What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are various fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods that can power-pack your meals; further enhancing a healthy eating pattern. In fact, they are labeled as superfoods for their ability to keep the body in excellent condition. A superfood provides the body with a high dose of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help fight disease and naturally boost your health! They have numerous benefits for the body such as: lowering stress, fighting inflammation, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk of cancer. Below is a list of the most important superfoods that you can incorporate into your diet.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that possesses superfood qualities. It benefits the body by promoting heavy metal detoxification. Adding spirulina to your diet can help rid the body of dangerous toxins as well as bacteria and fungi. Spirulina is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Research has shown that spirulina can also help lower blood pressure levels, reduce cholesterol, improve heart health, and combat cell and DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Also, spirulina can help manage and prevent heart disease due to its antioxidant properties. This superfood can be taken in pill form or added to smoothies as a powder in order to supplement one’s diet.
Chlorella is a type of blue-green algae that contains healing phytonutrients. It is a nutritionally rich substance containing 60% protein by mass. Chlorella contains minerals such as aluminum, sulphur, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. Additionally, chlorella contains various vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, C, D, E, and K. Thanks to its ability to boost the immune system, detoxify heavy metals, and even fight cancer, chlorella is considered a superfood. Research has shown that chlorella can help lower the risk of cancer and reduce the negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Garlic is a popular culinary ingredient due to its distinct flavour, but it has also been used for its medicinal benefits for centuries. This plant is a good source of nutrients such as manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium and fibre. Garlic contains a compound known as allicin, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clotting, alleviate exercise-related muscle damage, and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties and antimicrobial effects. Research indicates that garlic may be effective in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, and supporting immune function.
Ginger comes from the root of a flowering plant indigenous to China. It’s used as both a culinary flavour enhancer and for its multiple medicinal properties. Ginger root contains antioxidants, such as gingerol, which may be responsible for many of the reported health benefits of this superfood. Ginger may be effective for managing nausea and reducing pain from acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. It may also reduce your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, dementia and certain cancers. Ginger is available fresh, as an oil or juice and in dried/powdered forms. It’s easy to incorporate into soups, stir-fries, sauces, and teas.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is closely related to ginger. Originally from India, it’s used for cooking and its medicinal benefits. Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric that has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects; making it the focus of most research surrounding turmeric. Studies show that curcumin may effectively treat and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. One drawback of using curcumin medicinally is that your body does not easily absorb it, but its absorption can be enhanced by pairing it with fats or other spices such as black pepper.
If you’re looking for new nutritious food to add to your diet, goji berries may be a good source. Packed with high vitamins and minerals, and dense protein value, they may help increase your overall well-being. Goji berries provide the body with nutrients that help boost the immune system, improve skin health, and work as a natural energy source. Research suggests that goji berries can help you feel better and boost your health. Additionally, as a superfood, the goji berry also fights cancer by reducing inflammation and strengthening the body’s ability to fight off disease.Goji berries anti-inflammatory properties, along with its ability to protect eye health, clean the liver, and stabilize blood sugar levels, make it a true superfood.
Quinoa is a grain-like seed that packs some serious nutritional prowess. With a mild, nutty flavor and a texture similar to rice or couscous, quinoa is one of the only grains or seeds that provide all nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce on their own. Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol, which are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits. These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects in studies.
Cacao beans and raw chocolate contain many important vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium, sulphur, zinc, and iron. Thanks to the powerful flavonoids they contain, cacao beans are considered a superfood. They help naturally lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and improve circulation to promote cardiovascular health. Furthermore, the antioxidants in cacao beans help protect the body against disease by fighting off free radicals that cause damage. Cacao beans can also help improve mental health by providing the body with a natural source of energy. Raw cacao powder is an alternative with similar nutritional benefits.
Chia seeds are loaded with high antioxidant content [18, 19]. These tiny seeds can help improve skin, slow ageing signs, restore digestive health, and even help treat diabetes. Furthermore, they improve heart health, reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, and even help protect the body against breast cancer and cervical cancer. There are numerous ways in which you can enjoy chia seeds. For example, they’re great when added to granola or yogurt. You can also soak them in nut milk to make chia pudding overnight (try adding honey for a bit of flavour and sweetness). Make sure to drink plenty of water with chia seeds, as failing to do so may result in an upset stomach. Chia seeds have high soluble fiber content and can absorb up to 10–12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach .