The importance of Superfoods
Diet plays an important role in our health, but there is concern that too much focus on individual foods may encourage unhealthy eating. Processed foods fuel weight gain. Superfoods support weight loss!
Thankfully, nutritious food is available, if you know what to look for. Let us help you to navigate grocery aisles with ease. You’ll feel good about the nutritious items filling your cart the next time you shop. When you’re armed with a great superfoods list, you can’t go wrong in the store.
Though there is no legal or medical definition, superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don’t.
The superfoods trend exploits the fact that healthy lifestyle choices, including diet, can reduce our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The food industry wants to persuade us that eating some superfoods can slow down the aging process, lift depression, boost our physical ability, and even our intelligence.
Many of us want to believe that eating a single fruit or vegetable containing a certain antioxidant will zap a diseased cell. The problem is that most research on superfoods tests chemicals and extracts in concentrations not found in the food in its natural state.
Foods that have been elevated to superfood status in recent years include those rich in antioxidants (such as beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, E, flavonoids, and selenium) and omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidants are chemicals thought to protect against the harmful effects of free radicals, which are chemicals naturally produced in every living cell and known to cause cell damage.
Six Vegetables described as superfoods
Contain lycopene, an antioxidant rarely found in other foods. Studies suggest that this superfood could protect the skin against harmful UV rays, prevent certain cancers, and lower cholesterol. Plus, tomatoes contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
As if you needed yet another reason to love tomatoes. They’re versatile and tasty enough to be included in literally hundreds of recipe types. These fabulous orbs may be big-time cancer fighters. Vitamins A and C help to battle back against free radicals, which can cause cell damage.
Tomatoes are one of those superfoods that can do almost anything. They make an excellent and flavorful filler for pasta and casseroles. They taste delicious in soups and stews. They’re yummy on sandwiches and veggie burgers. They blend well into juices and salsas. The possibilities for tomatoes are almost endless!
The lowly mushroom deserves to stand on a pedestal because of its medicinal uses. This superfood may help control blood pressure and lower your cholesterol. And yes, like many other foods on this list, mushrooms may fight cancer, too.
Mushrooms contain selenium, an antioxidant that helps to control the damage done by free radicals. This, in combination with mushrooms’ offering of Vitamin E, works to protect cells and will help reduce signs of aging.
They offer up a healthy dose of potassium, and research shows that diets that include natural sources of potassium are important in reducing high blood pressure because potassium lessens the effects of sodium on the body. This also helps to reduce the risk of stroke.
Because mushrooms are low in calories, but high in nutrients, they can be used to help you control your weight. Plus, these superfoods are versatile enough to be added to loads of delicious salads, soups, sauces, or other dishes.
It’s one of the top superfoods. If you’re not a fan of these leafy greens, it’s probably because you haven’t had them prepared in a way that suits your fancy. Thankfully, spinach is versatile, nutritious, and can taste delicious.
Spinach is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that can help boost your immune system, as well as fight cancer and other diseases. In addition to being one heck of a disease fighter, the flavonoids found in spinach can slow the signs of aging and keep your skin and hair looking young and your brain feeling sharp.
High in potassium and low in sodium, a winning combination in the defense against hypertension. The antioxidants found in spinach can also help to prevent inflammation that can damage the blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
Like most leafy greens, spinach is a good source of iron and can help you to feel energized and strong all day long. It also contains a fair amount of fiber to improve digestion and keep everything flowing smoothly.
Some people see pumpkins as something to carve once a year. Your friendly jack-o’-lantern also provides tons of fiber and may control blood pressure and normalize heart function. So this year, carve your pumpkin a few hours before dark and then bring in the flesh and seeds for cooking once the festivities are finished.
The antioxidants found in this superfood help to promote joint health and prevent inflammation. They are also a great source of fiber. This allows them to assist in flushing toxins from the body and keep everything flowing smoothly.
The high levels of Vitamin C in superfoods help to promote immune system function, and pumpkins contain lots of Vitamin A, protein, potassium, and zinc, too. This allows pumpkins to protect the eyes, regulate cholesterol levels, prevent arthritis and hypertension, and promote healthy skin and increased fertility.
In addition, pumpkin contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that has been known to lead to positive feelings and can help to fight depression naturally.
Oats are packed with delicious flavor and can easily be added to a number of healthy recipes. Their taste isn’t the only thing oats have to offer, though. Discover tasty ways to add this superfood to your meal plan.
Full of fiber, oats are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, and phytonutrients. They contain a special type of fiber that helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Magnesium works to regulate blood-sugar levels, and research suggests that eating whole-grain oats may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The next time you’re deciding between steel-cut oats or cereal for breakfast, opt for the oats. Oats contain a greater number of healthy vitamins and minerals than usual breakfast cereals. Studies show that eating three grams of fiber daily as part of a low-fat diet can lower blood cholesterol, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Steel-cut oats are a whole grain, and whole grains can help protect against a number of chronic diseases. Diets rich in whole grains, like oats, can prevent heart disease, some cancers, and obesity. These superfoods are loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber not only keeps everything moving smoothly, but it has been linked to weight loss, too!
This superfood has been used for centuries as food and medicine. These days, garlic is used to treat anything from high blood pressure and heart disease to certain types of cancer. Plus, studies suggest garlic extract can be used to treat yeast infections in women and prostate issues in men.
As a superfood may lower cholesterol, help with high blood pressure, fight against cancer, and even kill certain bacteria. Scientists believe that most of the garlic’s superiority is due to its sulfur-containing compounds.
Garlic contains close to 100 nutrients, but one in particular, allicin, appears to do the most good. Allicin is an amino acid that is not available when garlic is in clove form but is released when the garlic is crushed, cut, or chewed. It is allicin that gives garlic its strong smell.
In addition to allicin, garlic also contains phosphorous, zinc, potassium, selenium, polyphenols, and vitamins B6 and C. It is the total of all of these nutrients that makes garlic an excellent anti-inflammatory superfood.
There are much more superfoods vegetables available when it comes to your diet. Go ahead, fill up on these nutrient-packed foods—they can help you fight disease, feel more energetic and even lose weight.