What are superfoods? Well its easy to say that it is definitely a term created to market the “extraordinary” health benefits of particular food products but what attributes of this term really describe the products authenticity.
Super-foods are nutrient dense foods that are rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals, and consumption of these foods, along with an active and healthy lifestyle, can result in reduction of many chronic illnesses and prolong an individuals life.
The following 10 Superfoods are known to be beneficial when consumed and the best part is you can combine multiple of the products to create unique nutrient dense meals!
Health Benefits of Salmon
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are well known to lower the likelihood of heart disease. It’s recommended to consume fatty fish at least twice a week. These fatty acids also strengthen the immune system and are vital for healthy eyesight. Interestingly its found that chances of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and other metabolic syndromes are significantly reduced in individuals that consume omega-3 rich foods.
A very appealing study shows evidence that consuming salmon (and other fatty fishes) can actually help an individual live longer.
Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds contain healthy fats! They lower your LDL-Cholesterol, which is known as the “bad cholesterol”. Studies found that individuals who substituted 30% of their carbohydrate intake with nut substitutes daily reduced blood levels of all LDL components. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte that works as a co factor for many of the reactions that take place in your body, from muscle contractions to maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Magnesium is an essential co factor required for antioxidant function in your body, specifically it functions as a co factor for superoxide dismutase, which works to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can cause damage to the cell if left reactive. Its safe to say that almonds are definitely nutrient dense and including them into your daily diet has great benefits.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
You probably heard someone say drink cranberry juice whenever a urinary tract infections in sight, but how beneficial are cranberries really? Cranberries have high levels of proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, which are very powerful antioxidants that help clear free radicals from cells. Studies found that proanthocynidins actually bind to collagen and help with the elasticity and flexibility of cells. This suggests that these polyphenols can actually promote more youthful looking skin! Because they can bind to collagen it can provide benefits in various different cells throughout our body. Studies found improvements in the flexibility in joints, arteries, and improvement in blood circulation in patients that consumed proanthocyanidins.
Health Benefits of Flax
Just like almonds, flax seeds are jam packed with healthy fats! Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they play a major role in protecting your body against heart disease. Flax seeds are also a rich source of fiber and many minerals, helping you meet your daily fiber intake an ease. Flax seeds contain both insoluble and soluble fiber which helps to promote healthy regular bowl movements. They’re versatile and can be used in many types of recipe!
Health Benefits of Avocado
Just like flax seeds and almonds, avocados are part of the “healthy fats crew”. Avocados definitely contain a lot of fat, buts its mostly oleic acid. Oleic acid is known as a “heart healthy” fatty acid and are also found in olive oil, which is known to have beneficial effects. Oleic acid may play a role in reducing inflammation and may also have some cancer fighting agents. They’re also shown to improve heart disease risk as they lower total LDL levels, along with other blood triglycerides. Avocados are also rich in fiber, specifically soluble fiber which function to feed our gut flora, which is very essential for optimal body function. Avocados also are powerful antioxidants which contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health.
Avocados sound pretty good about now!
Health Benefits of Cacao
Cacao is a major antioxidant! It might as well be called the antioxidant king! Raw organic cacao has 40 times more antioxidant powers than blueberries. They’re a great source of iron, especially for those on a plant-based/vegan diet and are full of magnesium. They also contain more calcium than cow’s milk per serving and are scientifically proven to increase the release of serotonin, dopamine and other feel food neurotransmitters, improving mental health.
Health Benefits of Chia
Chia seeds could be considered the food of the gods. With omega-3 antioxidants, high fiber, protein and micro-nutrients , you certainly do feel almost immortal. And, you can pair them with anything! Porridge, cereal, yogurt, breakfast will never be healthier!
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries contain high levels of anthocyanins, which is an antioxidant, and are also high in vitamin C. Studies found that blueberries can strengthen immunity and help to maintain brain health. So don’t be shy to add a handful of berries to your breakfast!
Health Benefits of Broccoli
To enjoy broccoli is to have hit a metaphorical, or, in this case the nutrition jackpot! Broccoli is the greatest wild card. It battles depression, it’s got as much calcium as your mandatory glass of milk AND, it’s got more vitaminc C then an orange! What couldn’t these tiny trees do? With it’s non-fatty, high energy intake, it’s about as miraculous a vegetable as they come.
Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt cannot be rivaled in it’s innate, instinctual calling for versatility. Thicker, creamier, and especially healthier than your average, run-of-the-mill yogurt, it’s chalk full of protein and probiotics, while being low in carbs and sodium! It can replace sour cream, various dips, even cream cheese, and can even be eaten sweet, so look out sweet tooth extraordinaire’s! Greek yogurt could be the key to your newly improved digestive tract.
Here’s a great summary for the Top 10 Superfoods
Courtesy of fabletics blog
Check out awesome recipe ideas using the top 10 superfoods!