“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” statesHippocrates. Whatever your health goals, packing more punch into your diet with superfoods can have a profound and powerful impact on your entire life and longevity. Powerful pomegranates, avocados rich in omegas, prebiotics, and probiotics are important additions to a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. So, next time you go grocery shopping, consider picking up some of these superfoods that can make you feel superhuman.
What makes superfoods so super-ior to other foods? Nutrient density is a key factor. Superfoods bear a heavy weight in the nutrient department, with plentiful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavonoids. Many of these antioxidant-ample superfoods improve inflammation and fight harmful free radicals that can lead to illnesses and diseases. And, unlike starchy carbs with refined flour that’s been stripped of nutrient-content, superfoods are also lower in calories.
TE= Type Examples HB= Health Benefits
Berries – TE: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, gogi berries, and acai berries.
HB: Of all fruits, berries have the highest antioxidant content, next to pomegranates. Ample in antioxidants like anthocyanins, they protect your cells from free radical damage, and are also a source of plant compounds, ellagic acid and resveratrol that can prevent illnesses and diseases.
Citrus – TE: grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes.
HB: Get refreshed and stay hydrated. Boost your immune system with citrus fruits, rich in vitamin C and fiber. nutritious and delicious, still not high in calories. And, they guard your eyesight. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults ages 50 and older who ate oranges daily had 60% less of a chance of developing macular degeneration.
Cruciferous – TE: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels’ sprouts, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy.
HB: Carotenoids, a type of plant pigment, combat cancer-causing free radicals.
Greens – TE: salad greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach.
HB: Growing up, you may have been told to “eat your greens.” There’s a reason why green veggies are so healthy for us. Plant pigment, carotenoids and chlorophyll found in those vibrant green veggies (you may have tried to hide under your napkin) serve specific health-promoting purposes. They may contribute to combatting cancer-causing free radicals.
Root – TE: Carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, and yams.
HB: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antimicrobial properties that may contribute to preventing diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other health conditions.
Onions and Garlic – TE: chives, leeks, shallots, and garlic.
HB: Phytochemicals contained in allium vegetables may improve immune health, repair cell and DNA damage, and improve diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Fish – TE: mackerel, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, bluefish, anchovy, sardines, herring, and trout.
Whole grains – TE: ancient grains like buckwheat, farro, and quinoa and common whole grains like barley, bulgur wheat, brown rice.
HB: Nutrient dense and high in fiber, whole grains contain phenolic acids with antioxidant properties that may help prevent such conditions as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, as noted in the journal for antioxidants.
Beans and Legumes – TE: kidney beans, black beans, northern beans, chickpeas, edamame, peas.
HB: High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and low in saturated fats (as opposed to protein from meat), may help lower cholesterol.
Nuts & Seeds – TE: walnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, flax, chia, and hemp seeds.
HB: Nuts and seeds are an ideal snack that can curb hunger to keep you feeling fuller longer; ideal for maintaining weight and preventing obesity. Research has also indicated their possible effects on preventing certain types of cancer, according to the Journal of Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Fermented – TE: kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso, and natto.
HB: Getting your fermented fix yields bountiful benefits. Boost your gut microbiome supportive of good bacteria that fight illnesses and infections. Aid digestion and reduce inflammation to avoid chronic inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, Chron’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Spices & Herbs – TE: cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, turmeric, holy basil, oregano, rosemary, mint, sage, and thyme.
Tea – TE: black, green, white, oolong, puerh, and caffeine-free teas like rooibos, honeybush, herbal, and tisanes
Wine – TE: pinot noir, sagrantino, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, tannat, nebiolo, Malbec, barbera, and cannonau.