Why yes, even the food world has its own version of superheroes! They may not be cape-wearing crusaders, but they can sure swoop in to save the day when health problems rear their ugly heads. ‘Superfoods’ is more of a marketing-related coinage, but these special products do come armed with their health benefits. We’ve written all about superfoods and 5 superfoods that are really good for you. The Bat-signal may not help you as much as these superfoods can, so read on.
What Are Superfoods
We’re not just going to jump into this by assuming we all know what superfoods are. After all, superfoods aren’t a category we studied about in school. And that is because they aren’t a proper category at all. As mentioned, ‘superfoods’ is a term coined to easily market certain types of foods that are extremely health beneficial. They usually have a high nutritional density, boosted even more by their low calorie count. Superfoods are called superfoods due to their high content of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids, among other things. All of these are extremely good to keep our bodies healthy and in check.
5 Superfoods That Are Worthy of the Title
Getting down to business – there’s a range of foods considered to be superfoods, with their range of benefits. Studies have shown that due to their high antioxidant and flavonoid content, superfoods can aid in the prevention of diseases like cancer, coronary heart disease and respiratory diseases. They help boost immunity and also possess anti-inflammatory properties. Familiarize yourself with 5 of these superfoods that are relatively easy to get a hold of and include in your daily diet.
These round chaps are berry berry – oops, very very good for health. There’s loads of antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamin C packed into these bite-sized superfoods, which is what gives them that status. The most commonly mentioned berry in superfoods is the blueberry. Due to their high flavonoid content, consuming blueberries may help to reduce the risk of heart conditions in young women, as shown in a study. These health benefits can also be derived from other berries like strawberries and cranberries.
2. Green Tea
Some of you are probably crinkling your noses in disgust, while the others are nodding knowingly. While drinking green tea is a commonly understood method to assist weight loss, there’s also loads of other benefits. Green tea is prepared with minimal processing, which means it is high in antioxidants. Like coffee, it too contains caffeine, but the smaller dose means you get the benefit of alertness without the caffeine-induced jitters that coffee drinkers are all too familiar with. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid. This combination of caffeine and L-theanine has been shown to have positive effects on brian functioning.
Plus, all ye young guns, the next time you’re worked up about an assignment or a deadline, replace the sports drink with a cup of green tea instead. A study examined the effects of green tea, white tea, and water consumption on stress levels in a group of students. It suggested that green tea does in fact lower stress, though more studies need to confirm it.
If you’re a fish eater, then the salmon is a ‘great catch’ when it comes to health benefits. Fish in general is known for its omega-3 fatty acid content, but salmon has it in larger quantities than other fish. Omega-3 itself is known to be beneficial, helping to reduce the risk of cholesterol and improving heart functions. It is also packed with potassium, protein, selenium and antioxidants, among a range of other benefits.
4. Dark Chocolate
That’s right, there is some solace for the sweet lovers after all. Dark chocolate, with its antioxidants and flavanols, helps to reduce blood pressure. Psst, now you know what to binge-eat the next time you’re stressed. Plus, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. However, several brands that sell dark chocolate may be adding extra sugar to make the bitterness more bearable. Since the magic of dark chocolate’s benefits lie in the cacao bean, remember that added sugar reduces these effects.
Avocado on toast has taken the world by storm. These creamy fruits are not only delicious, but they also happen to be the only fruits with a decent amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). They also contain a load of vitamins C, E, K and B-6, alongside potassium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial supplements. Eating half an avocado a day provides your body with around 25% of its needed daily vitamin K intake, which in turn helps strengthen those bones. Plus, who can resist its wonderful, buttery texture?
Sure, good old Oreos and ice cream is what we’d call ‘super’, tacos and burgers are super duper. But they’re best enjoyed when balanced out with the real heroes. Superfoods aid in balancing out your diet so you’re not left with a super long list of ailments that came from one too many cheat days. Make sure you also know your way around the list of superfoods that aren’t as beneficial as you’d think to make the most of your diet.
Interesting: 5 Superfoods That You Don’t Know Are Bad For You