Superfoods: what are they & how to add them to your diet
Super food for super humans? You bet! Superfoods really do have high and valuable nutritional content and that in itself makes them super over all others. It is very likely that you are already consuming at least one, if not more, of these foods, and if you are not, it is never too late to start or add more to your daily diet.
What are superfoods?
In essence, superfoods are certain legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains that are rich in compounds, which promote healthier living.
The term superfood is perceived to be a marketing term and is rejected by most health professionals, dieticians and nutritionists, who argue that these “superfoods” are not a separate food group, nor is there enough research or foundation to validate these claims.
However, they cannot disagree that these foods have plenty of health benefits; they do happen to have bigger doses of minerals and vitamins that could help you prevent diseases, extend longevity and improve quality of life.
Superfoods in your diet
Incorporating foods that are full of nutrients in your daily eating regime is definitely a very good idea to lose some weight, or to simply feel better overall, and the key to a balanced diet is to include several of these in proportion.
EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Extra virgin olive oil is simply the juice of crushed olives, making it the most natural and of the highest quality of all cooking oils. It contains multiple nutrients that promote health, contains anti-inflammatory qualities, and its healthy fats seem to help you curb your appetite.
Turmeric is a plant that comes from the ginger family, which is used in India as a medicinal herb and as a spice, in Indian cuisine, to add flavor. It contains curcumin, a naturally occurring chemical that gives curry its yellow color and doubles up as a natural anti-inflammatory compound. Turmeric has potent medicinal characteristics, such as increasing the body’s antioxidant capacity, which protects you from free radicals.
H3: Kelp algae
Kelp is a type of seaweed that you have probably seen a lot in the ocean, and of course, in sushi. It is widely predominant in cold oceans, and it is also a sea vegetable that is packed with key enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, such as iodine.
Revered for thousands of years for its health benefits, Moringa Olefeira is a voluminous tree from North India that is full of bioactive plant compound, healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, protein and riboflavin (B2). Moringa can also decrease cholesterol levels.
Full of antioxidants called flavonoids, that are very healthy for the heart, the darker (and bitter) the chocolate, the better. Dark chocolate with 70 % cocoa is a good start. Just a couple of squares each day gives you a decent dose of magnesium, which is great for your mental, physical and immune health. It promotes bone strength and muscle and nerve function.
An integral element in Japanese tradition dating back to the 12th century, matcha is one of the most cherished drinks in Japan. Just one teaspoon of green matcha has more antioxidants than many other superfoods, which makes it one of the healthiest (and very delicious) drinks you can include in your diet. Its anti-inflammatory and energizing qualities also make it a great booster for workouts.
Ginger is a strong aromatic herb that has been used for centuries as a spice and also as folk medicine. Its bioactive ingredient gingerol has been demonstrated to strongly neutralize unhealthy free radicals. Ginger is a great natural source of copper, potassium, magnesium and manganese. It aids in strengthening the immune system and lowering cholesterol levels.
Açai is probably one of the most photographed and popular members of the superfood group, mainly because of its beautiful color, pleasant texture and amazing taste. These grape-like berries are full of antioxidants, calcium, fiber and healthy fats for the heart. They go well when combined with other fruits too!
The tiny chia seed comes from a native Central American plant from the mint family called Salvia hispanica. Little but powerful, chia seeds are packed with heart-healthy fat and fiber with very little calories. They have a high level of Omega-3 fatty acids and also contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, protein and manganese.
Blueberries, walnuts, spinach, kale and avocados are also nutritious and delicious members of the superfood group.
Superfoods have great nutritional value and promote better health, but so do many other foods that should also be part of your daily diet. A superfood diet will not make you healthier or help you lose weight faster and could even be harmful if consumed in excess.
If you enjoyed this article, try How to eat healthy