Does anything called superfood exist in reality? So, what are superfoods? According, to experts, superfoods are anything that will give you balanced nutrition. So, “Superfood” is only a marketing term.
In other words, we can refer to superfoods as “foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants”.
No format will help you in segregating foods as “super” but these foods have a nutritional value higher than the rest.
However, there are times when you will find that few foods are known better for their nutritional benefits as compared to others.
Superfoods – Healthy foods
Even though there is no scientific evidence of the existence of a separate category of foods called superfoods, other than a marketing term, in the year 2007, the European Union “banned” using the term superfood on food labels that could not establish any health benefit. Remember, food that claims to be a superfood must be backed with evidence preferably scientific.
According to Mintel Global New Products Database, between 2011 and 2015, there was a rise by 202% in sales across the globe of stuff labeled as “superfruits” and “superfoods”, and even “super grains”.
10 superfoods for a healthy diet
You will not come across just a single food that will promise to offer you all the nutrition you so desire.
Aside from health benefits, not a single food will be able to deliver all the energy and essential nutrients that we require on a day-to-day basis. Let us explore the top 10 superfoods that you can add to your daily diet plan.
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), half an avocado offers 29 milligrams (mg) of magnesium. Deficiency of magnesium is related to increased chances of getting Type 2 diabetes. Also, magnesium is responsible for regulating blood pressure and blood sugar.
It provides 6.75 mg/half fruit of fiber and poly saturated and monosaturated fat contributing to a healthy heart.
When it comes to berries, blueberries form the topmost superfood. Cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all packed with antioxidants and are high in fiber and low in calories. So, they are ideal even if you are looking forward to losing weight and incorporate the same in your superfoods for weight loss. The best part is that berries have been found to keep at bay diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Broccoli falls in the category of cruciferous vegetables. And these types of vegetables are known to lower the risk of cancer and prevent strokes and heart ailments. Other foods that can help you in this category are Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy that have very high fiber content.
4. Onions and Garlic
According to studies conducted, onion and garlic (allium vegetables) help in preventing cancer. Garlic in particular helps diabetics in regulating blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. This was found in a meta-analysis that was published in a journal in August 2019, Food and Science.
Another food that can be included in the list of healthy foods is seafood. Seafood offers Omega-3 fatty acids that rich in healthy fats and full of proteins. The particular type of Omega fatty acid that you get from seafood is of immense benefit. They are believed to help prevent heart diseases, reducing risks of depression and stroke.
6. Dark leafy green vegetables
According to American Institute for Cancer, the darker the green vegetables, the more is the chlorophyll content in them. They reduce the risk for colorectal cancer. Harvard Medical School notes that there is another type of plant pigment called carotenoids that act as antioxidants and help in keeping cancer at bay.
7. Whole grains
These are good sources of both insoluble and soluble fiber and they also have minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins, mainly B in them. They control diabetes, heart diseases, and help in lowering cholesterol.
Soybeans contain high concentrations of isoflavones. These are a type of phytochemicals that are of natural occurrence in plants. The isoflavones help in reducing the so-called “bad cholesterol” in the blood.
Another study established that soy may also help in fighting off memory loss that is age-related. Reducing chances of bone mineral density loss that occurs at the time of menopause can also be managed with soy.
You can include soy as a superfoods powder in your diet as well.
Tea is a good source of antioxidants. They help you in staying hydrated and have fewer calories. Green tea has catechins that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. White tea and green tea help in reducing stress levels to a great.
10. Dark chocolate
The superfoods list is incomplete if we do not include dark chocolate. Research establishes the fact that dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids. They exhibit antioxidant properties and help in preventing coronary heart disorders and few kinds of cancer, and also improves immunity.
Few other foods are gradually gaining popularity. These are as follows-
- Beet and beet juice
- Brazil nuts
- Blue-green algae
If you have not included these superfoods in your diet as yet or you left your healthy diet plan midway, it is time you revive superfoods again and lead a healthy lifestyle again.
Remember, however, that you will be able to derive more benefit from this class of foods if you take them in real form. Taking supplements of superfoods may not yield the same result for you.
Superfoods keep you healthy. They keep several ailments at bay and improve your life span. Not only that even if you get some disease and if your immune system is good, but you also get well sooner.