Superfoods are different types of fruits, vegetables, and many other types of foods that have a high content of important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. These foods have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease, and raise your body’s resistance to viral infections and the common cold. Discover the delicious difference when you enjoy powerful superfoods that are packed with nutrients to fight off disease, boost your energy and keep you healthy!
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Here’s a list of some superfoods and what they can do for you:
This little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world. It can often be found in juice form in health food and gourmet stores. It has been found that Acai has the highest amount of anti-oxidants of any other food.
Anything In The “Allium Family”
Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots can all help the liver eliminate toxins and carcinogens.
Each crisp, juicy apple provides five grams of fiber and an abundance of antioxidants, which may support cardiovascular health.
This can be used as a breakfast cereal, in soups and stews, and as a rice substitute. Barley’s also high in fiber, helping metabolize fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates.
Whether you choose blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries, your body benefits from these nutrition-packed gems. Deliciously tangy and sweet, berries contain antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins that reduce free-radicals in the body, which may help to slow the aging process.
A USDA study shows that consuming a half teaspoon of cinnamon per day may significantly lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as reduce triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and tangerines, contain flavonoids that are unique to the citrus family. Naringin produced in grapefruits and hesperidin found in oranges are both powerful antioxidants. Sweet, juicy and versatile, citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, folic acid and potassium.
Broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica oleracea italica family. Named for their resemblance to a Greek cross, cruciferous vegetables not only taste great steamed and sautéed, they are also a good source of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Some studies show that low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Folded into an omelet or whipped into a scramble, eggs (especially egg whites) provide an inexpensive source of high-quality protein. Eggs are not only low in carbohydrates and sodium, but they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that support eye health. Whether you prefer brown or white eggs, you should always choose cage-free, organic eggs.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce each contain beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin that work together to support overall health. As good sources of vitamin B and minerals, adding a wide variety of leafy greens to your plate, every day, ensures that you will reap their healthy benefits.
Herbs And Spices
Studies show that common herbs and spices, such as sage and rosemary, are rich in antioxidants and may support healthy digestive function and the nervous system. About a teaspoon per day added to your favorite recipes is all it takes!
Full of B-complex vitamins, amino acids and enzymes, raw honey is tasty and a great substitute for refined sugars. Enjoy swirled into tea or drizzled over oatmeal.
One petite kiwifruit packs as much vitamin C as an orange. Since we are unable to create vitamin C in our bodies, it is important to replenish this essential vitamin each day. Enjoy kiwifruit in smoothies and fruit salads.
Beans and lentils, members of the legume family, are an excellent source of hearty, low-fat plant protein. Simmered in soups or blended into tangy spreads, legumes are a versatile and delicious introduction to superfoods. Soluble fiber from beans and lentils, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of legumes provides at least four grams of soluble fiber.
Nuts & Seeds
Roasted, toasted or raw, nuts and seeds are a delicious source of protein and fiber. A tasty snack, nuts and seeds pack a nutritious punch with heart-healthy monosaturated oils, vitamins and minerals. The lignans in seeds have been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol levels, and scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating one and a half ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Simmered into a warm cereal, oatmeal provides a good source of complex carbohydrates. Soluble fiber from foods, such as oats, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A half-cup serving of oats supplies about nine grams of fiber.
Olives & Olive Oil
Rich and fruity, olive oil stands out as a culinary staple in Mediterranean cultures. A good source of monounsaturated fat, adding two tablespoons of olive oil per day to your diet may support cardiovascular health.
Cold-water fish like wild salmon, tuna and trout contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Supportive, but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. While amounts may vary by species, origin and season, one serving of omega fish provides at least 0.5 grams of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
Vibrant orange vegetables, such as pumpkins, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene. A beneficial nutrient found in fruits and vegetables, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, giving the body an antioxidant boost. Cooking vegetables also makes the nutrients easier to absorb. Enjoy roasted acorn squash or lightly steamed carrots.
Rich in powerful, free-radical fighting antioxidants called polyphenols, an eight-ounce serving of pomegranate juice enjoyed daily may support normal levels of cholesterol and healthy coronary artery function.
True teas, whether they are green, white, black or oolong, originate from the Camellia sinensis plant. Processing techniques differentiate each type of tea. With beneficial levels of flavonoids and only two calories per cup, drinking tea is a great way to support overall health.
Tomatoes contain an abundance of lycopene, a health-promoting plant pigment. Lycopene not only gives tomatoes their ruby red color, it also helps support immune function and prostate health. Cooked tomatoes found in pasta sauce, salsa and tomato paste enhance the absorption of lycopene into your system.
Versatile and low-fat, turkey breast is an excellent protein choice. Juicy, delicious and rich in zinc, turkey is best enjoyed in soups, salads and sandwiches. Try a tube of organic turkey sausage or ground turkey…they even have turkey bacon which is very tasty.
Rich in complex carbohydrates, whole grains add beneficial phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Packed with nutrition, the germ or “heart” of the kernel adds essential B-vitamins, iron and zinc to your plate. Diets rich in whole-grain, plant-based foods may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Yogurt And Kefir
Cultured dairy products, such as yogurt, kefir and buttermilk, contain probiotics. Also known as “friendly bacteria,” probiotics support the intestinal tract and the immune system. Maintain the overall health of your immune system, so enjoy a cup of fruit yogurt, savor a tangy raspberry kefir or stir buttermilk into roasted garlic mashed potatoes.