Consuming a nutritional diet that’s rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins is one of the key parts of living a healthy and sophisticated lifestyle. Nutritionists say that foods loaded with nutrients not only make you feel happy and healthy, but also reduce the risk of chronic medical conditions by providing several health benefits.
You have most likely heard about ‘superfoods.’ Superfoods describe those foods that make you feel great, look great, and also help you live a healthier and longer life. However, what are ‘superfoods’ and how have they earned the title? In this blog, we will be looking at some of the most popular and commonest superfoods that ensure extra nutrient punch if you incorporate them into your daily diet.
What is a superfood?
While there is no specific definition of ‘superfood,’ but we’d like to tell you that foods that are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals are responsible for smells and colors). Superfoods are mostly plant-based, however, certain dairy and fish also make the cut.
Some examples of most common superfoods are: kale, kefir, almonds, salmon, and acai berries just to name a few. Since there’s no specific definition of superfoods, any food with loads and loads of nutrients can be put into this category.
Benefits of superfoods
The high mineral and vitamin content found in superfoods help your body keep chronic diseases at bay while ensuring your overall wellbeing. When incorporated into a well-balanced diet, superfoods happen to promote your heart health, improve energy level, reduce aging effects, and manage weight.
Antioxidants in superfoods help prevent coronary heart disease as healthy fats reduce the risk of heart attacks. Fiber found in superfoods prevents digestive problems and diabetes as phytochemical has ample health benefits including minimizing the chances of developing cardiovascular ailments. Superfoods are also popular for their protective nature as they work to protect your organs from various toxins, help reduce cholesterol, lower inflammation, and regulate metabolism.
How does a diet that’s rich in superfoods help your health?
It is important to know that superfoods are although good for your mental and physical health, they also provide nutrients that alone contribute to one’s day-to-day mood. Eating too much of any food is detrimental to mind and body both and at a certain point of time your body stops benefitting from the same nutrients it’s getting. This is why a variety of colors and types in your platter is important.
No food can provide you all the essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants your body needs. It is critical that you eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods so you can obtain all the health benefits your body requires. If you think, eating too much of any food can prove detrimental – well, it’s true. This is why nutritionists advise to well-portion your meals. A well-portioned diet filled with nutrient-dense foods is the only way to live a long and healthy life.
The picture of a well-balanced diet contains vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and legumes while limiting the consumption of bad fats, refined sugar, and sodium. When you combine a well-balanced diet with a well-guided workout regime – you are meant to go a long healthy way. Physical activities to be incorporated with a healthy diet is highly advisable, for it has double health benefits.
Here are some of the popular superfoods
When incorporating superfoods into your regular diet, make sure they are unprocessed and of natural varieties to ensure that they offer the most health benefits. Foods could easily lose their nutritional superiority when processed and sugar is added to enhance the flavor. For instance, green tea is rich in antioxidants that your body needs, however, it is often brewed with plenty of sugar or milk, killings its health benefits.
Acai berries grow in Central and South America. They are the fruit of the Amazon palm tree. Acai berries are rich in healthy fats, Vitamins B, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. For they have these qualities, they successfully make it to the category of ‘superfoods.’ Many studies conducted over the years show that acai berries help repair and suppress oxidative damage while helping maintain a normal blood sugar level. There are other berry varieties too which include blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries – they all are rich in vitamins, phytochemicals, and soluble fiber. Certain plant compounds and antioxidants found in berries apparently slow down the development of fatal cells and protect cognitive and memory function.
There are many like you, who have not heard of kefir, however, it is one of the foods that are rich in probiotics. Kefir is a fermented and cultured beverage prepared from raw milk and kefir grain. It is a yogurt-like beverage that prides itself on having a high amount of Vitamins B, calcium, potassium, and protein. The most powerful benefit of kefir is its probiotic properties. They can improve the ratio of healthy bacteria residing in your gastrointestinal tract, prevent diarrhea, treat abnormal bowel syndrome, and also lower gastrointestinal infection. For the reason kefir fermented, if you are lactose intolerant, you can too enjoy its benefits despite the fact that this food item is made from milk only.
Avocados are best known for their own unique set of health benefits which include reducing cholesterol, reducing chemotherapy side effects, easing up arthritis. This superfood is loaded with monounsaturated fats which promote then levels of good cholesterol. Avocado is dense with Vitamins B6 and E that aid in with protection of your tissues from free radicals, forming red blood cells, promoting skin health, and producing glycogen. Avocados also help body enthrall carotenoids – which are plant pigments accountable for yellow, orange, and bright red colors in other vegetables and fruits. Carotenoids are good, for they contain Vitamin which helps reduce the risk of developing eye degeneration, and heart disease.
Kale is a commonly known superfood. It is a leafy green vegetable that contains a high level of Vitamins A, C, and K along with manganese, iron, antioxidants, and calcium. This superfood is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in calories. This also helps combat inflammatory conditions, for example, asthma, autoimmune disorders, and arthritis. There are other leafy greens such as collard greens, spinach, broccoli, mustard green, Swiss chard rich in vitamins and which help prevent blood clots, support vision/bone health, prevent common heart disease risks, and boost metabolism.
Salmons are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for lowering the risk of chronic cardiovascular diseases. Incorporating salmon into your diet will help reduce your blood pressure, inflammation and it also uplifts your moods. Salmons is also loaded with selenium and Vitamin D, which benefit your bones, nails, skin hair and also prevent cell damage. The American Heart Association recommends salmon or any fatty fish consumption at least twice a week.
Very few address it as a superfood, but a large number of people on earth use it as a super spice. Ginger is indeed, superfood as it helps boost your immune system, which further helps combat infections and so protect you against life-threatening diseases. Ginger has been in use for thousands of years as a treatment for digestive problems, muscle pain, sore throat, and nausea, however, it has also gained popularity for helping reduce blood sugar level and inflammation. You can add ginger to your meal as a spice, prepare a drink such as herbal tea. Ginger has many benefits than meets the eyes.
Sweet potatoes are a brilliant source of vitamin A/B6/C, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and iron. All these nutrients help prevent cardiovascular diseases and keep you looking healthy/younger while improving the immune system, maintaining healthy teeth, skin, bones, and vision. Since sweet potatoes taste sweet, they never need extra butter, salt, or cream which are typically added to them for an enhanced flavor.
Quinoa is one of the most consumed, widely-used, and appreciated superfoods or you can also call it a super grain. It is high in protein and fiber. In fact, this superfood comprises more protein than any other grain on earth. Also, Quinoa serves a load of potassium and iron, besides high levels of protein. This superfood is technically a seed, which is naturally gluten-free and if often consumed as an alternative to rice. On top of all these benefits and properties, quinoa is also a brilliant source of several minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Any kind of superfoods are packed with additional nutrients and so they make an ideal choice to add to your daily diet.
Indigenous people have been consuming cacao for over 3000 years. And, now that modern science exposes the healthy and beneficial chemicals that reside within cacao – it has become easy to reason out why this food is so prized. Cacao powder comprises over 300 different chemical compounds. You can use cacao in many different ways by adding to different foods and beverages.
Add it to a smoothie or sprinkle it over a fresh fruits. You can also go for rich cacao brownies and tec.
Maca is an adaptogenic plant, meaning it serves your body an ability to resist or adapt to what’s new or around, such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Many researches, after years of studies, have now found out how Maca works in your body. It gives you a shot of energy. This superfood has a reputation as it aids in reproductive tissues and sex drive in men and women. Some also believe that it revs up sperm count, eases up on menopausal symptoms, and improves erections. All these facts are claimed by scientists from top universities and research centers.
8 superfoods that are worthy of this title
To speak from a nutritional perspective, foods with the highest number of nutrients are categorized as ‘superfoods.’ These foods provide health benefits and are available in abundance in today’s market. Although many foods can be addressed as ‘superfoods,’ but you need to understand only foods that provide only one or two nutritional values are not superfoods. For example – quinoa is a superfood because it provides 5 grams of fiber, 58% of Manganese, 30% of Magnesium, 28% of phosphorus, 19% of Folate, 18% of Copper, 15% of Iron, 13% of zinc, 9% of potassium, over 10% of vitamins B1, B2 and B6, small amounts of calcium, B3 and vitamin E. Moreover, it contains the Plant Compounds Quercetin and Kaempferol.
Here are 8 superfoods that are totally worth the ‘title’ –
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Nuts and Seeds
5 superfoods to improve your gut health
Digestive issues such as constipation, gas, and diarrhea have been affecting millions in western countries. With 15 percent of people experiencing severe gut sensitivity every year calls for a serious look into irritable bowel syndrome. Here are 5 most effective superfoods that help with gut sensitivity:
- Whole Grains
- Leafy Greens
- Lean Protein
- Low-Fructose Fruits
Besides, here are 9 superfoods that help rev your gym workout
If you are an uncompromising gymmer, you must be looking for something that’s nutritious as well as delicious to eat. Read to know what foods can serve you both before and after workout–
Every fitness journey lives through its own ups and downs. Workout gets specifically bumpy when you are feeling physically and emotional low and sore. If you feel exhausted from your past 3-day workout, you must be missing out on your daily nutrition intake. Muscle recovery is critical after a heavy-lifting workout session, while protein is necessary before a workout to boost energy.
So, if you’re planning to reap the benefits of your gym workout, make sure your diet includes foods that are rich in minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein. Putting spring back on your workout regime, you need to eat mindfully, meaning you need to focus on whole foods diet. Below are some of the superfoods that have proven to rev up gym workouts –
- Chia seeds
- Acai Berries
Andean Star is a largely trusted producer and supplier of highest quality organic superfoods, such as organic quinoa, organic cacao powder, and organic maca root powder across the U.S.A. We have been a go-to choice for millions of Americans for the best quality quinoa, maca root powder, and cacao powder.
Of many other things, we pride ourselves on maintaining one of the largest inventories for superfoods available at a much more competitive price.