Superfoods have been extensively studied for their powerful health benefits. They have a rich content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which all ward off inflammation and oxidation in your body. Many superfoods like Goji berries, kale or spirulina are also gaining popularity thanks to their versatility.
There are many ways to add superfoods to your meal plan. For example, you can put kale in a juicer or sauté it with garlic for a side dish. Or, you can Goji berries in your salad. Read on to find out what superfoods are and which ones are the best.
What are superfoods?
The food industry presents the superfood label on foods that provides maximum nutrients for minimum calories. Superfoods are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals along with powerful antioxidants.
With its rich nutritional density, the best superfoods are the ones, which help to improve health and fight diseases like Parkinson’s disease, emphysema, immune deficiency, respiratory diseases, stroke, arthritis, heart disease and even cancer. (1)
Below is a list of super antioxidants foods to add to your plate to help improve your health and wellness:
1. Goji berries
Goji berries are often featured in superfood blends and supplements along with other extracts, herbs and fruits. What are Goji berries good for? Goji berries are an excellent source of zinc, vitamin A, iron, fibre and vitamin C.
Goji berries are also overflowing with potent antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin, which aids in protecting your retinas and lenses against damage. (2) Moreover, a study states that Goji berries may help improve eye health and reduce the risk of eye conditions like macular degeneration, which might lead to vision loss. (3)
Vitamins found in Goji berries support the immune system, providing flu protection. Research demonstrated that Goji berries can help increase the effectiveness of flu vaccinations. (4) It’s vitally important as the flu vaccine might not provide enough protection against cold and flu.
Spirulina is one of the best superfoods to include in your eating plan. Spirulina powder is loaded with nutrients, including iron, copper, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, protein, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
Spirulina powder benefits include protection against oxidative damage, heart disease, blood sugar control, anti-cancer properties, anaemia, enhanced muscle strength, etc. Research, which involved 40 older individuals suffering from anaemia, showed that spirulina supplements enhanced immune function and elevated the haemoglobin content of red blood cells. (5)
Another study, which involved 127 participants with allergic rhinitis, concluded that taking 2 grams of spirulina every day significantly eased symptoms such as itching, nasal discharge, nasal congestion and sneezing. (6)
Avocado is packed with a variety of nutrients, including healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre. It’s a rich source of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), including oleic acid that’s linked to decreased inflammation in the whole body. (7)
Other reasons to eat avocado are a low cancer risk, healthy heart, diabetes prevention and treating metabolic syndrome. One study proved that incorporating avocado into a low-fat, vegetarian meal plan positively changed the cholesterol profile. (8)
Garlic is another superfood that you should include in your diet. This well-known culinary ingredient is high in vitamin C, manganese, selenium, vitamin B6 and fibre. A study found that garlic could help reduce cholesterol and control blood pressure. Moreover, it helps support immune function. (9) Garlic is also a source of sulphur-containing compounds that prevent cancer growth. (10)
5. Dark leafy greens
Research indicates that dark green leafy vegetables contain anti-inflammatory compounds such as carotenoids that help ward off certain types of cancer. (11) Spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, Swiss chard and kale are among the best dark green leafy vegetables.
Multiple studies have found that eating dark leafy greens helps lower the risk of chronic medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. (12, 13)
If you don’t feel like eating leafy greens, consider Greens powders. In many cases, greens powders usually contain up to 40 various ingredients, including leafy greens, seaweed, vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, beets and Broccoli, grasses and antioxidant-rich berries.
Super greens powder weight loss benefit is real if you stick to a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. This supplement helps control your caloric consumption without compromising on essential nutrients. It’s not a substitute for fresh veggies, though.
6. Raw cacao
Raw cacao benefits are astonishing! Raw cacao is one of the biggest sources of polyphenols, which have been linked to health benefits like enhanced blood circulation, reduced blood pressure chronic inflammation treatment, and improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels. (14)
Raw cacao is particularly plentiful in flavanols, which provide powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It enhances the nitric oxide level in your blood, relaxing and dilating your blood vessels and arteries as well as improving blood circulation.
Antioxidants in berries aid in treating inflammatory conditions, heart disease and cancer. (15) Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries and blueberries could also help treat different immune-related conditions and digestive disorders. (16)
Although eggs have a bad reputation for their increased cholesterol content, they’re packed with potent antioxidants along with nutrients such as vitamin A, B vitamins, selenium, choline, phosphorus and iron. Eggs are a source of two powerful antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which maintain eye health. (17)
9. Sweet potato
High in vitamins A and C, potassium and fibre, sweet potato is an excellent source of carotenoids, which have been shown to lower the risk of certain cancers. (18) Sweet potato may also be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes due to its ability to control blood sugar. (19)
The final word
Eating superfoods on a daily basis is a sure-fire way to prevent chronic diseases and achieve optimal health. Apart from the aforementioned superfoods, there are many others to consider, including seaweed, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, turmeric, ginger, olive oil, etc.
Many researchers believe superfood is a key to longevity, despite the fact that superfood is just another marketing term. Adding a little longevity to your daily meals with superfoods may help you enter your golden years healthy.