The term superfood has been around since the 1920s when bananas were touted as superfoods with fantastic health benefits. It is over a century now, and it is not surprising that the term is still used to qualify some foods.
There have always been people who want to eat better and lead healthy lifestyles, so it is no surprise that there is a craving for superfoods. We discuss the benefits of these foods that have been elevated to the status of superheroes and discuss the characteristics of the most important ones.
What Are Superfoods?
You’ll be wrong if the idea of a superfood brings a picture of a crime-fighting apple or banana to your head. Superfoods are often described as foods packed with more nutrients than average foods. However, many nutritionists and dieticians disagree with naming some foods superfoods because we need a variety of foods to live a healthy life. While it is true that no single food can ensure good health and disease prevention, we cannot dispute the fact that some foods are better for us than others.
Some of these foods that have been labeled superfoods, most of them from plant sources, are highlighted below. These superfoods pack essential nutrients to give your meals a nutritional boost and enhance your eating pattern.
Best Superfoods For You
Superfoods are indeed super. Here is our list of the best superfoods for you:
Avocados are highly nutritious fruits rich in fiber, magnesium, and healthy fats. Consuming half an avocado supplies you with about 29 mg of magnesium which equals 7% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. You also get about 6.75 mg of fiber from the same quantity of avocado, which supplies you with 24% of the recommended daily value of fiber. Avocados are also a great source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Besides heart disease, consuming avocados can also help lower the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Berries are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The antioxidants present in berries can help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Berries are a great supplement to any meal due to their low-calorie content. Berries are used in some traditional medicines to treat digestive and immune disorders. Blueberries are especially rich in antioxidants, but almost all edible berries such as raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, and blackberries are worthy of being called superfoods.
Fish in the diet can help you keep a healthy weight. Fish and other seafood are rich in protein and healthy fat, unlike many other animal sources of meat. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, are beneficial to the body and can help reduce inflammation, the risk of stroke and heart attack, and are also suitable for infant development. It is advised to limit fish consumption to 3 servings weekly due to their potential to get contaminated by environmental pollutants such as heavy metals.
Vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables, have a lot of fiber and nutrients. They contain nutrients such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants that can help fight off certain types of cancer. Incorporating green veggies into your diet will help your digestive process.
You should not be surprised to find cannabis on this list of superfoods as nearly all the parts of the cannabis plant brims with nutrients and antioxidants. Cannabis is not useful for getting high alone, and it is a great and healthy addition to any diet. Cannabis flowers contain cannabinoids and terpenes, which are known for their effectiveness in treating anxiety and pain. Cannabis leaves and seeds contain exceptional quantities of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Nuts are a healthy source of fats and proteins for vegetarians. Nuts also contain fiber and compounds that can combat inflammation and oxidative stress. While nuts are some of the most calorie-dense foods you can find, it is interesting to note that some nuts help with weight loss. Some great nuts for your diet are walnuts, almonds, and peanuts.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria produced by the body. They help to keep a healthy gut and prevent diseases. Fermented drinks like yogurt and kefir have high probiotic content. Since they are made from milk, they also contain protein, potassium, and calcium. Probiotic-rich foods have also been found to help reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory conditions while also helping to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
Legumes are excellent foods to help maintain a healthy weight due to their high fiber content and the fact that they leave you feeling full for longer. Legumes are some of the best sources of healthy fats due to their low concentration of saturated fats, raising cholesterol levels, and increasing the risk of developing heart disease. Legumes are also packed with protein and have a high fiber content.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loaded with potassium, fiber, and vitamins. They also contain antioxidants which make them helpful in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. Belying their sweet nature, sweet potatoes contain less sugar than expected and can even help to prevent diabetes and obesity.
Traditional Chinese doctors made use of mushrooms as a body cleanser. Mushrooms have excellent antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, earning them their status as a superfood. Although different mushrooms have varying nutrient content, most edible mushrooms contain vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. Since mushrooms are usually consumed with vegetables, incorporating them into your diet will help you consume more veggies. As mushrooms can be grown using agricultural waste products, they also contribute to making our world greener.
No single food can provide you with all of the necessary nutrients to live a healthy life. Incorporating superfoods in a balanced diet will however benefit your health in the long run. You can buy most of the food listed here at your local grocery, and you can purchase cannabis seeds from an online seed bank like Herbies.