Recent dietary research has uncovered different nutrient-dense foods that time and again promote good overall health. These nutrient dense foods are called “superfoods,” and tend to have fewer calories, higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and many disease-fighting antioxidants.
While there’s no official definition for superfoods, most experts agree that our diet has a dramatic impact on our wellbeing. Whole foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients can help you lose weight, avoid illness, and live longer, which sounds pretty super when you think about it.
The top superfoods are :
- sweet potatoes
- chia seeds
- olive oil
Lets examine 5 of these superfoods.
Salmon is really high in omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy fat helps lower triglycerides, with slows the formation of artery-clogging plaques and slightly reduces blood pressure. According to Harvard Medical school – omega-3s are a natural blood thinner and there’s evidence that omega 3 help prevent blood clots and lower triglycerides. Omega- 3 also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve arthritis. It is advised by the American Heart Association to eat salmon or other fatty fish ( herring, lake trout, sardines) at least twice a week.
The pigments that give blueberries their brilliant blue-purple color also gives this fruit powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from harmful molecules that can damage DNA and cause the development of cancer. Its best to include a mixture of colorful berries ( raspberries, blackberries, acai berries). According to a study at Harvard Medical School, mixing the berries gives you the benefits of slightly different blends of nutrients and phytochemicals.
Broccoli along with other cruciferous vegetables : brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage or kale are worthy additions to your diet. These vegetables contain potent disease fighters because of containing natural compounds which are believed to have cancer fighting capabilities. Broccoli is also high in vitamin C, fiber, calcium and folate.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants, manganese, vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, which can slow stomach emptying to boost both weight loss and fat loss.
Yogurt is a dairy product that’s high in calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and riboflavin .
Some yogurt varieties, including Greek yogurt, are especially high in protein, which could be beneficial for weight loss . Certain types also contain probiotics, which may be involved in weight control and appetite regulation
12 Ways To Add Superfoods to Your Diet
It can be difficult to make healthy choices if you’ve grown used to processed food that is fast and tasty. If you’re wondering if there’s a way to fit kale and salmon into your diet without a lot of sacrifices, try these tips for making whole foods delicious and convenient.
Blend in Your Superfoods
1. Make substitutions. Adjust the recipes for your favorite dishes. Replace some of the cheese in lasagna with thinly-sliced tofu. Top off your chili with yogurt instead of sour cream.
2. Chop it up. Maybe you dislike the taste or texture of some foods that you know are good for you. Surprise your taste buds with pureed cauliflower. You may discover a new fondness for it.
3. Drink a smoothie. If you have trouble slowing down to eat your vegetables, pour them into a glass. A smoothie is a quick way to consume a variety of whole foods that will help you to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Spread out Your Superfoods
- Eat breakfast. If you wait until late afternoon to start eating superfoods, you may run out of time to fit them all in. Fortify your breakfast by trading in the usual muffin or sugary cereal for a bean burrito or yogurt with berries and nuts.
2. Redesign your snacks. Is your office vending machine full of chips and candy? Bring your own snacks to work. Keep a jar of natural peanut butter in the refrigerator for spreading on apple slices or whole wheat crackers.
3. Start with appetizers. Appetizers work just as well for every day dining as they do for restaurants and parties. Make a simple meal feel more special by starting out with a spinach and avocado salad or a black bean soup.
4. Multiply your sides. Who says you can only serve one vegetable with your main course? Dish out a variety of fresh or frozen produce that will encourage you to eat more.
Other Strategies for Eating More Superfoods
- Set goals. Have you been thinking about eating healthier for a long time without seeing much progress? Maybe you need to set more specific targets. You could aim for including at least one superfood in each meal or eating one additional superfood each day for a week.
2. Start small. Your goals can be challenging without being overwhelming. Maybe you’d look forward to sprinkling cinnamon instead of sugar into your coffee.
3. Roast it. Roasting vegetables is so easy, but the results are dramatic. Cut them up evenly and spread them out so they’ll come out crispy outside and tender inside.
4. Add fats and seasonings. A drizzling of extra virgin olive oil with a little grated parmesan can make you want to finish a whole bowl of steamed broccoli. For variety, experiment with different spices and seasonings.
5. Simplify it. Superfoods can be just as fast as a burger and fries. Grill fish or stir fry chicken and bok choy in minutes.
Whether you’re trying to break the fast food habit or already eating a balanced diet, adding a few more superfoods into your daily menu can help you feel more energetic and fit. You’ll want to eat more whole foods when you realize how fast and delicious they can be.
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