6 Superfoods That Are Worthy of the Title. Whether you like it or not, the term “superfood” is here to stay. It refers to foods that offer a variety of benefits for your body or are very nutrient-rich, positively affecting your health. However, this does not mean that these foods will give you superpowers. Well, unless you consider eating healthy being a superpower, which many people might agree on in the world of fast foods and fad diets. Let us take a look at some of the best examples of “superfoods”.
Let’s get berried
Berries are your powerhouse of vitamins and antioxidants. They grow in nature freely, but some tend to be poisonous, so don’t just go out in the forest and grab at any berry you see. However, as far as the common berries are concerned, there is quite a choice and you have certainly heard about all of them: blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries…the list goes on. You can eat them alone, but a lot of people find they are great when added to a smoothie or your breakfast cereal.
Dive into seaweed and algae
Asian cuisine is synonymous with using a lot of sea products, including sea vegetables. They are usually packed with nutrients, vitamin K, fiber, iodine. Interestingly, with their marine origin, a lot of sea vegetables have bioactive compounds that are not present in most land-grown vegetables. The antioxidant effects are also present. As far as algae are concerned, you should consider spirulina as a well-known benefit bringer that contains protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, vitamins B-6, A and K. You can understand now why it is part of the “superfood” group.
Smell the garlic
It might not be the favorite plant food in the world, but it has a long history of being used for its medical benefits. Research shows that it may have benefits for your cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as boosting immunity. Garlic may also have some compounds that help prevent certain types of cancer. And let’s not forget its distinct flavor which has made it a staple in many cuisines over the centuries. It is certainly an acquired taste!
As nuts as seeds are a way for plants to procreate, they are very much packed with goodness and energy. They are calorically very dense, however, research has shown that they support weight loss and protect against heart disease. The nuts also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. You are probably familiar with all the common nuts: almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts. Seeds include those of sunflower, pumpkin, chia and hemp. As a fun side note – did you know that peanuts are actually not nuts at all? They are legumes, technically.
It’s Mr. Bean time
Speaking of legumes, they have been one of the staples of human food for millennia. Beans, soy, lentils, peas, alfalfa (and, it would appear, peanuts) have been a superfood for our ancestors as well as us, with their rich content of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamin B. They will help with losing weight and weight management, and most importantly, they will keep you feeling full, whereas other foods might not, which is important for any kind of diet. They also help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, which is always a bonus.
The dark leafy protector
Let us not forget the dark green vegetables. This superfood will keep your zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C and fiber needs in check, while simultaneously making sure to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You are probably familiar with these vegetables: spinach, turnip greens, kale, swiss chard, collard greens. Some people dislike some or all of them, but there are many ways to prepare them that can mask the disliked taste.
As you can see, “superfoods” are actually all around us – they are the foods that make up a lot of what we generally eat anyway, it’s just that we might be unaware of their actual benefits. The important thing is to try and experiment, even with those you dislike due to the way they look or smell. There are so many ways that people have learned to prepare them, removing the undesired parts and retaining the benefits.
Guest Post by Luke Douglas