The term “superfoods” is now a buzzword that you find in the media, in the aisles of grocery stores, and even in your beauty shops. Some people use the word to describe foods that make you feel great, look great, and live a healthier and happy life.
So you tend to wonder, “What are superfoods?” and what makes it so important to have the prefix “super”?
We shall be answering these questions and more in this article, and we promise to keep it simple for you to understand.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
What are superfoods?
Superfoods are foods containing a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and offer maximum nutritional benefits. You can describe superfoods as “nutritional powerhouses”.
Most superfoods are plant-based and grow from the soil, but some dairy and fish belong to this category. Some good examples of superfoods include acai berries, kale, salmon, almonds, and kefir, to name a few.
How important are superfoods?
Superfoods have some specific properties that make them super important. These attributes include:
High nutrient density
Superfoods contain more nutrients per calorie. They are low in calories but healthy for the body. However, the property of a superfood may vary, depending on where it was grown and how you prepare it.
For example, quinoa contains a high amount of all nine essential amino acids required to make protein in the body, including lysine, which is not found in whole grains.
Rich in antioxidants
Superfoods are antioxidant-rich foods that help to protect against damages caused by free radicals. These free radicals are naturally produced in the body through metabolism, breathing, and exposure to UV rays, and these radicals attack protein, fat, and DNA in body cells.
Excess production of free radicals leaves you vulnerable to diseases and accelerates signs of aging. Taking superfoods is an excellent way to supply your body with antioxidants that bind with free radicals to neutralize their damaging effect on the body.
This way, antioxidants help lower your risk of severe health problems, including cancer, arthritis, stroke, immune deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, and respiratory diseases.
Some good examples of antioxidant-rich superfoods include blueberries, dark chocolate, strawberries, peaches, and asparagus.
Support gut health
Your gut health influences many bodily functions, including your immune system. Hence, you need to eat foods that supply high nutrients to your gut bacteria to keep your gut healthy.
Superfoods are high in nutrients and fiber, which help balance the gut microflora (microorganisms that thrive in your intestine) and reduce inflammation.
What are the best superfoods to include in your diet?
Now that you know the importance of superfoods, you may be asking, “What are the best options to include in your diet?” Below is a list of some of the superfoods that you incorporate into a well-balanced diet:
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, and blackberries
Berries generally are rich in antioxidants, which help ward off cancer-causing free radicals. Including these berries in your diet also help to lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases.
Pomegranates have anti-inflammatory properties that support your heart health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Dark green leafy vegetables
Vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and spinach, have a high fiber content, which helps you feel full longer. These dark green leafy vegetables are also an excellent source of vitamin C, K, folate, calcium, and iron, which help lower your risk of heart attacks, stroke, cancer, and even congenital disabilities.
Avocados are nutrient-rich and help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, and magnesium deficiency (associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes). They also supply your body with a good amount of vitamin A, which is linked to reducing the risk of heart diseases, cancer, and eye degeneration.
Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions are rich in vitamin B6, C, folate, and potassium. Eating these vegetables helps to lower your risk of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
When you pair these superfoods with a well-balanced diet, it helps boost your immune system, lower your risk of cancer and heart disease, and improve overall health.
Other types of superfoods you can add to your diet include:
- Maitake mushroom
- Camu Camu fruit
Is there a way to sneak more superfoods into your diet?
The truth is that many of us do not include enough superfoods in our diet daily. In fact, according to the CDC, Americans eat vegetables less than two times per day and fruits once a day.
So how do you sneak more superfoods to your diet every day? That’s not a problem! You can now include an organic superfood mix containing 50+ superfood veggies, fruits, herbs, and antioxidants to keep your body healthy, energized, and strong.
The light apple flavor of this natural mix makes it super refreshing, and you can add it to drinks, water, smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal – the possibilities are endless.