When somebody says ‘superfood,’ you might imagine – most commonly – a not-so-tasty-looking veggie that has the power to clean your body of all the toxins you consume during the day. Just like in those adverts with antiviral pills rescuing you from nasty infiltrators that make you feel ill during the flu season.
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So, does it mean you should eat superfoods – whatever they are – as much as you can? Luckily, no. Superfoods are certain foods that provide your body with the required nutritional properties when consumed in a limited amount.
Now is the time to learn what those superfoods are, their benefits, and how much of them you should consume.
Superfoods are the foods that are said to improve your overall health and well-being – hence, the prefix ‘super-.’ Superfoods – like kale, blueberry, and avocado – are very nutritious as they are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, etc.
Superfoods are important for your body and overall well-being. Although they won’t cure you from illness or make your immune system disease-proof, they will help you strengthen your invisible shield protecting you from what may come in the course of bad diet, the environment, and lifestyle choices.
Moreover, you don’t have to incorporate every single superfood into your diet – instead, you may choose the ones you like the most. Even a few foods – like dark green leafy vegetables – are enough to boost your energy levels and promote weight loss.
Here are some superfoods that your diet may be lacking:
Superfood seeds are small but mighty additions to your diet that can pack a big nutritional punch. These seeds are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and other health-promoting compounds that can help to improve your overall health and well-being. Eating just a small serving per day is enough to keep you going.
One of the most popular superfood seeds is chia seeds. These tiny seeds are a rich source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to boost their protein intake. They are also high in antioxidants and have been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Another superfood seed is flaxseeds. These seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, making them great for the digestive system and heart health. Flaxseeds can be easily incorporated into your diet by adding them to smoothies, salads, oatmeal, or baked goods.
Hemp seeds are another superfood seed that is gaining popularity. These seeds are high in protein, fiber, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source. Hemp seeds can be eaten on their own, added to smoothies, or used in place of other nuts and seeds in recipes.
Pumpkin seeds are another superfood seed that is often overlooked. These seeds are high in zinc, which is important for immune function. As if it wasn’t enough, they also contain magnesium, which is important for maintaining healthy bones and joints. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and are also high in antioxidants. They can be eaten on their own as a snack or added to salads or granola.
Nutritional Value in a Serving (30g) of Hemp Seeds
You’ve probably often heard that green tea is generally healthier to drink than black tea. Green tea offers numerous health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants, primarily catechins. Green tea catechins are said to have cancer-preventive properties.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, green tea has also been shown to have a number of other health benefits. It has been linked to improved brain function, including increased alertness and concentration, and may even help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great choice for those with conditions such as asthma.
Nutritional Value in a Serving (8 fl oz) of Green Tea
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
If you are looking for a healthy snack that also has a high concentration of healthy fats and protein, you should look into nuts.
One of the most popular superfood nuts is almonds. These nuts are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Almonds have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including improving bone health.
Another superfood nut is walnuts. These nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health and brain function. They are also a good source of antioxidants, including ellagitannins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improving brain function and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Pistachios are another type of superfood nut that is worth considering. These nuts are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats and are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, potassium, and zinc. Pistachios have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including improving heart health and aiding in weight loss.
Nutritional Value in a Serving (100g) of Walnuts
It’s time to replace your sunflower oil with olive oil for a few valid reasons.
Firstly, olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to improve heart health. Eating more than half a tablespoon of olive oil a day may result in a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Secondly, this superfood is also a rich source of antioxidants, specifically polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Thirdly, olive oil promotes skin health and can relieve skin inflammation.
At Kitchen Community, we always recommend using extra virgin olive oil as it is considered the highest quality oil. To incorporate olive oil into your diet, check out our International Food section to find mouth-watering Mediterranean diet recipes.
Nutritional Value in a Serving of 1 TBSP of olive oil
- Brown rice
If you aren’t sure what to eat for breakfast or dinner, try whole grains.
A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, bulgur is rich in fiber, protein, vitamin B, and iron. It’s very filling and goes great with main dishes and salads.
For breakfast, we recommend eating oats. Just like bulgur, oats have a high concentration of fiber and protein, along with iron and vitamins. Oats can be easily incorporated into your diet by adding them to smoothies or baked goods.
Other superfoods like brown rice and barley offer lots of vitamins and antioxidant properties. Brown rice is exceptionally good for people trying to lose weight.
Nutritional Value in a Serving of 1 cup of bulgur
All-time favorite sweet potatoes are used in many cuisines and also have lots of health benefits (otherwise, they wouldn’t be here on our list). If your body lacks vitamin C or A – this vegetable is a great source of nutrients. Sweet potatoes won’t return your sharp vision but will prevent it from worsening. When cooking, you may leave the skin on as the peel is high in fiber.
Sweet potatoes aren’t only tasty and can be easily incorporated into your diet, but they also offer many health benefits.
Nutritional Value in a Serving of 1 medium sweet potato
Pomegranates might be hard to open and get all the pomegranate seeds out, but it will be worth your time. The amount of vitamin C and vitamin A, along with iron and calcium, and potassium, provide numerous health benefits.
Earlier, we mentioned that green tea is antioxidant-rich – however, when comparing it to this fruit, pomegranate has a much higher concentration of antioxidants.
Consuming antioxidant-rich food helps to protect the body against oxidative stress, which can lead to a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Pomegranates are also a good source of polyunsaturated fats, which are important for heart health and brain function.
Nutritional Value in a Serving of 1 medium pomegranate
- Collard greens
You must have hated leafy greens as a child – and believe us, you weren’t alone. They just looked so strange and unappetizing. Fortunately, as we grow older, we start to acquire a taste for things we didn’t use to eat before, including leafy greens. But if you haven’t incorporated some lettuce or spinach into your diet, hurry up!
Fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, along with essential minerals and antioxidants – the standard nutritional value of a superfood, and leafy greens hold a central stage.
One type of leafy green that is particularly nutritious is kale. Kale is a type of cabbage that is high in antioxidants, specifically flavonoids and carotenoids, which have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and improving heart health. Kale is also a good source of fiber, protein, and a variety of essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K.
Another type of leafy green that is worth considering is spinach. Spinach is a good source of fiber, protein, and a variety of essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K. It is also high in antioxidants, specifically flavonoids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Spinach can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, including salads, smoothies, and soups.
Nutritional Value in a Serving of 1 cup of cooked spinach
The final food on our list is seafood – a superfood that everyone should eat at least twice a week. Seafood is high in nutrients and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that make it an important part of your diet.
One type of seafood that is particularly nutritious is salmon. Salmon is a type of fish that is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a variety of essential nutrients, including vitamins B12 and A and selenium. It is also a good source of antioxidants, specifically astaxanthin, which has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including improving heart health and reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. However, a higher concentration of astaxanthin is present in fresh salmon than in canned salmon.
Salmon isn’t the only superfood found in the sea – mussels, too, have all of the nutritious properties your body needs to function well.
Both sea superfoods can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and pasta dishes.
Nutritional Value in a Serving of 1 medium salmon steak
Five Reasons to Eat Superfoods
If you aren’t a fan of plant foods and aren’t really convinced to eat them – give us another chance to persuade you. We have the top 5 reasons for you to start eating superfoods today:
- Non-caffeine boost of energy: If you want to cut your caffeine intake, superfoods are a great alternative. Most of them are rich in vitamins and minerals that will reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels.
- Have better digestion: If you’ve been constipating, it is a red flag that your diet needs to be changed. Add some chia seeds and avocado – or other fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber – to improve digestion.
- Promote healthy weight maintenance: Superfoods are called so not only because they have proven health benefits but also due to being low in calories. If you want to have a balanced diet and consume as much as you did before, one thing you can do now is to incorporate blueberries, kale, and fatty fish into your diet.
- Promote your well-being: While you meditate and take a stroll, your mental health stabilizes and improves from being calm and connected with nature. Sadly, the same can’t be said about your body. It does benefit from regular walking, however, only if you maintain a healthy diet. Superfoods offer all the nutrients your body needs to improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of developing chronic diseases.
- Improve skin health: Ladies aren’t the only ones worrying about keeping their skin clean and pristine. If you struggle with acne, it could be directly connected to your diet. Superfoods like oily fish and avocados may reduce inflammation and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Improve brain function: Does spacing out seem familiar to you? Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. These nutrients can improve brain function and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. The same benefits are provided by eating walnuts and berries.
In short, superfoods are packed with nutrients and offer numerous health benefits.
If you have just started maintaining a healthy eating habit, superfoods are an indispensable part of it. Rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients, superfoods can help improve overall health and prevent chronic diseases. Let’s not forget that they provide their super nutritious properties only when consumed in a moderate amount.
Don’t go overboard with superfoods and remember to incorporate some of them into your diet. You can easily add superfoods to your smoothies, salads, and pasta dishes or enjoy them as snacks.
At Kitchen Community, we have a ton of recipes to help you jazz up your diet.