The name “superfood” has recently come to the limelight as a new term refers to foods that have plenty of nutritional density but low calories. These foods are considered all-rounder as they are rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Though nutritionally speaking there is no single food, even a superfood which has all the health benefits, nutrition, and energy to nourish our body. According to dietitian Penny Kris-Etherton “A lot of people have unrealistic expectations about these foods thinking they’ll be protected from chronic diseases and health problems. They may eat one or two of these nutrient-dense foods on top of a poor diet.” According to US Dietary Guidelines from 2015 to 2020 “combining healthy choices from across all food groups- while paying attention to calorie limits.” However, some foods have special recognition and enhance a healthy diet plan. Some are given below.
Berries are rich in fiber and antioxidants that scavenge the molecules of our body. Some common berries like blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries are effective to prevent certain diseases like heart attack, cancer and improve digestion. When we take them as a dessert, as a part of our breakfast, in a smoothie, or on a salad, our health benefits will be versatile. Everybody should try to consume a small handful of berries every day.
Dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, turnip greens, and kale are the source of various nutrients including iron, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E, zinc, folate, calcium, and fiber. Dark green leafy vegetables reduce the risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They also contain anti-incendiary compounds known as carotenoids, which may fight against certain types of cancer. We can enjoy dark green leafy vegetables plain or can add them in a salad, soup, smoothies, curries, and stir-fries. Every day we should try to consume one to two handfuls of leafy green vegetables.
Fatty fish like salmon, trout, herring are the source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain protein, potassium, B vitamins, and selenium. Including salmon and other fatty fish reduces cholesterol, abnormal heartbeats, and lingering the growth of arterial plaque. We should eat fatty fish two to three times per week.
Sweet potato has many nutrients including fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. It also contains carotenoids, an antioxidant that may help to reduce certain types of cancer. Sweet potato does not increase blood sugar rather it controls blood sugar levels.
Different types of nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia, and seeds like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds are rich in vegetarian protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Research shows that nuts and seeds can fight against oxidative stress as well as heart disease. Here it is mentionable that, when we add nuts and seeds in a balanced diet they will help to weight loss.
Every day we should add superfoods into our diet plan as they are full of nutritional density. Superfoods are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They may help our body to fight against various diseases and keep us healthy. Antioxidants, which are known as natural molecules found in certain superfoods. They resist producing free radicals in our bodies.
As antioxidants reduce the offshoot of free radicals that have a link with some health problems like heart disease, arthritis, stroke, cancer, emphysema, respiratory diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and immune deficiency. Then, some superfoods contain fibers, which help us to improve the digestive system and prevent diabetes. Next, healthy fats decrease the risk of heart disease. Again, superfoods prevent our body from toxins, decrease inflammation, regulate metabolism, and boost lower cholesterol.
In the end, it can be said that superfoods are good for our body and provide many nutrients. Here we just must keep in mind that only superfoods cannot provide a healthy diet. Even taking one or two types of superfood may not provide all the nutrients we need. So, we must add different types of superfood into a well-balanced diet. INTEGRIS dietitian Meagan Ballard says, “No one food can provide you all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need.” ” It is very important to eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods to obtain the health benefits our bodies need. There is nothing wrong with eating a food item that provides you a good amount of a specific vitamin or mineral that you need, but our bodies require many vitamins and minerals to function properly. So don’t rely on one superfood alone to achieve this.”