Superfoods are nutritionally dense foods that are believed to be highly beneficial for your health. These foods are loaded with various nutrients like antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber with minimal calories. These nutrients are then critical in preventing heart disease, diabetes, and providing a host of other benefits. Below are some of the top ten superfoods and their benefits.
1. Leafy green vegetables
People often consider spinach, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, and beet greens as superfood vegetables. These veggies contain plenty of vitamins A, B, E, K, and C, as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The high water and fiber content in leafy greens help in preventing constipation and promotes regularity along with a healthy digestion system.
Despite the high-fat content, avocadoes contain beneficial monounsaturated fat that is linked to reducing susceptibility to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Avocados help in tissue and blood regeneration and stabilizing blood sugar. They are also filled with fiber and are an excellent source of the antioxidant lutein that is associated with skin and eye health. It is no wonder that Australians love their avocados.
Blueberries are the antiaging superfoods that are full of antioxidants, like anthocyanins, that improve brain function and vision. Research shows that consuming blueberries helps to slow down impairments in memory and motor coordination that come with aging. They also reduce the inflammation linked to nearly all chronic diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
A tasty and highly nutritious superfood, salmon is full of healthy fats, B vitamins, selenium, protein, and potassium. It also contributes omega-3 fatty acids that are known to offer multiple health benefits, like reducing inflammation and minimizing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Garlic lowers overall blood fat and cholesterol levels, helping to avoid clogged arteries. Patients with heart disease can reduce their odds of getting heart attacks by adding three cloves of garlic per day into their diet. Garlic is also an antiviral and antibacterial, which boosts tolerance to infections and colds.
Rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber, almonds are superfoods that help to reduce cholesterol. Like most nuts, eating almonds in a low cholesterol diet may lower your potential for heart diseases. These nuts also help to support weight loss as their fiber, monounsaturated fats, and protein leave you feeling full, preventing overeating.
7. Dark Chocolate
The bitter dark chocolate variety is excellent for your health. These benefits come from the antioxidants and flavanols, which are the same beneficial nutrients found in apples, cranberries, and strawberries. When consumed moderately, dark chocolate has few calories and helps to lower LDL cholesterol and avoid plaque accumulation in the arteries.
Eggs offer an excellent quality of protein, consistently outranking beef, milk, soy, and whey. Besides containing all the essential amino acids, whole eggs contain vitamins, antioxidants, selenium, phosphorus, and iron. The egg yolk contains choline that helps to protect brain and heart function and also to prevent fat and cholesterol accumulation within the liver.
Eating pomegranates give you nearly double the number of antioxidants in green tea and red wine. The juice of this superfood also reduces plaque formation, which prevents stroke and heart disease. Research also shows that pomegranate juice can help slow down aging.
Mushrooms have been used for decades in ancient eastern medicine practices due to their healing properties, particularly the shiitake, reishi, and maitake varieties. Mushrooms like maitake can prevent cancer and even deal with the adverse effects associated with radiation and chemotherapy. Meanwhile, shiitake mushroom consumption can lower blood cholesterol by nearly 45%.
Remember to include superfoods in your diet on top of your healthy, well-balanced nutrition. Eating these nutrient-rich foods with poor nutrition will not provide any protection from health problems and chronic ailments. Instead, your aim should have a varied and nutritious diet that includes these superfoods and other healthy foods and not just limiting yourself to individual foods.