There is no such thing as superfoods in terms of nutrition. The word was established to influence eating trends and promote items for marketing purposes.
Superfoods are nutrient-dense foods with the potential to improve health, according to the food industry. Though several foods can be considered extraordinary, it’s vital to remember that no single item is the key to optimal health or illness prevention.
However, given the phrase “superfood” isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s worth taking a closer look at some healthy alternatives.
Here are some foods that may be deserving of the prestigious superfood moniker.
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Berries are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a nutritional powerhouse. Berries’ high antioxidant content has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and other inflammatory diseases.
When combined with established medical treatments, berries may be useful in treating a variety of digestive and immune-related problems. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries are some of the most common berries.
The health advantages of berries are as diverse as their culinary applications, whether you eat them as part of your breakfast, as a dessert, on a salad, or in a smoothie.
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2. Green Tea
Green tea is a gently caffeinated beverage with a wide range of therapeutic benefits that originated in China. Green tea contains a high amount of antioxidants and polyphenolic chemicals, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
The catechin epigallocatechin gallate is one of the most abundant antioxidants in green tea. Green tea’s apparent potential to protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer is most likely due to EGCG.
Green tea’s mix of catechins and caffeine, according to research, may make it an efficient tool for weight loss in some people.
Beans (including soy), lentils, peas, peanuts, and alfalfa belong to the legumes (or pulses) category of plant foods. They’re called superfoods because they’re high in nutrients and can help prevent and manage a variety of ailments.
B vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber are all abundant in legumes.
According to research, they provide a variety of health benefits, including better type 2 diabetes control, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.
Due to their tendency to boost sensations of fullness, eating beans and legumes on a regular basis may help you maintain a healthy weight.
Garlic is a type of vegetable that is related to onions, leeks, and shallots. Manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium, and fiber are all abundant in this fruit. Garlic is a famous culinary component because of its distinct flavor, but it has also been used for millennia for its medicinal properties.
Garlic has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure while also supporting immune function in studies. Furthermore, sulfur-containing chemicals in garlic may aid in the prevention of certain cancers.
It may seem unusual to think of fruit as fashionable, but if you’ve noticed the rise of “bowl meals” in cafes and restaurants, you’ll know that exotic fruits like acai berries, dragon fruit, mango, and pomegranate are very popular.
For their nutritional value and therapeutic characteristics, exotic fruits have long been regarded as superfoods. According to a May 2018 paper published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, pomegranates, for example, may boost heart health and constitute an excellent candidate for dietary supplements that could prevent cardiovascular disease.
6. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables are high in folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber, among other nutrients. One of the things that makes DGLVs so great is their ability to lower your risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
They’re also high in carotenoids, which are anti-inflammatory compounds that may help prevent cancer.
- One of the most well-known DGLVs is kale.
- Spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, and turnip greens are all good options.
Some DGLVs have a bitter flavor, thus they aren’t for everyone. You can use them in a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, smoothies, stir-fries, and curries.
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Due to their high cholesterol content, eggs have long been a contentious topic in the nutrition industry, but they remain one of the healthiest foods.
B vitamins, choline, selenium, vitamin A, iron, and phosphorus are all abundant in whole eggs. They also include a lot of high-quality protein.
Zeaxanthin and lutein, two powerful antioxidants found in eggs, are proven to protect vision and eye health. Despite concerns about egg intake and excessive cholesterol, research shows that consuming up to 6–12 eggs per week has no discernible effect on the risk of heart disease or diabetes.
In fact, eating eggs may enhance “good” HDL cholesterol in some people, thereby lowering their risk of heart disease. More research is required before a definitive judgment can be drawn.
Button, portobello, shiitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms are some of the most popular edible mushroom kinds. Mushrooms contain vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and numerous antioxidants not found in most other foods, however, the amount varies depending on the variety.
Interestingly, eating more mushrooms is linked to eating more veggies in general, resulting in a more nutritious diet overall. Mushrooms may also help to reduce inflammation and prevent some types of malignancies due to their high antioxidant content.
Another great quality of mushrooms is that they are grown using agricultural waste products. As a result, mushrooms are a long-term component of a healthy dietary system.
Avocado is a highly healthy fruit that is frequently used in culinary applications more like a vegetable. It’s high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, among other things.
Avocado, like olive oil, is abundant in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). Avocado has the most MUFA, oleic acid, which has been related to a reduction in inflammation in the body.
Avocado consumption may lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice with a ginger-like flavor. It comes from India and is used for cooking as well as medicinal purposes. Turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin. It is the target of most turmeric studies because of its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric has been shown to be useful in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes in studies. It could also help with wound healing and pain relief.
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Superfoods take more than focusing on one or two of the newest culinary trends to achieve optimal health through diet and nutrition. Rather, eating a variety of healthful foods every day is the greatest way to maintain excellent health.
Including some, or all, of the foods on this list in a well-balanced diet can improve your general health and help you avoid some chronic diseases.