There are many options to eating healthy – keto, paleo, vegan, etc. When you are already on this path, you might want to take the diet to a new level and go for superfoods! But what makes them superfoods and not just your usual?
Why are they called superfoods anyway? The term doesn’t have a lot of connection with nutritional or scientific studies. However, it is coined to mean any food loaded with a high amount of desirable nutrients. What makes these foods “super” is their massive impact on promoting health and preventing diseases.
Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute lists down the top ten superfoods that are beneficial to your health. If you haven’t yet, make sure to have them readily available in your pantry for a quick fix to meet your daily nutritional needs.
What are the top ten superfoods?
We advise you to acquaint yourself with the superfoods available in the market and constantly incorporate them into your diet, for they are high in vitamins and minerals. They can serve as an arsenal for your body to fight off unwanted diseases; hence, keeping you healthy.
It would be easier to promote overall health once you regularly include these superfoods in a well-balanced diet. They also play a role in weight loss, energy improvement, and ageing reduction. These are just some of the benefits of eating superfoods.
So, the next time you go to the grocery, these are the top ten superfoods you should add to your cart. Please take note of them!
1. Leafy Greens
You might have heard about leafy greens being healthy, so it isn’t surprising why they top this list. These vegetables are the best source for your dose of vitamins A, B, iron, calcium, and folic acid, which are necessary for strengthening your muscles, bones, and even teeth.
The loss of nutrients exists. There are varieties that you can eat raw or cooked. Suppose you have more time, research, so you maximize the greens that you eat. Spinach, for example, becomes denser when cooked so you can absorb iron, calcium, and beta carotene easier. It depends upon your menu for the day. Creativity is the way to make the most of them!
There’s no wrong way to take your veggies; however, dark greens are more nutritious when you cook them. They help your body break down even the toughest fibers, which aids your digestion to turn nutrients into bioavailable. Spinach, lettuce, and broccoli are at their healthiest when you eat them raw as cooking them would destroy their vitamin C.
Fiber is an essential nutrient, and it’s common to see people who don’t consume enough of them. If you have to boost this aspect in your body, berries can help you. Your digestion will thank you for them, and so as your whole system for these fruits decrease cholesterol, increase satiety, and enhance your glucose control.
Berries have high water content and the lowest GI against other fruits available. It is the reason why they are effective for weight loss. You can pick from these popular berries – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. One study from 2015 reveals that 12 pre-menopausal women who consume 65 calories as a snack eat less on their next meal.
Besides being a good fruit for digestion, berries are also food for the brain with their phytonutrients and anthocyanin. Research suggests that these enhance cognitive function and reduce age-related issues in one’s mental health.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also a part of your superfoods selection. They may not be given too much credit, but these wholesome groups are the best health booster. Yes, they don’t have a lot of colors, and are often in earthy hues, but this doesn’t mean that they are inferior.
Almonds, for instance, have the most nutrition compared to other nuts. Healthy Supplies, an online health food brand, dubbed almonds as the King of superfoods as it has become the best-seller of nuts famous for its total dose of calcium, fiber, magnesium and Vitamin E. People who are maintaining their cholesterol levels should also find them friendly.
On the other hand, Seeds have healthy fats and crucial antioxidants, minerals, and incredibly nutritious vitamins. When you make them a part of your diet, you’re subjecting yourself to a balanced eating habit that will be instrumental in reducing your blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol.
Chia, flax, cumin, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp are only some of the popular seeds still around up to this day. Take advantage of these seeds that are the most reliable source of healthy fats, fiber, antioxidant polyphenols, and vegetarian protein. Sprinkle them in your yogurt, salads, smoothies and oatmeal so that you can optimize their health benefits!
Yogurt is a probiotic food with detoxifying properties perfect for you to change eating habits to lose weight. It is considered one of the complete superfoods you can find in supermarkets packed with good bacteria.
If you have digestion problems, yogurt can help alleviate symptoms of bloating and improve your condition when you feel like going to the washroom frequently. Combine with other vegetables such as broccoli, and you can enjoy a healthy meal that can fight against gut inflammation.
It is also rich in vitamin D and B5, which are good for hair fall prevention. Because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, you can also use yogurt topically to restore your skin and prevent acne. Your body will thank you for its many benefits and nutrients such as zinc, calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, protein, etc.
Oh, to have an avocado toast for brunch! Avocados are superfoods packed with magnesium and good fats that are beneficial for your health. Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. And, because type 2 diabetes is often associated with magnesium deficiency, avocados can aid in combating risks for this disease.
Avocados are rich in fiber, folate and potassium, and healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These superfoods are great alternatives for saturated fats such as butter to lower the risk of cardiovascular illnesses.
Processed meats and red meat in supermarkets have high saturated fats in them. If you’re watching your fat intake, fish is your best alternative. Kinds of seafood, like fish, have omega-3 fatty acids with healthy benefits for your body. The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids help promote gut health.
For example, salmon and tuna have high concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fatty acids help decrease the risk of coronary diseases and heart failure.
7. Olive Oil
You probably have heard of virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. They gained popularity, especially in recent years, due to their health benefits. , Olive oil is the better alternative for butter, often the culprit for heart disease as it is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats.
It is rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin E, which provides its anti-inflammatory benefits. Moreover, olive oil can be used as a delicious salad dressing. You can use the oil in soups and marinades or add flavor to your meals. Not only does it promote good cholesterol in your body, but it can also help regulate your blood sugar. This is definitely one of the superfoods you should have in your pantry!
Ginger is one of the most underrated superfoods as it is packed with bioactive compounds and nutrients. It has anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidant properties that can help with your digestion and fight common colds.
It is known to provide relief from vomiting and nausea, and morning sickness for pregnant women. Some studies show the link of ginger intake to weight loss and prevention of obesity.
If you are experiencing pain in your body joints, topical ginger may help alleviate symptoms, too. To avoid osteoarthritis, you can incorporate ginger into your diet to reduce the risk of this disability.
Note, however, that ginger may cause stomach upset. As in any other food, eat (or drink, if in a juice or tea form) moderately.
There’s a reason why many like oatmeals for breakfast. It’s the best time to get your daily dose of soluble and insoluble fiber; plus, oatmeal is calorie-dense, too. It’s one of those natural superfoods rich in health benefits.
Because oatmeals are 100% whole grains, they maintain the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Oats have beta-glucan, which is the fiber responsible for reducing the reabsorption of cholesterol.
Due to its minimal processing, it’s also low in sodium but rich in protein and carbohydrates. All these are packed in one meal, and you get a good source of nutrition, including muscle maintenance and energy.
In another article here in Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute, apples are at the top of the list of superfoods for gut health. Hence, when the doctors tell you to eat an apple a day, it’s not just a catchphrase. That’s backed by science because apples are good for your gut and can help avoid risks of chronic inflammation.
Apples are superfoods rich in Vitamin C and strong antioxidants. This means you can avoid any lingering colds and have a stronger immune system. Additionally, these fruits help the lower free radical formation and stop the growth of cancer cells.
If you’re someone who likes snacks, apples are your best go-to superfoods. Did you know that a medium-sized apple is only under 100 calories? Daily apple intake can keep you satisfied compared to other fruits or snacks. As a bonus, you can even stay healthy and reduce the risks of heart diseases.
How to eat more superfoods in your diet?
Indeed, superfoods are super for a reason. Now, we take action, and the real question is – how do they become a regular in your meals? The most obvious initial step is to slide them in your grocery list as consistently as you can and eat them in these different ways:
Sprinkling is the easiest way to consume your superfoods, so you don’t have an excuse! This will work for seeds and nuts. Add them to your favorite meal!
Swapping may take some time, but with commitment, you should do it as naturally as you can. For example, swap your rice with fiber, or even the protein-rich quinoa, your mashed potatoes to sweet potatoes, and your sour cream to Greek yogurt.
Blending shouldn’t take much of your time too. You can create a nutrient powerhouse by blending coconut water, kale, spirulina, and your favorite fruit. A superfood smoothie will be a good meal replacement, and that should do the trick.
Naturally and healthily, coloring your food is also another technique that you can apply in superfoods. Don’t be afraid of the rainbows! There are many superfoods that you can color your food with. Berries, greens, potatoes – these are the choices waiting for you.
Sneaking greens in your everyday food is as simple as making a morning smoothie or a healthy salad. These are densed and won’t require cooking. You can also play around them on your plate during your day off. If not, make them the toppings of your meal, and you are all good!
A Superfoods diet for a healthier you
To maintain a healthy diet, remember two (2) things: variety and moderation. Just like Superman (or Supergirl) aren’t the sole heroes to save the world, you shouldn’t just rely on superfoods and nothing else.
Make your meals more exciting and flavorful by gradually adding superfoods to your diet, especially if you’re new to them. If you want to get started with a healthy diet rich in Superfoods, these recipes may be helpful to you.
Take heart; it’s not too late to choose a healthy lifestyle. Cognitive and Health Wellness Institute is here for you to provide the resources you need for a stronger, healthier you!