Top Superfoods To Help You Look and Feel Better:
I can see the headlines already “Superfoods 2016 include goji berry, Acai, seaweed, ashwagandha and more!” Superfoods are all the rage, promising better looks, better brain function, more energy and even better overall health. But just what is a superfood, and do they really deliver all these benefits?
A “superfood” is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. The important nutrients that superfoods provide do play a role in all the health benefits mentioned above. However, your overall health and well-being have more to do with a lifestyle of good habits over time that include, but are not limited to:
- Lots of water
- Daily exercise
- Proper sleep
- Eating nutrient-rich foods
Superfoods should be included as often as possible in a healthy diet. And guess what? It doesn’t need to break the bank. Many superfoods can be found right in your local grocery store. Here are some of my favorite superfoods and herbs.
My top 5 superfood recommendations:
- Salmon would be my number one superfood recommendation. Essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, found in salmon do so many wonderful things in your body, including lowering blood pressure, reducing triglycerides, protecting your heart and eyes, and even protecting your brain. Unfortunately, these essential fats are usually deficient in most American diets. Research shows that we should be eating salmon, or other oily fish such as tuna, sardines, mackerel, or trout two times per week to reap the many health benefits.
- Blueberries are low in calories and are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Scientists have shown that blueberries are loaded with phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Research is also showing that blueberries may improve short-term memory and promote overall healthy aging.
- Broccoli is my top superfood vegetable. That’s because broccoli contains a nutrient call sulforaphane, which research shows may help protect against prostate, liver, lung, bladder, skin, and stomach cancers. It’s also rich in compounds that may keep tumor suppressors working well and may destroy ineffective tumor suppressors, helping to prevent cancer in two ways!
- Walnuts and other tree nuts (as long as you’re not allergic) are rich in monounsaturated fats, which help protect the heart. And, research has shown that contrary to previous myths, nuts do not cause weight gain. In fact, eating nuts can be effective in helping you maintain a healthy weight because they provide satiety throughout the day.
- Dark chocolate! Yep, it really is a superfood, and it tastes really good too! Some research shows the antioxidant activity of dark chocolate and cocoa powder may even be higher than that found in other superfoods or juices, including acai berry, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate. These antioxidants may help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. It’s important to choose your chocolate wisely though, since chocolate can also be full of lots of unhealthy fats and sugars. For the best health benefits, choose dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao or cocoa. This will optimize the antioxidant power, while keeping sugar and fats to a minimum.
Other trendy superfoods include:
- Hempseeds – high in GLA, a type of fat that may help normalize hormones
- Reishi Mushrooms – shows promise for cancer prevention, liver regeneration and longevity
- Spinach, kale, mustard greens and even seaweed – these green foods help keep your heart healthy by providing natural folate. Seaweed also provides metabolism-boosting iodine
Superfoods that are actually spices include:
- Turmeric – known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties
- Ginger – great for reducing nausea and vomiting
- Ginseng – shows promise for a sharper mind
- Garlic – rich in antimicrobial properties
- Ashwagandha – not a culinary herb, is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen, which may help energize the body, making it one of the top superfoods to help you feel energized
So remember to look to superfoods in your local grocery store the next time you feel run-down and need a little energy boost, or are looking for something to help you stay looking younger, or help keep your mind sharp. Happy shopping!