The human race is facing more and more health problems each day, with the rising number of individuals suffering from chronic diseases, viral infections, and obesity. There has never been a better time to start taking care of one’s health than now, and one of the best things that we can do is to start eating right.
Nutritionally dense and readily available, superfoods are packed with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, amino acids, and polyphenols that get rid of toxins in the body, protect your vital organs, and generally give you a healthier body.
But what are superfoods exactly, and what are the best ones you can find in any regular store? Let’s discuss what a superfood is and how you can incorporate it into your daily diet.
What is a Superfood?
There is no exact definition of what is considered a superfood. However, they are generally thought of as nutritional powerhouses packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help you maintain a healthy body. Superfoods do so through the proper disposal of waste, toxins, and protection of vital organs and tissues.
These foods are mostly low in calories and plant-based, with some being fish and dairy. They help people fight disease, help you lose weight, improve your immune system, and protect you from life-threatening and chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.
Despite having no standard definition, there are four factors that make a superfood, and these are:
- Excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients.
- Help reduce risks of certain illnesses, such as heart disease, certain types of cancer, degenerative diseases, or hypertension.
- Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds.
- Readily available in supermarkets, markets, and specialty stores.
Most Popular Superfoods Around
There are plenty of superfoods available in any regular grocery or fresh produce store. Because of this, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to incorporate into your diet. If you’re planning to purchase some superfoods in your next grocery run, here are 6 of the most popular and most accessible superfoods:
Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice are good sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. They also contain Vitamin B nutrients, minerals, and phytonutrients that help lower cholesterol levels, protect against heart disease, diabetes, and protects the organs from toxins.
Replace the oil you use at home with olive oil. It is a healthy alternative for cooking oil and a good source of Vitamin E, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fatty acids that help reduce the risk of heart disease. You can also sprinkle it on salads and sauces.
Cacao is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that maintain healthy cholesterol levels and may even lower your risk for certain cancers. If you don’t like using cacao powder on your drinks or food, you can opt for 70% dark chocolate bars as a snack.
This fermented food is packed with “good bacteria” that can help prevent the proliferation of bad bacteria in the body. It is also a good source of calcium and protein and makes for a great addition to smoothies, protein shakes, or as a dessert.
Berries such as blueberries, Acai berry, and Goji berries are rich in vitamins, soluble fiber, and antioxidants. Their high content of phytochemicals is known to reduce the risk of certain heart conditions, while Goji berries are known to protect vital organs such as the liver and kidneys. They’re perfect as snacks, added to smoothies, or a breakfast bowl with cereal and oatmeal.
6.Salmon and Other Fatty Fish
Salmon, sardines, mackerel, and other fatty fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids that are known to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Use olive oil when cooking with any of these fatty fish for a double dose of superfood.
The Bottom Line
While multivitamins are great for a healthier body, nothing beats superfoods when it comes to eating healthier. Add several superfoods in one dish or smoothie and enjoy the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that work hard to keep you healthy, prevent disease, and even fight bacteria and free radicals on your body.