To live a healthy life, you will need to eat foods of all classes in the right proportions. There are, however, some foods that are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants that can give you a health boost. These foods are referred to as superfoods. Most nutritionists will argue that there are no superfoods as you need all food classes in the right proportions for your diet to be complete. However, it cannot be denied that these “superfoods” contain nutrients in greater concentration than other foods and provide the body with different health benefits.
Although most people are aware of which foods are hazardous, there is also a small group of foods that are thought to have healing properties and support overall health. These superfoods include green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, chicken, and even dark chocolate, filled with some of the most important nutrients for the body’s maintenance and function.
Benefits of Superfoods
- They help to treat diabetes and high blood pressure
Flavonoids, which have been discovered to reduce the risk of heart attacks, are found in abundance in berries. Berries are also an excellent source of amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and fibers.
- They help to reduce cholesterol in the blood
Grapes contain quercetin, a flavonoid that has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can protect the body against the effects of cholesterol. Fish is another food that helps to protect the body against cholesterol. Fish contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the body’s cholesterol content. Soybeans contain isoflavones which have been proven to be inhibitors of unhealthy cholesterol.
- They help to manage the symptoms of menopause
Isoflavones can be given the title of “super chemical,” as, besides their anti-cholesterol properties, they also help prevent osteoporosis in women at menopause. They do this by bumping up the mineral density of the bones, reducing bone loss.
- Superfoods protect your heart
Flavonoids make an appearance once again concerning the safety of your heart. Superfoods such as berries, dark chocolate, and grapes all contain flavonoids and help to protect your heart. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish also help to regulate your heart’s rhythm and promote overall heart health. Grapes are another superfood that helps keep your heart healthy due to them containing the polyphenol Resveratrol.
- Superfoods boost your immune system
Low-calorie, high omega-3 fatty acid superfoods are beneficial for your immune system. Green leafy vegetables and foods such as ginger help to boost your immunity. Vitamins A, B, and C and iron and magnesium are great for your immune system. Flavonoids found in dark chocolates, berries, and grapes also play an important role in the strength of your immune system.
- They help to reduce your risk of cancer
Many superfoods contain substances that help reduce your risk of cancer. Fruits like avocados contain carotenoids which help you fight the onset of cancer. Green leafy vegetables contain great vitamins to help prevent some types of cancer. Superfoods high in antioxidants, which their bright colors can identify, also help prevent cancer. Tea has been used in Chinese medicine to help cleanse the body and prevent certain diseases, cancer inclusive.
- They can be remedies for digestive problems
Fruits, vegetables, and seeds are high in fiber which helps to aid digestion and prevent constipation.
How to Incorporate Superfoods into Your Diet
Despite the nutritional value of superfoods, you have to combine these foods with those of other classes to enjoy a healthy diet. However, you do not need to look for a special superfood tag when you buy your groceries.
You do not have to expend more than you currently do on food to incorporate superfoods into your diet. Leafy vegetables, for example, are a superfood, and just about any grocery will have them in stock. They will also provide the same benefits you will obtain in superfood-tagged foods usually priced higher.
The best way to enjoy the benefits of superfoods is to buy those in season so you can have them fresh. You should buy those available in your locality as this will ensure that you get the freshest produce with all of the nutrients preserved. To reap the maximum benefits of superfoods, replace the processed foods in your diet with fresh ones. This will greatly improve your health.
Observe the colors of the food you consume. Antioxidants are often present in richly colored foods. If you find out you have brown or other dull-colored foods, you most likely consume a diet low in antioxidants.
Beef and poultry contain unhealthy fats. You should consider replacing them in your diet with fish or tofu. To increase their nutritional value, you should garnish your soups and stir-fries with green vegetables.
When you take cereals and baked goods, add berries and fruits. If possible, add fruits to every meal, including snacks. You can replace baked snacks with nuts and seeds like Brazil nuts, groundnuts, sunflower seeds, and cannabis seeds. Cannabis is not illegal in certain states and you can order cannabis seeds online from a reputable seed bank like Herbies. Dry foods without salt and sugar are also nice snack alternatives.
Watch Out for These in Your Search for Superfoods
A lot of supermarkets brand supplements as superfoods. You should be careful of these as they do not contain nutrients in their fresh form. The nutrients contained in supplements are degraded and are not like the real deal.
Many supplements contain substances that can have negative side effects on your body. Supplements can also tamper with your medications and prevent them from working the way they should in your system. Supplements can be dangerous as they can poison the vitamins and minerals in your food and system.
To stay safe when you use supplements, you should make sure to use only FDA-approved ones. You should be wary of products that make claims that are too good to be true, such as “this product works better than prescribed medicine” and “this product has no side effects”. You can also contact a healthcare provider for information before you purchase supplements.
The addition of superfoods to your meals helps to make your diet complete. Combined with regular exercise, you can live a healthy life and prolong your lifespan.