Superfoods is a popular expression that refers to types of foods considered to provide greater health benefits than most other foods. While researchers agree that no one food can help banish chronic diseases, they also agree that including more superfoods into your diet can do wonders for overall health. But you also need to make sure that your diet is low in saturated fat, sodium, and refined sugars to make these superfoods work. If you’ve ever wondered what the best superfoods out there are and what benefits you can get from them, then keep reading.
Almonds are considered superfoods mostly because they are nutritional powerhouses. What this means is that almonds provide a high concentration of key nutrients per ounce than most other food. Eating a handful of almonds a day will provide you with substantial amounts of unsaturated fat, protein, fiber, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Studies on almonds found that these delicious nuts lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Almonds were also found to improve gut functioning by working as prebiotics. The high vitamin E content in almonds can also improve your skin and hair health and provide antioxidant protection to all tissue in the body. However, those with common food allergies should be cautious about taking almonds as they’re known to contain allergens.
This succulent fruit is packed with nutrients and phytochemicals and has been the focus of research for quite some time now. An article published in Advanced Biomedical Research states that pomegranate was found to treat diseases such as high blood pressure, oxidative stress, high cholesterol, hyperglycemia, and inflammatory diseases. This action of pomegranate is mostly due to the fruit’s high antioxidant content that is believed to be greater than that of red wine and green tea. Other than protecting cardiovascular health, eating pomegranate can prevent cancer, dental conditions, bacterial infections, and UV-induced skin damage according to an article published in Alternative Medicine Review. So, make sure to indulge in sweet pomegranate seeds when they’re in season.
There’s a good reason why your mother insisted that you ate your brussels sprouts when you were a kid. Brussels sprouts belong to the cruciferous vegetable group, and research shows it boosts enzyme activity of the liver. Since our liver is our body’s primary detox organ, the enhanced functioning of the liver due to brussels sprouts means that our body is more efficient in ridding the body of harmful toxins. Studies also show that eating brussels sprouts on a regular basis resulted in a 28% decrease in free-radical induced DNA damage. This is the main reason why brussels sprouts provide cancer-preventive benefits and also why they’re so ubiquitously touted the best healthy foods you could be eating.
Goji berries are considered a medicinal plant and their use in medicine has its roots in ancient China. These berries are most often sold in dry form, just like raisins. Goji berries are a rich source of key nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, iron, and zinc. But what makes this berries unique is the fact that they contain all eight essential amino acids, which is unusual for a berry. One 4-ounce serving of these berries will provide you with 10% of the daily value of amino acids. These berries have gained widespread attention due to their high antioxidant content, mostly from an antioxidant called zeaxanthin. Studies on goji berries found that they prevented hyperpigmentation but that they also improved brain functioning and increased feelings of well-being.
Studies on oatmeal have found that this breakfast option is beneficial for human health for more reasons than we can count. This high-fiber meal is known to lower cholesterol, boost metabolism, curb appetite, improve digestion, and do so much more. A study on compounds called avenanthramides (AVEs) that are only found in oats states that these compounds work as powerful antioxidants. Oatmeal is also nutritionally dense, providing you with enough protein, complex starches, vitamins, minerals, and fibers to get you throughout the day. If you enrich your oatmeal breakfast with a helping of nuts, berries, and honey, you get an even healthier and tastier breakfast option.
With so many healthy foods out there, it’s a bit baffling that chronic diseases are on the rise. By reducing the number of unhealthy foods you eat and boosting your intake of foods we’ve listed here, you’d be doing so much good for your body. The foods listed here are packed with valuable nutrients and disease-fighting compounds while being low in saturated fat and sugar. These foods are great for human consumption, provided that you don’t suffer from common food allergies such as nut allergies. Nevertheless, there are healthy superfoods out there that also cater to everyone’s needs, problems, and taste buds.