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Top 10 Superfoods You Must Know About!

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The famous adage “You are what you eat” perfectly summarises the importance of food in keeping a person healthy and fit. And so it goes without saying that a healthy diet loaded with all the essential nutrients can go a long way in lowering your risk of health problems. However, there are certain vegetables, fruits, spices and nuts which are known to have superpowers when it comes to food. And including these so-called superfoods in your diet can not only make you eat healthy but also help you reap all the health benefits and stay fit. So to make you aware of these superfoods which are commonly available in the market and help you get the most of it, we have shared the list of top 10 superfoods everyone must include in the diet. Here we go!

What Are Superfoods?

A superhero does not have a definition but we know that they are bestowed upon with powers to do something extraordinary. Similarly, superfoods are rich in nutrients and better than ordinary or regular food that we consume. Health foods and superfoods have a dense concentration of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, good fats, antioxidants, and healthy enzymes. These foods have properties that help in preventing certain diseases.

Skipping meals or eating unhealthy food can take a toll on your health. And the same is the case with eating all the processed foods. But given the fact that we are busy and look for easy-to-grab food options, we fail to include all the essential vitamins and minerals through diet. This is why eating superfoods is recommended as it provides you numerous health benefits and the best part is these foods are easily available.

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Well, we have a list of superfoods that promise meeting your daily nutrient needs; and no, it’s not about elaborate cooking, just about making the right choices.

1. Broccoli

This green, leafy wonder-food is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on Earth. And why not? Broccoli contains potassium, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, and Vitamins A, C & E in significant proportions. These nutrients can not only slow down aging and prevent stroke but also protects you from carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds) due to its potent antioxidant activity[1]. To reap the benefits of this vegetable, all you have to do is include it in your daily diet either in the form of soup, salad or curries. You can even make parathas with grated broccoli and enjoy it on a regular basis.

2. Cinnamon

This spice, which is commonly found in every Indian kitchen, is known for its strong flavor and aroma. A common ingredient in pulav, biryanis, and soups, this spice is loaded with numerous vitamins and minerals. Some of the common health benefits of cinnamon are it soothes stomach inflammation, fights urinary tract infections, and promotes healthy metabolism[2]. You can add cinnamon to soups or add a pinch of cinnamon powder to a glass of water and drink it every morning to reap its benefits.

3. Blueberries

Mainly seen adorning shakes and cheesecakes, blueberries can also fight certain chronic diseases. Blueberries are rich sources of Vitamin C, which acts as a potent antioxidant. These are low in calories, high in water content and fiber, which makes it a healthy food. If you are aiming for weight loss, then eating blueberries can boost up the process[3]. Apart from promoting brain and heart health, it helps in digestion and fighting cancer, so make sure you make the most of these berries by including in diet. The best way to enjoy blueberries is to eat it as a whole and not in the form of juices or shakes.

4. Almonds

Crunchy and tasty, almonds qualify as one of the go-to healthy foods not just for kids but also adults. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, these nuts are a rich source of proteins, calcium and Vitamin E[4]. For those who are vegans or vegetarians, almonds can serve as one of the best alternatives for your daily protein requirements. You can soak a few almonds in water overnight and eat it in the morning. Alternatively, you can enjoy these nuts as snacks in the evening because they fill you up and prevent you from gorging on unhealthy snacks.

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5. Avocados

Although a native of South America and Mexico, this fruit has gained popularity across the globe; courtesy: its health benefits. After all, it is not common to find monounsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, magnesium, folate, and potassium in just one food[5]. Add avocados to salads along with other vegetables to reap its benefits.

6. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is highly recommended for your daily diet as this young grass of wheat plant contains iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, and vitamins. It works wonders for those who are fighting kidney stones[6]. You can drink a glass of freshly prepared wheatgrass juice on an empty stomach to get the most of its benefits.

7. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds can be taken in the form of seeds or oil, and have recently become a favorite among those managing cholesterol levels. Omega-3 present in flaxseed is ideal to fight diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Moreover, these seeds also help you to maintain bone and joint health. You can take a teaspoon of these seeds by slightly dry roasting flax seeds. You can also add these to salads, smoothies, parathas or curries.

8. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, fiber, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids[7]. It helps in raising the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or ‘good’ cholesterol that is essential to guard against heart disease and stroke. Add 1/4th teaspoon of these seeds to fruit salads and enjoy it on a hot summer day. You can also add these to juices such as lemon juice or coconut water to reap its benefits.

9. Salmon

If you are a non-vegetarian, then get the most of the health benefits of salmon by including it in the diet. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps in keeping your heart healthy and fit[8]. Include this in your diet twice a week, and you will easily meet the nutritional requirement.

10. Sweet Potatoes

You may be unaware but this vegetable contains nutrients like potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and B6, fiber[9]. Although highly underrated, sweet potatoes help in slowing down the effects of aging and fights skin infections. It is also high in fiber content which can help in digestion and also aid in weight loss.

If healthy foods are so tasty, then why give unhealthy food unnecessary importance? What is your favorite health food? Include these commonly available healthy foods in your diet and reap its benefits. Eat healthy to stay healthy!

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)

Recommended Reads:

5 Amazing Reasons For You To Have Cranberries More Often!

Try These 5 Cleansing Foods For A Healthy Digestive System

References:

1. Mukherjee V, Mishra P. Broccoli-an Underexploited Neutraceutical. Science Research Reporter [Internet]. 2012 [cited 11 July 2018];2(3):291-294.

2.Nabavi S, Di Lorenzo A, Izadi M, Sobarzo-Sánchez E, Daglia M, Nabavi S. Antibacterial Effects of Cinnamon: From Farm to Food, Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical Industries. Nutrients [Internet]. 2015 [cited 11 July 2018];7(9):7729-7748.

3. Nicoletti A, Gularte M, Elias M, dos Santos M, Ávila B, Monks J et al. Blueberry Bioactive Properties and Their Benefits for Health: A Review. International Journal of New Technology and Research (IJNTR) [Internet]. 2015 [cited 11 July 2018];1(7):51-57.

4. Kamil A, Chen C. Health Benefits of Almonds beyond Cholesterol Reduction. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry [Internet]. 2012 [cited 11 July 2018];60(27):6694-6702.

5. Duarte P, Chaves M, Borges C, Mendonça C. Avocado: characteristics, health benefits and uses. Ciência Rural [Internet]. 2016 [cited 11 July 2018];46(4):747-754.

6. Kour B. WheatGrass Benefits. International Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine [Internet]. 2016 [cited 11 July 2018];3(5).

7. Reifer C. Health Benefits of Chia in the Daily Diet. Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering [Internet]. 2016;4(2).

8. Naiman R, Bilby R, Schindler D, Helfield J. Pacific Salmon, Nutrients, and the Dynamics of Freshwater and Riparian Ecosystems. Ecosystems [Internet]. 2002 [cited 11 July 2018];5(4):399-417.

9. Sanoussi A, Dansi A, Ahissou H, Adebowale A, Sanni L, Orobiyi A et al. Possibilities of sweet potato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] value chain upgrading as revealed by physico-chemical composition of ten elites landraces of Benin. African Journal of Biotechnology [Internet]. 2016 [cited 11 July 2018];15(13):481-489.

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