Superfoods have been a buzzword in the health and wellness industry for quite some time now. But what exactly are they?
Superfoods are a group of foods that are believed to be nutritionally dense and provide a host of health benefits. Most health experts recommend including them in your diet as often as possible to improve your overall health. They are a great way to add more nutrients and health benefits to your diet.
Here are some of the top superfoods and their benefits:
- Berries – Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber. They have been shown to improve cognitive function, protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer, and reduce inflammation.
How to include them: When berries are not in season, it is just as healthy to buy them frozen. Add to yogurt, cereals, and smoothies, or eat plain for a snack.
- Leafy greens – Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They have been shown to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
How to include them: Try varieties such as spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or mustard greens. Throw them into salads or sauté them in a little olive oil. You can also add greens to soups and stews
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds such as almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss.
How to include them: Add a handful to oatmeal or yogurt or have as a snack. But remember they are calorically dense, so limit to a small handful. Try the various types of nut butters such as peanut (technically a legume), almond, or cashew. Nuts are also a great accompaniment to cooked veggies or salads.
- Salmon – Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. It is also high in protein and vitamin D.
How to include it: Buy fresh, frozen, or canned fish. Fish with the highest omega-3 content are salmon, tuna steaks, mackerel, herring, trout, anchovies, and sardines.
5. Avocado – Avocado is rich in healthy fats, fiber, and potassium. It has been shown to improve heart health, lower cholesterol levels, and promote weight loss.How to include it: Mash it through with a fork until it’s soft and easy to eat. Sliced – Sliced avocados go well in breakfasts or salads.
- Turmeric – Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been shown to improve brain function, lower the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
How to include it: You can add turmeric powder to food. It’s often used in dishes like curry, soups, and roasted meat.
- Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and improve cognitive function.
How to include it: This can be eaten as purchased but don’t go over board!
While these are just a few examples of superfoods, there are many others that can provide similar health benefits. There are even superfoods for your pet!
It’s important to remember that there is no one food that can provide all the nutrients your body needs. It is also important to have a balanced and varied diet that includes a variety of superfoods as well as other healthy foods. Lastly always consult a physician when making any dietary changes.
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