Most people have the misconception that eating well involves counting calories and depriving themselves of particular foods. Dietitians believe that adding to diets superfoods that offer several health benefits and can be included in any meal plan is the best way to support a wellness journey.
When you hear the word superfood, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Most of you probably think of broccoli with a cape or avocado with super strength.
In fact, superfoods are aliments so nutritious they seem like a superior range of ingredients. However, outside the marketing world, there are no superfoods – or according to scientific standards. Dietitians agree that particular foods provide more health benefits than others and can even improve health conditions or prevent certain diseases.
Here is a list of ingredients you should add to your diet to boost your health and support your wellness journey.
Avocado has become a pivotal component of the trendy brunch staple avocado toast because it contains a wide range of nutrients. The research concluded that half an avocado contains 29 milligrams of magnesium, a mineral essential in regulating blood sugar and blood pressure. Health specialists recommend eating avocado to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes associated with magnesium deficiency. Avocado is also rich in fibre, monounsaturated fat, and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat.
Even if the avocado is higher in calories than other fruits or vegetables, it’s a healthy source of fats and antioxidants, so add it to your cart the next time you visit the supermarket.
A surprising benefit you get if you eat pomegranates is that you improve your cardiovascular health. This is one of the reasons you noticed its rise in popularity over the last few years. If you look at the salads’ ingredients from your local restaurants, you’ll most likely find pomegranate among them. Together with other exotic fruits like mango, acai berries, and dragon fruit, it has been classified as a superfood, thanks to its medicinal and nutritional properties, and people didn’t take long to add it to any kind of dish they found suitable. Studies show that pomegranate can improve heart health and prevent some cardiovascular issues.
You might have noticed that most meal plans include berries, but you never truly understood why this ingredient is so popular among dietitians. Well, each berry has unique nutritional values, but most of them are packed with antioxidants and fibres and low in sugar. Health specialists even believe they might be helpful in fighting cancer-causing free radicals.
Blueberries are the most popular berries because they have a high number of anthocyanin pigments which are powerful antioxidants that can lower the risk of developing degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, or heart disease.
When you think about cannabis, you might picture the dried buds you can purchase from online stores and dispensaries. But you should know that the plant is much more than its buds, and specialists state that all its parts have superfood values. While cannabis has nutritional value, people usually use it for recreational or medicinal purposes. However, you can incorporate cannabis seeds into your food to eat nutritious meals because they contain several nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B6).
The long list of benefits above shows that cannabis seeds deserve superfood status. If you don’t trust buying cannabis products from your local providers, you can use autoflowering seeds to grow your own plants and use their parts as cooking ingredients.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are famous for their health benefits like preventing stroke, preventing heart attacks, and lowering cancer risk. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and maca are fibre-rich. Fibres are essential for maintaining good health because they can help you lose weight, make you feel full longer, and support your overall health. The mentioned vegetables contain indole glucosinolates that prevent digestive issues such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Other animal products like red meat and processed meat are high in saturated fats, increasing the risk of heart conditions, but fish is rich in healthy fats and protein. If you eat seafood, you get Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for your health because they can improve depression, reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks, and are helpful in infant development. Studies show that the fatty acids from seafood are better than those from plant sources like nuts and flaxseeds.
Mushrooms gained superfood status centuries ago, as they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote longevity and cleanse the body. Research shows that they have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Lab and animal research also states that mushrooms can prevent and treat breast cancer; however, more clinical research is needed on the subject. Therefore, you should add mushrooms to your diet because they can substitute meat and are a good source of antioxidants and vitamin D.
Seeds and nuts
You probably know that seeds and nuts have several nutritional properties, but let’s dive into the subject a little more. Wellness gurus have always promoted that each nut has its superpowers, and you should seek ways to add as many as possible to your daily meal plans. Cashews are great for cognition, almonds improve heart health, and Brazil nuts can prevent cancer, just to name a few. In addition, all nuts are excellent sources of protein, fibre, and fat, no matter if you prefer the salted or unsalted variants. Seeds like cannabis, chia, and flaxseeds are also rich in minerals and vitamins.
Seeds and nuts are high in healthy fats and make you feel full for longer. Research also links seeds and nuts to a lower risk of obesity as they are helpful in weight loss. Dieticians list walnuts as the best supernuts because their antioxidant properties help prevent cancer.
Other superfoods are dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, kimchi, kombucha, dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, and beans.