The term ‘superfoods’ might conjure the image of some all-powerful food with special, almost magical abilities. While there isn’t any regulated or scientifically-backed definition for superfoods, in the marketplace a product is promoted to superfood status if it can offer high levels of desirable nutrients.
These nutrients may be linked to the prevention of disease or may offer other simultaneous health benefits, such as antioxidation or an immune system boost.
Listed below are some of the most popular superfoods.
It is a well-known fact that citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A which strengthens the immune system and keeps your skin smooth and soft. It is important to have citrus fruits on a regular basis as our body does not produce vitamin C, hence consuming a citrus fruit daily will give your body the nutrients it needs. There are many different types of citrus fruits such as:
Broccoli is a superfood that is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, alongside many other anti-oxidants and fibers. With so much to offer, it is a good option for you to put on your plate. It is completely packed with minerals and the best way to retain all its nutrients is to cook is as less as possible, even better if not cooked at all.
Another superfood that people turn towards for aid when they fall ill. The medicinal properties of gingers are no mystery to mankind. Ginger helps in reducing sore throat by reducing inflammation and also helps in decreasing nausea. There’s evidence that ginger can reduce chronic pain. Also according to recent animal research, it may even have cholesterol-lowering properties.
As one of the most used ingredients all over the world, no doubt garlic adds a certain distinct flavor to the food, but there is more to it than meets the eye. As per the “National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health”, garlic may play quite a big role in lowering blood pressure and helps in slowing down the hardening of the arteries. Huge concentrations of sulfur-containing compounds, like allicin, seem to be the reason for the immune-boosting properties found in Garlic.
Red Bell Peppers
Even though citrus fruits are considered to be the best source of vitamin C, interestingly, the red bell pepper also houses vitamin C. In fact, they contain twice as much as citrus fruits. Apart from that, they are also a good source of beta carotene. Beta carotene is responsible for improving the health of the skin and the eyes.
Vitamin E is also vital to the immune system. Basically, it is a soluble vitamin, which means that it needs fat in order to be absorbed. Almonds and other nuts are packed with Vitamin E and healthy fats. About half a cup of whole shelled almonds is enough to provide sufficient amounts of vitamin E required by the human body.
With magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B-6 and E, they are a good choice of food to opt for. Vitamin E plays an important role in the maintaining of the immune system. Avocados and dark leafy greens are other good sources of vitamin E.
Wolfberries or Goji Berries are a good source of vitamin C and B, amino acids, fatty acids and a lot of minerals. You can have them with your breakfast or add in your smoothies, regardless, they are a great source of good minerals and it is wise to add it to your diet.
Originating from Mexico, Chia seeds were used by Aztecs and the Mayas. There are a lot of benefits of consuming chia seeds as they produce copious amounts of vegetable proteins and also they are highly rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Ground green tea is known as Matcha and is just as popular as coffee. Matcha contains copious amounts of vitamins and minerals, making it a very beneficial beverage to consume. The Matcha green tea powder can act as a great addition to baked items.
The antioxidant properties found in Kale aids in strengthening your body’s immune system. It helps in protecting you against diseases like Arteriosclerosis and Alzheimer’s. You add it raw to your smoothies or salads for consumption.
Packed with potassium, vitamin C and other vitamins, blueberries are one of the best and tastiest superfoods. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties which help in protecting your body against various diseases.
Known for being used in Indian curries, turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat a variety of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. The high concentration of curcumin is the reason for the yellow color that turmeric, which helps to decrease muscle soreness caused by intense exercise.
Chicken soup has been known to treat fevers and colds. It also prevents you from getting sick apart from just helping you recover from a fever. Turkey and chicken contain high amounts of vitamin B-6. Let’s just say, about 3 ounces of chicken meat or turkey meat contains about 50% – 60% of vitamin B-6 that our body requires on a daily basis.
Spinach harbors high amounts of antioxidants, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. When cooked lightly, it helps in bringing out the minerals and vitamin A.
Yogurts with live cultures like Greek Yogurt is what you should keep an eye out for. Yogurt without live cultures usually has a lot of sweeteners in them. Yogurt with live cultures is a probiotic supplement and is usually rich in vitamin D. They can also help in increasing the absorption of nutrients from foods.
The citrulline present in watermelons helps in keeping your heart healthy. Apart from that they also hoard a large amount of vitamin C, B-6 and A. They also help in keeping the immune system balanced and provides the body with lycopene that aids in strengthening the bones.
The astaxanthin present in salmon is responsible for the pink pigmentation of the salmon’s meat. These substances help in the healthy maintenance of the body’s immune system.
There are many more things that can be done to improve your body’s immune system and many more foods that help in the same. Good research can help you figure out what you can eat on a regular basis. You can check reviews of different superfoods by Health Trends or any other health blog/magazine.