Sat, May 29, 2021 7:50 AM
When it comes to sticking to a nutritious diet, admit it, it can be challenging to keep up with what’s effective and what is the most beneficial to your body.
Nowadays, there are dozens of diet fads that promise to keep the body healthy and in tip-top shape. However, dieticians always advise that relying on these diets to either lose weight or maintain a slim body can be risky as some meals on certain diets lack enough nutrients that the body needs daily.
To have a healthy living lifestyle, our body will depend on a nutritious diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Dieticians recommend that consuming nutrient-dense foods will provide these essential nutrients and may even reduce the risks of chronic health conditions. Apart from this, since certain foods are already packed with beneficial nutrients while maintaining little calories, it is also an efficient way to lose weight.
This is where superfoods come in. You may have heard or read the term “superfoods” but what is it and what makes it super? Let’s take a look at these food items and why you should add them to your diet.
What are Superfoods?
There are no criteria for determining what is and what is not a superfood. However, superfoods are foods that are nutrient-dense and provide excellent amounts of antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Superfoods can be plant-based and animal products.
Apart from vitamins and minerals, superfoods contain huge traces of:
- Antioxidants, which efficiently wards off cancer
- Healthy fats and lipids, that can prevent heart diseases
- Fiber, which aids in healthier digestion
- Phytochemicals, that enhances the immune system
Benefits of Superfoods
Incorporating superfoods into your daily diet will increase your body’s intake of vitamins and minerals which will fend off diseases and harmful toxins. Consequently, it will promote better heart health, effective weight loss, improved energy level, and the chances of reducing the effects of aging.
Since superfoods are rich in antioxidants, they can help prevent a lot of health risks such as:
- heart disease
- respiratory diseases
- immune deficiency
- Parkinson’s disease
Superfoods are mainly composed of foods rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytochemicals. There are a lot of plant-based products to be considered as superfoods by dieticians and each food item offers different benefits they can provide.
It is essential to remember that if you are planning to incorporate superfoods into your diet, make sure that you consume unprocessed, natural varieties since they can offer the most health benefits. These foods will lose their nutrient-rich superiority when processed or when additives and preservatives are added.
Here are ten of the most sought-after superfoods you can add to your diet today.
Beans are nuggets of nutrition that are an excellent source of low-fat protein. It contains insoluble fiber, which can help to lower cholesterol; soluble fiber, for better digestion and waste disposal, and vitamins and minerals.
One of the most underrated beans is kidney beans. It is rich in carbohydrates and fiber, making them a perfect substitute for rice and bread. Apart from carbs, it also serves as an excellent source of protein. Here are the nutritional facts you could get from 3.5 oz of cooked kidney beans:
With advanced research and development, nutritionists have proven that kidney beans are an effective and all-natural way to block carbs from getting absorbed and metabolized by the human body. Aside from a weight-loss supplement, there are a ton more health benefits we could get from this superfood
To find out more about the health benefits you can get from kidney beans, check out our previous article.
Whole grains got its name since it is not stripped away of their nutrient-containing brans, unlike refined grains. They have similar health benefits to those found in beans, but with lesser protein.
Whole grains can be consumed in many different ways, from a meal itself (such as oatmeal), as a side dish (such as lentil salads), as a dessert (like whole-grain bars), and even as a beverage (like rice milk). This wide selection is perfect for people who want to diversify their diet with lots of options to choose from.
Thanks to the millennial food trend, avocado appreciation has been one of the most in-demand superfoods that are being consumed around the world. Avocados are an all-around superfood that offers a lot of health benefits such as the reduction of cholesterol and decreasing the risks of arthritis to lessening the side effects of chemotherapy.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that encourage good cholesterol levels. It is rich in vitamins E and B6 (pyridoxine), which helps in the formation of blood cells, protects the body tissues from free radicals, produces glycogen, and promotes better skin health.
Kale and other leafy greens
Another diet trend that rose this century is the kale diet. Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Apart from this, kale is also high in calcium, manganese, and iron.
A lot of people who are trying to lose weight resorted to incorporating kale and other leafy green vegetables, such as Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, and broccoli, into their diet because it has very low-calorie, yet rich in essential nutrients.
Health benefits include better eye health, prevention of blood clots, improvement of bone health, better metabolism, and aversion to certain cancers
One of the most impressive superfoods nowadays is elderberry, a small, purple berry. This superfood contains multiple compounds that are beneficial in our body such as phenolic compounds that include anthocyanin, the blue-red pigments found in elderberries that have immune-stimulating, anti-microbial, and other beneficial health properties.
Elderberries contain low calories yet are packed with antioxidants. A 100 gram serving of fresh elderberries contains 73 calories, 18 grams of carbohydrates, and less than 1 gram each of fat and protein.
The beneficial properties of elderberries can be mainly attributed to anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that works by clearing the body of free radicals that damage cells up to the DNA level. Aside from detoxifying properties, elderberries also have antiviral properties that may prevent the severity of common infections.
These health benefits are just the tip of the iceberg because there are numerous health benefits that we have not included in this list. To find out more reasons why you should start taking elderberries to your diet, check out our precious Get to know all the health benefits of cranberry by reading our previous article.
Although cranberries are more commonly associated with the holidays, there are plenty of good reasons why it needs to be consumed all-year-round, either frozen, dried, in juice, or supplement form. Cranberries are considered a superfood because they contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals without being too calorific.
Cranberries’ carbohydrate component is mainly simple sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose that are responsible for providing daily energy. On the other hand, the fiber is composed of insoluble fiber (pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose) and soluble fiber. These fibers are excellent in cleansing the digestive tract but may cause digestive symptoms if consumed excessively.
Get to know all the health benefits of cranberry by reading our previous article.
You may be surprised, but yes, chlorophyll contains a lot of health benefits! Aside from being a vital role in giving plants their green color, chlorophyll also contains useful vitamins, antioxidants, and therapeutic properties that have the potential to benefit your body.
Researchers and doctors are constantly exploring the wonders and health benefits of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can be taken into three forms: liquid, powder, or tablet form.
When taken internally, chlorophyll aids in the production of red blood cells, which gives a boost to the immune system. Chlorophyll also exhibits the properties of a powerful antioxidant that fortifies your system against free radical damage.
Liquid chlorophyll is naturally rich in Vitamins A for better eye health, Vitamin C for an improved immune system, Vitamin K for better heart health, and Vitamin E for glowing skin.
Aside from vitamins, this liquid supplement is packed with essential fatty acids and minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. All these essential vitamins and minerals come from natural ingredients that have been certified and sourced to ensure potency and purity. These ingredients are whole-food-based, vegetarian-safe, and guarantees maximum potency for better vitamin and mineral absorption.
There are still a lot more health benefits our body can get from chlorophyll. To find out more, check out our previous article.
Sweet potatoes are the perfect on-the-go snacks for people who are trying to lose weight. It is rich in fiber, vitamin A, B6, and C, iron, magnesium, and potassium. All these vitamins and nutrients work hand-in-hand to prevent cardiac health issues, promote a healthier immune system, improve skin, eyes, and bone health, and cleans out toxins from the digestive system.
Sweet potatoes, as the name suggests, already taste naturally sweet, they do not require additional butter, cream, or salt that can reduce the health benefits of this superfood. It can be eaten on its own and is a perfect snack without much preparation.
Now, let’s proceed to a non-plant-based superfood. Salmon is a delicious fish rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower the risks of heart disease and stroke. These fatty acids can also help to decrease blood pressure and boost your daily mood.
Aside from the fatty acids, salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin D and selenium, which prevents cell damage, especially on the hair, skin, nails, and the bones
One of the little-known superfoods, but is highly likely in your pantry, ginger is a widely-used aromatics and spice that boosts the immune system and prevents the generation of carcinogens.
For thousands of years, ginger has been used to treat ailments such as colds, arthritis, nausea, migraines, and hypertension. Gingers are versatile superfoods that can be taken internally by adding them to your dishes as a spice, by making a tea out of it, or by externally applying ginger to the skin.
Superfoods do sound like a superhero because they do! Superfoods are not only packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but it also makes you healthy without extravagant amounts of calories! With superfoods, you’ll keep fit and healthy at the same time while eating delicious and nutritious food!
Keep in mind that these superfoods may optimize and reinforce your health, but it is always advised to check with your physician before adding these foods to your diet.