The term superfood may feel like a relatively new addition to the common vocabulary. But the concept of a magical food that has remarkably high nutritional value or health benefits has been around for centuries. A rise in health awareness has been on the rise for past decade or so has now been expedited due to the pandemic. Covid-19 has been a strong influence in the recent market boom for superfoods, setting a new focus and demand for comprehensive and immune-boosting products.
Superfoods bring Super to your Food. They are the action hero’s that are so dense in nutrition that they repair and activate our immunity while coupled with our regular diet. Superfoods are nutritionally rich food that is primarily plant-based, may also contain specific fish and dairy products. The food industry is also transforming with this healthy twist of nutrient-rich food choices, which contains a high level of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Besides, superfoods also help to reduce weight, promote brain health, have remarkable benefits for the skin, boosts immunity, and improves gut health. Green leafy vegetables, various types of berries, avocados, dark chocolate, green tea, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds are the most popular additions to this category of superfoods. Even seafood that is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and few other fatty fish are considered to fall in the category.
Let’s delve into a few much talked about Superfoods that are touted for their immense benefits for the human body and mind. As they say, you are as strong as the food you eat. Less packaged foods and more natural minerals dense food is the current buzz word. More and more people are reversing their autoimmune and lifestyle led diseases with eating a proper diet coupled with physical activity. People are understanding that going back to our roots and eating like our forefathers and ancestors was the best way to keeping a healthy body and active mind.
Some Popular Superfoods
Some of the most widely used superfoods and the advantages they present. When you plan to include superfoods in your diet, be informed that only unprocessed, natural varieties render the maximum benefits.
Avocados are widely known to help with almost everything from decreasing cholesterol and soothing arthritis to minimising the after-effects of chemotherapy. The fruit is rich in monounsaturated fats that can boost good cholesterol levels. Avocado is filled with vitamins E and B6, which help in red blood cell formation, safeguard body tissues from free radicals, produce glycogen, and promote skin health.
Blueberries majorly top almost every superfood list. While all berries differ in nutritional value, blackberries, cranberries the fresh variety, strawberries, and raspberries, are low-calorie, rich in fiber, and full of antioxidants. These berries also help to fight against cancer-causing free radicals. It is also worth mentioning that blueberries specifically have a high number of anthocyanin pigments, which not only give rich color, but also act as robust antioxidants that lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
In contrast to sweeter milk and white chocolate counterparts, dark chocolate offers health benefits. The cacao in dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which play a significant role in cancer prevention, heart health, and weight loss. Serving one or two ounces of dark chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cacao a day may offer other health benefits, such as improving cognition, preventing memory loss, and uplifting mood.
Dark green leafy vegetables are a great source of nutrients that includes zinc, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin C. Similarly, the green leafy veggies also have the ability to minimize the risk of various chronic illnesses including heart disease and diabetes. The green leafy veggies also carry a high-grade anti-inflammatory compound called carotenoids, which may beat off certain types of cancer.
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods consumed by individuals on a regular basis. Whole eggs are filled with nutrients like vitamin B, vitamin A, iron, phosphorus, and high-quality protein. Eggs also have two potent antioxidants which are known to safeguard vision and eye health. Moreover, there is a certain misconception surrounding egg consumption and high cholesterol, but research states that there is no specific evidenced of an increase in heart disease or diabetes risk if an individual consumes 6 to 12 eggs a week.
A lesser-known superfood but commonly used spice, ginger can provide a great boost to your immune system, combat infections, and defend against cancer. Ginger has been utilised all through history as a remedy for nausea, digestive problems, and muscle pain but has also been recognised to lessen inflammation and control blood sugar. Try to include ginger in meals as a spice, drink it in a cup of tea, or eat ginger root supplements.
Green tea is a mildly caffeinated beverage with a wide range of medicinal properties. It is filled with antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. One of the most predominant antioxidants in green tea is EGCG. This particular component provides green tea its distinct proficiency to defend against chronic diseases which include diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Additionally, green tea also helps to reduce body weight.
Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid to lessen the risk of heart disease and stroke. Introducing salmon into your diet can reduce your blood pressure, lessen inflammation and even uplift your mood. This fish also contain vitamin D and selenium, which restricts cell damage and also beneficial for hair, skin, nails, and bones.
Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and magnesium. All of these nutrients can mitigate the chances of heart attack, keeps you looking younger, promotes immunity, enhances vision, and helps to retain healthy teeth, bones and skin. Considering that sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, they don’t need the extra butter, cream, or salt that is primarily with potatoes to make them taste better.
Originated in India, turmeric or the gold of spice has extensive medicinal benefits. As a matter of fact, curcumin is the most prevalent compound in turmeric. Also, turmeric is very rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects and turns out to be the highlight of various research surrounding turmeric. The curcumin present in turmeric is very effective in treating chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, turmeric facilitates wound healing and pain reduction.