10 Superfoods: Health Heroes That Go Above and Beyond
What’s so super about superfoods? They may not sport a mask and cape, but these foods pack a powerful punch when it comes to protecting your health! While the superfoods label isn’t really a scientific term, research does support that nutrient-dense foods like kale, blueberries, and salmon are very helpful for our health and well-being. This is especially true when it comes to fighting off disease. So what exactly is it that boosts a food’s status to super?
Why Are They Super?
Superfoods are any foods that target the health of multiple body functions. Some foods have this unique ability because they contain a range of nutritional elements, like:
- Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
- Essential fatty acids
- Enzymes and antioxidants
- Plant-based phytochemicals
Overall, the level of nutrients we get from superfoods is much higher than what our bodies need to survive. And that means we can get more bang for our buck with every mouthful we eat.
Superfoods may help us live longer, healthier lives because they play a key role in keeping illness at bay:
- Antioxidants are believed to fight off cancer,
- Dietary fiber helps to prevent digestive issues and possibly diabetes, and
- Healthy fats may help counteract heart disease.
The plant nutrients found in many superfoods, like spinach for example, are especially helpful in supporting good health. They combine potent antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Ounce per ounce, superfoods like eggs, broccoli, nuts, and whole grains allow us to consume more essential vitamins and minerals.
Superfoods for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Superfoods may have superpowers, but they still need your help making that leap from the refrigerator to your plate. Don’t worry, though! These tasty treats can be enjoyed in so many delicious ways, you’ll find it easy to include some at every meal.
Spinach, Kale & Broccoli: In addition to the usual salad options, try serving these powerhouse veggies in stir-fries, and adding them to soups, casseroles, and pasta sauces. Broccoli is delicious on its own when lightly steamed, and kale tossed in sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, and baked in the oven, makes a crispy TV treat.
Salmon & Sardines: Salmon steaks with a squeeze of lemon are a flavorful main dish, and both these nutritionally dense fish taste great on sandwiches, or in soups, pasta, and egg dishes.
Quinoa & Oats: These grains are so versatile they’ve got your breakfast covered! Porridge and oatmeal, muesli and granola – just add some fruits and nuts and your heart will say thank-you. Quinoa is great in salads, soups, and as a side too.
Blueberries, Cranberries, and Kiwi: Use them in baking, throw them on cereal, toss them with yogurt, or eat them all by their tasty selves. Another serving of antioxidants, anyone?
Almonds, Walnuts & Seeds: Heart-healthy and sky-high in protein, nuts are great for snacking and can top everything from salads to cereal. Sprinkle some flax or sunflower seeds on your breakfast yogurt, and consider trying nut milk and nut flours, too!
A little goes a long way, and by incorporating heart-healthy superfoods into your diet, you can do your part in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
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