and used in cooking as a vegetable, it is a fruit.
The avocado is rich in good cholesterol, good for the heart, vitamins C and K, and folate. It is also one of the best sources of potassium; it contains more bananas. There are numerous ways to enjoy this creamy fruit. You can add it to a salad, sprinkle some seasoning, and eat or even spread it over a slice of bread.
Blueberries are packed with nutrients even though their tiny size and are another example of a great superfood. Blueberries contain manganese, phytochemicals, vitamin C, vitamin K, and disease-fighting antioxidants.
It can be used as a natural sweetener in salads, enjoyed on its own as a healthy snack, add them to baked goods, and the best of it all; these are not only healthy but has the bonus of being delicious.
5. Broccoli Rabe
It is also known as rapini. Broccoli rabe is a green vegetable that is on the list of top 10 superfoods without question. It is brimming with bone-strengthening vitamin K, folate, calcium, manganese, and vitamins A and C. The compounds found in this vegetable are believed to help reduce inflammation, protect against eye disease, improve the heart’s health, keep the skeletal structure healthy, and even help prevent the advancement of cancer.
This delicious bark does more than add flavour to sweet treats and seasonal drinks. It is high in antioxidants; it has been associated with improvements in nausea, PMS symptoms, decreased inflammation, and lowered blood sugar levels.
Sprinkle some cinnamon over your smoothie, porridge, or yoghurt to increase the nutritional value of a healthy breakfast and enjoy the numerous benefits from this priceless spice.
Coconut and coconut oil are high in medium-chain triglycerides, a healthy fatty acid that helps support your intestines’ improvement with its bacteria-fighting antioxidant properties. These easily digestible fatty acids are quickly burned to provide immediate energy as fuel rather than stored as fat. Coconut oil has been associated with not just weight loss but also preventing bone loss. Make sure to use it with unrefined extra virgin olive oil for your cooking and baking to add a dose of healthy fats.
Flaxseed contains omega-three fatty acids that are great for your heart, improve the brain’s functions, reduce inflammation, and even prevent diabetes and cancer.
These seeds are high in phosphorus and manganese thiamin and contain fibre and protein in every help. You can acquire the benefits of flaxseeds by using them in everything from hummus, cereals, and salad or by consuming flaxseed oil in either capsule or liquid form.
9. Goji Berries
Goji berries have up to 12 times the antioxidant levels of blueberries. So it’s not surprising that these berries top the charts as one of the most nutrient-packed superfoods that benefit both women and men. Goji berries have been fundamental in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and have been credited with improving vitality, energy, and longevity. These berries also contain nutrients that can prevent eye disease, stop cancer cells’ growth, and protect against skin damage. Goji berries are available in dried or superfood powder form at health food outlets. You can add them to your pancakes, waffles or cereals, and even salads for an added nutritional value.
Kale is one of the best superfoods that can supplement your diet with tons of vitamins A, C, K, and manganese for little calories and weight loss. You can eat Kale as stir-fried vegetables, in a salad, or even make kale chips.
11. Raw Milk
Raw milk has many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Kefir (fermented) made from raw milk is beneficial for health because of the fermentation and probiotics that help boost the gut’s good bacteria, promote better digestion, and enhance immunity. You can try adding kefir or raw milk to your breakfast smoothie, pump nutrients, and jump-start your day on the right note.
Many nutritionists and health experts recommend including fish in your diet at least twice a week. Fish rich in fat like salmon are high in omega-three fatty acids, cutting inflammation, keeping your heart healthy, and boosting brain health. Go for wild salmon when possible rather than farmed ones. Try to include a few servings into your weekly diet. You can take it as a savoury snack with salty crackers or a healthy appetizer for lunch or dinner.
13. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loved and known for their delicious flavour and content high in vitamins and minerals, providing substantial health benefits. These root vegetables are nutritious with high in manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. Most notably, they are full of vitamin A. Vitamin plays an essential role in fighting inflammation, protecting the immune system to fight infections, and maintaining healthy eyesight.
Sweet potatoes are used in soups, stews, curries, and salads to enhance the flavours and even wedges or boiled to be eaten plain.
These blue-green algae are known to be one of the most nutritious foods on this planet. It has higher protein content than red meat; it contains all essential fatty acids the body needs and supplies loads of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The health benefits of spirulina include protection against cancer, lowering blood pressure, and preventing plaque build-up in the arteries. Spirulina is available in capsules, candy, and powder forms. They are available in health stores. You can use it in juices and cereals and be sprinkled it on your salad or food, increasing the nutritional value.
Wheatgrass has to be at the top of your list if you want to eliminate free radicals or gain maximum nutrients in your diet. Wheatgrass is a freshly sprouted leaf of a typical wheat plant that can supply many vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and calcium. It also provides the added benefits loaded with chlorophyll – a pigment that comes from a plant.
You can either drink the juice directly (it is very bitter) or mix it with smoothies or other liquids to dilute the bitterness.
Consult your doctor and get yourself tested for allergies to the food, as mentioned above, as it can cause adverse effects. If you experience any negative symptoms after consuming these foods, it is best to stop them.
Bear in mind that these foods contain lots of extra nutrients and are a healthy addition to your diet, while it is not an immediate cure for any ailment or medical issues. Use them to get the best results combined with a nutritious and varied diet as part of a healthy lifestyle and natural treatment. Mix these healthy foods with other nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and exercise regularly for optimum health and keep chronic diseases at bay.
Concluding thoughts on what superfoods are
It is difficult to answer what superfoods are, as there are no specific standards that define what makes a superfood. But they have exceptionally nutrients and antioxidants and are known to bestow great health benefits to you.
A wide range of foods pass as superfoods and can be included in the diet in various ways. Adding these foods to your daily diet with a well-rounded diet with regular physical activity can make your journey to better health.
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Disclaimer on Wellness Articles
NOTE: Raj Tamang is a wellness specialist, focusing on keeping trekkers and his team members fit through diet and proper treatment during their treks. While Raj has no formal qualifications in this field, he has done plenty of research over the years. As a result, he understands the benefits of keeping healthy and using whole foods to nourish himself and his team correctly. Please note that while Raj is experienced in wellness, his advice should not be taken above or beyond medical professionals’ guidance.