Not all foods are created equal. Some foods will keep the hunger pangs at bay and feed you up, but on the nutritional scale, their score is low. Other foods are so packed with nutrients and vitamins that not only will they fill you up, but they will make you feel stronger and more vital. These foods are known as superfoods.
The superfood trend dates back over a hundred years ago and is believed to have been started by the humble banana. Let's dive into the list of 10 best superfoods along with their health benefits. Your goal is to consume at least three of these superfoods on a daily basis as a gateway to a healthier and stronger lifestyle.
They are packed with magnesium which is important in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar. The avo is also packed with fiber which is good for your heart. Serving suggestion: avocado on whole wheat toast with black pepper and sea salt.
Any fruit ending in -berries is great for your brain. You want to include either blackberries, blueberries, cranberries (the fresh, not dried or juice variety), strawberries, and raspberries, to name a few, are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed full of antioxidants that help fight against cancer-causing free radicals. Serving suggestion: include berries in your morning smoothie.
Fish is full of protein and rich in healthy fats and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 can help play a role in reducing your risk of a heart attack and stroke and alleviating depression. Seafood with the highest concentration of omega 3 is salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Serving suggestion: you want to have seafood at least twice a week.
4) Garlic and Onions
Although a little smelly, both their foods deliver potent health benefits, and if well cooked, a lot of the after-smell can be avoided (although it has to be remembered that most food is healthier great uncooked). Garlic and onions are part of the allium vegetable family. They play a role in preventing cancer, and garlic in particular may benefit people with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Serving suggestion: throw some garlic and onions into your egg omelets.
5) Nuts and Seeds
Health gurus say you should eat almonds for your heart, cashews for your brain, and Brazil nuts for cancer. Seeds like chia are easy to add to smoothies and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Both nuts and seeds fill you up quickly and are perfect snacks when you are feeling peckish and you are watching your weight. Serving suggestion: grab a handful and throw them into your mouth.
6) Dark Leafy Greens
The darker the colour of a vegetable, the more nutrients it has. The darkest leafy Greens are kale, arugula (also known as rocket), spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard. Kale is one of the best sources of vitamin C. One cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C than a whole orange. Serving suggestion: throw your leafy greens into a large bowl, cut in an avo, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
7) Ancient grains
Brown rice and oats are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. So why are they called ancient grains - these are grains that are largely unchanged over the last several hundred years. Serving suggestion: raw oats, banana, and apple dusted with cinnamon makes for a super breakfast.
8) Citrus Fruits
The sweet and sour bite of citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes are low in calories and high in water. You want to consume these fruit in their raw natural state and not in juice form which may contain added sugar. Fruit must be consumed in moderation because even in its natural state, it has high sugar content. Serving suggestion: Throwing lemon slices into a cup of hot water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps in improving digestion, and metabolism and increasing energy levels.
9) Sweet Potatoes
Root vegetables are a solid source of health. Carrots, beets, parsnips, and potatoes are packed with healthy carbs and starches that provide energy. Sweet potatoes in particular are believed to help prevent diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other health conditions thanks to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and antimicrobial properties. Serving suggestion: bake sweet potatoes with a few blobs of butter makes for a perfect snack.
10) Dark Chocolate
The cacao in dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that may play a role in cancer prevention, heart health, and weight loss. But it has to be dark. Serving suggestion: rip off the foil and chow down.