Negosentro.com | 7 ‘Superfoods’ to include in your daily diet | There is a vast number of foods that are both healthy and delicious. Your meals will be more exciting, colorful, versatile and healthier by filling your plate with vegetables, fruits, quality protein and other whole foods. It is important to be to ensure a wide range of nutrients in your diet, a balanced diet is the secret to healthful eating. From foods that can help with weight loss to foods that are calcium-rich that is vital for your diet, we have curated a list of essential superfoods that you should include in your daily diet.
What is a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is not about staying skinny or strictly limiting yourself from your favorite foods. Rather, it’s about having more energy, improving your health, boosting your mood and most importantly, it’s about feeling great! A healthy diet comprises of a multitude of different foods, it protects you against many chronic diseases. Eating variety of foods that contain less sugars, salt and trans-fats are essential for a healthy diet.
What are ‘Superfoods’?
Superfoods are mostly plant-based but some fish and dairy are considered as superfoods. Superfoods contain a variety of nutrients, such as antioxidants that re thought to prevent cancer. They also contain healthy fats that prevent heart diseases. Plant based superfoods containing fiber prevent diabetes and digestive problems, phytochemicals re also found in these plant based superfoods have numerous health benefits such as protecting cellular systems from oxidative damage and lower the risk of chronic diseases. These superfoods can lead you to living a life of good health and reduced diseases.
Berries contain a load of vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. The strong antioxidants that are found in berries reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancer and other inflammatory conditions. Berries may also be effective in treating various digestive and immune related disorders. Some of the most common berries that are considered superfoods are raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries and blueberries. Blueberries in particular tops the superfood list because they are extremely rich in vitamins, soluble fiber and phytochemicals. You can include these ‘super-berries’ as a part of your breakfast, dessert, on a salad or in a delectable smoothie, the health benefits of berries are as versatile as their culinary gastronomy.
2. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables that have dark leaves contain nutrients including folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber. What makes dark green leafy vegetables superfoods are their potential to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses including type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. They also contain high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds like carotenoids, which protects the body against certain types of cancer. Vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard and kale are some examples of leafy green superfoods. Kale can help lower cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease in turn. Kale is also known as one of the world’s best source of vitamin K. Some dark green leafy vegetables are bitter in taste and may not be enjoyed by everyone, you can always get creative by including them in soups, salads, and curries.
Salmon is packed with healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, potassium and selenium, making it a highly nutritious superfood. It is known as one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Salmon is also known for reducing inflammation and it can help maintain a healthy weight. A downside of eating salmon and other seafood is that they may be contaminated with mercury and other environmental pollutants, you can avoid the negative effects by limiting your consumption of salmon to three servings per week. Since salmon is more on the expensive, fishes such as sardines, mackerel and albacore tuna are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Nut & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats. They contain a variety of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may protect you from oxidative stress. Researchers have claimed that eating nuts and seeds can have a protective effect against heart diseases. Nuts can aid in weight loss when included in a balanced diet. Some common nuts include almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews and macadamia nut while common seeds that we tend to enjoy eating are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.
5. Green Tea
Green tea has a wide array of medical properties, it is rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds which is known to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. The antioxidant catechin epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG has the ability to protect the body against chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Research has shown that the combination of EGCG and caffeine make it an effective weight loss superfood.
6. Sweet Potato
This root vegetable is loaded with many nutrients, such as Vitamin A and C, fiber and potassium. They are a good source of carotenoids, an antioxidant that may reduce your chances of getting certain types of cancer. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet however they do not increase your blood sugar level, they actually help in improving blood sugar control instead. They’re absolutely delicious, a simple sweet potato mash dish doesn’t require butter, cream or salt.
Ginger is used as a culinary flavor enhancer especially and it is also used for its multiple medicinal effects especially in Asian countries. Ginger can be great for managing nausea and reducing pain from chronic inflammatory conditions. Ginger is also known to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as dementia, heart diseases and even certain type of cancers. Ginger is available in so many forms, fresh, as an oil, juiced, or even in a powdered form. Incorporating ginger in your cooking will not only amp up the taste of the food but it will also benefit your health.
Remember that achieving a healthy diet doesn’t mean to incorporate one or two of these superfoods into your diet, a healthy diet is achieved by eating a variety of nutritious foods every single day. By including some or all of these superfoods into your balanced diet, you can definitely benefit your health and may even prevent certain chronic diseases. Life is short, so make sure you enjoy your favorite foods and snacks once in a while moderately.