Image courtesy of True Health.
A superfood is a food that contains a lot more nutrients than the average food. Superfoods aren’t just healthier than most foods, they provide the maximum nutritional benefits that you can get from any one food item.
Every food contains certain vitamins that they’re known for, but most don’t contain nearly the amount that foods designated as superfoods do. Superfoods are also low in calories, which makes them great low-calorie vehicles for nutrients. Superfoods contain lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants among other beneficial properties. Including more of these foods into your diet will provide your body with many great benefits.
Luckily, just because these foods are ultra healthy doesn’t mean they lack in flavor. Many superfoods are delicious and also easy to add into your diet. They can be eaten plain as well as in a variety of ways. These foods can boost your immune system and help prevent a host of harmful illnesses. These illnesses can include heart disease, stroke, and cancer. They are very common illnesses within our society that have debilitating effects on the people who suffer from them. Any food that can help you avoid those harmful illnesses is indeed a superfood!
Superfoods and their Benefits
Several delicious foods are known as superfoods.
Superfoods are often filled with antioxidants, healthy fats, phytochemicals, and fiber. They contain vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and many other heart healthy properties. Each of these serves a different function in the body and exists in different amounts inside of different superfoods. It is beneficial to add any superfood to your diet, but knowing the benefits of each can help you decide on your favorites!
Berries are a superfood because of all the antioxidants found inside them. They are a source of several different antioxidants and have the highest antioxidant levels of any other fruit. Those antioxidants help to protect against harm from free radicals in the body. They also help to reduce oxidative stress. You can get these benefits from any berry you can think of.
That includes blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and goji berries. If you want to add berries to your diet, having smoothies and smoothie bowls is one way to do it. You can also make berry sauce to pour onto other foods like pancakes.
Tea is a superfood because of the amount of catechins inside. A catechin is a type of antioxidant flavonoid that exists in tea in large amounts. It serves to modulate the immune system. It even serves to regulate gene and protein expression. The bitterness in tea’s flavor is due to the effect of catechins. They come together to form the tannins found inside of tea. These catechins exist in the largest quantities in green tea. Green tea is the most commonly enjoyed tea and can be had hot, cold, or in latte form.
Garlic has been used for its medicinal properties for several centuries. It has been used for its antifungal, antibiotic, and antiviral properties by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese. They used it to cure a variety of illnesses just as garlic is often used to treat illnesses today. Garlic can act as a blood thinner, which is something that can help lower cholesterol. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which gives it its pungent scent and flavor, and also causes the body to eliminate excess cholesterol.
Leafy greens are well known to be super healthy, but the extent of the benefits they provide may not be as well known. Leafy greens are loaded with vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin A contributes to healthy vision, Vitamin C boosts the immune system, and vitamin E is important for the health of your organs and your skin. They are also high in vitamin K, which contributes to bone health. Leafy greens that you can add to your diet include kale, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, collard greens, swiss chard, turnip greens, bok choy, and watercress. When it comes to greens, the options are abundant! You can enjoy them raw or cooked, and added to many different meals.
Turmeric is known as a superfood because of the effects of its main active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects. This compound is found in turmeric in relatively small amounts, and so it isn’t possible to get enough to notice an effect if you’re only using small amounts of turmeric to season your food. Turmeric is the healthiest spice out there, which is why you can consume it in other more beneficial ways. You can find turmeric tea, turmeric milk, and even turmeric supplements.
Avocados are a popular savory fruit that possesses over 20 vitamins and minerals. Avocados are also high in healthy fats, which can keep your body feeling full and nourished for longer. Fat also helps in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K. Eating avocados alongside other nutrient dense foods will help your body absorb more of the vitamins. And adding more avocados to your diet is not a difficult task! You can enjoy it on toast, in salads, and even as guacamole.
Salmon is the most nutritious fish you can eat. One reason it’s considered a superfood is because of its high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids affect your physical as well as your mental health. They help to improve heart function, lower inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Salmon also contains several minerals such as selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. It has a delicious flavor and can be eaten alongside any meal.
Chia Seeds are the highest plant based vehicle for omega-3 fatty acids. They contain all 9 of the essential amino acids that can’t be created by the body. They are also rich in fiber, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. These compounds help prevent the development of serious and harmful illnesses. To enjoy the benefits of chia seeds, you can add them to smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt. They will add an interesting texture to your meals but won’t alter the flavor.
Superfoods fill us with more nutrients per serving than the average food does. They make a rich addition to anyone’s diet, especially when eaten with a variety of nutrient dense foods.