BODY

5 SUPERFOODS TO START EATING!

READING TIME: 4 MINUTES

Why should we care about superfoods? we can eat and eat and eat. But are we really taking in the amount of nutrients that our bodies need to keep us healthy and running? Generally no. We think that because we ate a big bowl of pasta with olive oil and a few slices of bread with nuts we´re good to go. But in reality, we generally starve our bodies of important nutrients that are essential for our health.

The amazing side of superfoods is that we don´t need to eat a lot to take in all their benefits and we can easily add them to our daily diet. There are some that are more popular like tomatoes, avocado, bananas, and oats among others. But there are superfoods that are rarely added to our diet and should´t be forgotten.

For something to be considered “superfood” it requires a high density of nutrients and be beneficial for our health. Superfoods are completely natural -even nature has better products that others-.

The benefits of superfoods are many and they should be taken into account when doing our grocery shopping.

Here´s a list of  FIVE  lesser known superfoods you should always have in your kitchen.

 Kale

source: Wikimedia Commons

This wonderful vegetable has recently seen a rise in its demands, but it has been popular since ancient times. The Romans and Greeks loved it for its low fat, no cholesterol and antioxidant properties.

Is high on B-carotene, lutenin and zea-xanthin. All three are antI-oxidants and anti-cancer fighters. Zea-Xanthin works great on the eyes, preventing retinal detachment and offers’ protection against age-related macular degeneration disease (ARMD) in the elderly.

100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA (vitamin A). This vitamin offers protection against lung and oral cavity cancers. This amount of leaves also provides 120mg of vitamin C, which helps protect our immune system against infectious agents and free radicals.

It is also an important source of minerals like copper, sodium, potassium, iron and manganese.

It´s cholesterol-lowering properties offers cardiovascular support.

Spirulina Algae

Spirulina tablets. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Spirulina has been around for ages, the Aztecs use to love it back in the XVI century.

It is an amazing source of protein, better than red meat,  and  its composition makes it easy for our digestive track to assimilate the nutrients, unlike meat.

This algae es a fantastic source of vitamin B and iron. It is use for health issues like obesity  , attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hayfever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Some people use blue-green algae for treating precancerous growths inside the mouth, boosting the immune system, improving memory, increasing energy and metabolism, lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, healing wounds, and improving digestion and bowel health.

According to a study performed by the University of Maryland, Spirulina algae proved to boost the growth of  L. acidophilus and other probiotics. Although antibiotics destroy unwanted organisms in the body, they may also kill “good” bacteria called probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. This can cause diarrhea.

Quinoa

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Quinoa,  is a fantastic source of protein, with twice the protein content of rice or barley and it has no gluten, so is great for those with gluten allergies.

This tiny little seeds are a great mineral source like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc and potassium.

It is also  high on fiber. One study that looked at 4 varieties of quinoa found a range of between 10 and 16 grams of fiber, per every 100 grams of uncooked quinoa.

The UN named 2013International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content. Like buckwheat, quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source. Quinoa is therefore an excellent choice for vegans who may struggle to get enough protein in their diets.

Blueberries

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This are a more popular, I think we´ve all seen blueberries, they are in ice cream, juices, deserts, etc. But the best way to eat them is of course, THE NATURAL WAY. Once they are processed they lose a lot of their properties so is better to add them to our cereal or our smoothie.

Blueberries are considered an antioxidant superfood, in this department, they are the king!. They are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, while also being high in potassium and vitamin C.

They contain compounds that prevent bacteria from adhering to bladder walls, which helps ward off urinary-tract infections (UTI’s), according to a Rutgers University study. If you get UTI’s, toss a handful of blueberries into your  smoothie.

A new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

 Fennel

Source: Wikemedia Commons

The Greeks considered fennel a symbol of success and the Puritians even referred to fennel as the “meeting seed.” It was their common practice to chew on the seeds during meetings.

Fennel is still widely used around the world today. The valuable health benefits of the fennel seeds are quite amazing due to the many nutrients packed in these tiny seeds.

With high levels of flavonoid antioxidants, like quercetin and rutin. Antioxidants found in fennel are also anti-inflammatory. These can reduce the inflammation, pain, and effects of arthritis.

It is high on anethole, which  is a powerful anti-cancer agent. Fenchone, limonene, pinene, myrcene, chavicol and cineole are additional essential oils found within fennel and also cancer fighting compounds.

Phytonutrients found in fennel seeds can reduce asthma symptoms, relieve sore throats, and help clear sinuses.

Sources and references are high-lighted in blue and linked back to their
respective source. 

 

 

 

 

 

One comment

  • Oh Wow!I’m a great believer of healthy food therapy. A lot of what we eat translates into who we are both mentally and physically. I specialize in mental health and most of our mental issues can be solved or made better by choosing healthier foods. Here’s an example of an article that I wrote recently http://www.brainieryou.com/brain-food.html

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