The word "superfood" is everywhere; it's in the media and grocery store and even in beauty products. But, what are superfoods? And what makes them so SUPER?
To put it simple, superfoods are nutritional powerhouse foods that are extremely high in micronutrients like vitamins, minerals as well as antioxidants, enzymes and healthy fats.
All of these nutrients are essential to your body so you can thrive. They are the superhero of the plant world. The majority of superfoods are found in nature and are from the soil; fruits, vegetables, seeds, seaweed and beans. Mixing superfoods into your diet gives your body balance. Below are a few great examples.
A single avocado contains 20 different vitamins and minerals and is a great source of vitamins K (the healthy-skin vitamin) and C, of folate and potassium, and of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados are credited with lowering LDL ("bad") cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory effects. This is a fruit that is very versatile.
It's the little berry that could. An entire cup of the water-rich fruit contains 84 calories while packing packing fiber, vitamin C and K, and manganese. Blueberries are also high in antioxidants and protects against cancer-causing free radicals. Another versatile fruit!
The leafy, crunchy vegetables in this category, including asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale, are rich in phytonutrients and cancer-fighting compounds. Some studies suggest they lower prostate cancer risk. While crucuiferous veggies have made recent headlines linking them to hypothyroidism, research suggest they would need to be eaten in abundance and in raw form to cause the disorder in otherwise healthy people.
The humble egg often gets overlooked, but it's one of the healthiest foods you can eat. One large egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals and 6 grams of high quality protein and it's just 70 calories. If you've been only eating egg whites you may want to consider a yolk every now and then; that's where all the great nutrient are.
It's one of the richest sources of heart and brain boosting omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3's reduce inflammation that is lined to a wide variety of age related conditions, from arthritis to excessive wrinkles.
The tiny black and white seeds of the Salva hispanica plant are a fiber powerhouse. Just one ounce has 10 grams. Chia seeds can help you feel full and they are a convenient choice because they're easy to add to other foods. Adding a spoon full of chia seeds to yogurt or mixing them with almond milk and cocoa powder for a satisfying, low-calorie pudding. All seeds and nuts help keep hunger at bay and can be part of your nutritional repertoire.
Other trender oils keep coming along trying to upstage olive oil. But extra-virgin olive oil should remain as a staple in your kitchen. It's rich in healthy antioxidants and monounsaturated fats and is associated with reducing the risk of stroke or heart disease . Keep other oils like canola and safflower on hand for baking
When we incorporate superfoods into a well balanced diet, these foods can promote heart health, weight loss, improve energy and even reduce the effects of aging.
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