Superfoods are foods that are thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health. They are mostly plant-based but also include some fish and dairy — blueberries, salmon and spinach are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the “superfood” label.
Research has shown that the ideal diet is one that is largely plant-based, with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthful animal products.
Superfoods are rich in:
* Antioxidants: These natural compounds protect your cells from damage and may lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
* Minerals: These essential nutrients (think calcium, potassium, iron and the like) help your body perform at its highest level.
* Vitamins: It’s better to get these organic compounds from natural foods — like superfoods — than from supplements.
* Fiber: Fiber helps decrease cholesterol, prevent heart disease and control glucose in Type 2 diabetes.
* Flavonoids: Found in plants, flavonoids (once called vitamin P) have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
* Healthy fats: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, a.k.a. “good fats,” help lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease and stroke.
According to a celebrity chef, all you need is to look around you, and find what is local to you. Not only will it be fresher and more potent, it will generally be cheaper, and probably more suited to what your body needs, as it will be seasonal. If you live in a city, go to farmers’ markets. These are the real superfoods that you should look out for.
Loaded with flavonoids, berries can help lower the risk of heart attacks in women. Berries in the superfoods category include blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and cherries. The easiest way to eat berries is, of course, to just eat berries. But you can also start your day with a berry smoothie or chopped berries in your cereal.
These root veggies have anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation in the body is linked to diseases like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma. Beets are easily available and can be taken in salads.
These seeds are all the rage nowadays. They are a good source of fiber, protein and antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. At just 100 calories per ounce, they’re also a low-calorie food. You can toss them into a smoothie or oatmeal.
Cinnamon is known to reduce inflammation, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Put cinnamon in your oatmeal, coffee and even over apple slices.
This flavorful veggie is known to boost immunity, work as an anti-inflammatory, improve cardiovascular health and more. Not to mention, it adds a tasty kick to just about any dish. Raw garlic is healthier than cooked garlic, but fermented black garlic, which is packed with powerful antioxidants, may be the healthiest of them all. Use it in pasta, lentils or in pickles.
This popular spice contains vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. The many health benefits of ginger include pain relief and blood sugar regulation besides nausea relief when you’re sick. Sprinkle it on veggies, in stir-fries and soups and even in your hot tea.
Green tea leaves are loaded with catechin, an antioxidant compound with anti-carcinogenic properties that help protect your cells from damage. Green tea is also associated with preventing cancer, fighting heart disease and lowering blood pressure, to name just a few benefits. Add green tea to your diet: enjoy a guilt-free, caffeine-free mug of green tea any time you need a boost.
These little low-cal legumes are high in protein, which is vital for cellular repair, making them a suitable swap for meat. They’re also loaded with folate, iron and potassium. Adding lentils to your diet is easy, as daal chawal is a national favourite!
Yogurt is rich in probiotics, full of good bacteria that support gut health, and they’re also a good source of calcium and protein. They’re associated with cancer prevention and immune system stimulation. Make sure to choose yogurt without added sugar. Simply add freshly cut fruit to your yogurt and enjoy!
Bone broth and gelatin, made from pastured organic animals or wild animals, is a powerful gut healer that deserves a place in your weekly diet. Mexican-American actress and producer Salma Hayek in an interview once thanked bone broth for helping to keep her young. You can add it to soups and even smoothies.
Turmeric contains powerful medicinal properties, and has naturally-occurring anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce inflammation. It also dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity within the body. Even just as a tasty addition to curries, turmeric can positively impact cholesterol levels, help with joint pain, and help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil, and seed oil have many benefits. They give us immune benefiting components, antioxidants, have substances that trigger the inflame/anti-inflame healing process and more.