Eating a nutritious diet rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals are one of the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle. Foods rich in nutrients make you feel great and may even reduce your risk of certain chronic health complications.
Most likely, you have heard the term superfoods. This term is often associated with food that will supposedly make you feel good, look great, and live longer and healthier.
But what are superfoods, and what is all the hype about them? We have taken a closer look at these superfoods and analyzed those that are packed with extra nutrients, and highlighted them below.
Superfoods are considered to be a nutrient powerhouse that provides large quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals. Usually, most superfoods are plant-based, but some fish and dairy also fall under this category.
Superfoods contain high levels of vitamins, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and minerals, helping to prevent diseases and boost your health. When incorporated into a diet, these foods can:
- Boost weight loss
- Promote heart health
- Improve energy levels
- Reduce the effects of aging
- Prevent some types of cancer
- Reduce inflammation
- Prevent diabetes
Fish are a useful source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent heart disease. Fish with high amounts of omega-3 content include mackerel, tuna steaks, salmon, trout, sardines, and anchovies.
Berries are high in fiber, and their rich colors mean that they have high reserves of antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients. The high number of antioxidants in the berries is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and other inflammatory conditions. Berries are also effective in treating various digestive and immune-related conditions when used alongside conventional medical therapies. The most common berries include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries.
Whole grains are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. They also contain minerals, vitamin B, and phytonutrients. Research has shown that grains have numerous health benefits, including improved type 2 diabetes management, reduced cholesterol and blood pressure.
Eating grains also help in weight management due to their ability to improve their feelings of fullness. Usually, I am keen when buying bread from supermarkets. I only pick those that are 100% whole wheat. If you don’t like bread, you can try having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
These include brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnips, and radishes. Undoubtedly, they are a good source of vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals, including thiocyanates, indoles, and nitriles, which help fight against some cancer types.
Nuts and seeds are a rich source of fiber, heart-healthy fats, and vegetarian protein. They also have a good amount of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help protect against oxidative stress. Seeds and nuts have been shown to protect against heart disease. Some of the nuts and seeds you can include in your diet include almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, hemp seeds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts, among others.
Kefir is a fermented drink made from milk. It is rich in proteins, B vitamins, calcium, probiotics, and potassium. Kefir is similar to yogurt, but it has more probiotic strains than yogurt. Kefir, yogurt, and other probiotic foods are associated with numerous health benefits, including low blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, improved digestion, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from olive tree fruits. It contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Including olive oil in your diet may help to reduce inflammation and your risk of certain diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Olive oil also contains antioxidants such as vitamins E and K, which can help protect against cellular damage from oxidative stress.
I encourage replacing margarine or butter in rice and pasta dishes. Alternatively, you can sprinkle some over vegetables or use it as a dressing.