When you hear the term superfood you probably imagine a powerful food that will allow you to reduce your weight or support a healthy lifestyle, but which foods are superfoods and what nutrition properties do they have?
Superfoods are foods rich in antioxidants, fiber or fatty acids, and considered beneficial to health and wellness. The American Health Association recommends adding these rich foods to a balanced diet to enrich health benefits. Superfoods are mostly plant-based. They are foods that offer lots of nutritional benefits without the large calorie count.
Each superfood has different nutritional attributes that can help us prevent health problems like heart diseases, cholesterol, cancer, digestive issues, immune deficiency and inflammation.
Superfoods are composed of a high number of antioxidants—which protect cells from damage, and healthy fats—which help lower cholesterol. Many also contain fiber, which can help you avoid heart disease and control glucose. Superfood minerals include potassium; iron or calcium; vitamins A, C, E; and more.
Including superfoods as a part of your food intake is a great habit—but it’s important to incorporate these nutrient packed foods into an overall healthy diet. Let’s look at the top 10 superfoods that help weight loss and weight management.
What Are the Top 10 Superfoods that Support a Healthy Lifestyle?
These fruits are considered nutrient-dense. Berries contain a high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and fiber—all of which can help fight cancer causing free radicals and protect your immune system. According to the American Heart Association, berries can help lower the risk of a heart attack in women.
There are different kinds of berries that you can eat: blueberries, cranberries (fresh, not dried), raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and goji berries, to name a few.
You can eat berries fresh, or frozen during the off season. You can also add berries to your morning cereals, smoothies, yogurt, or eat them plain for a snack or dessert. Fresh cherries are also very versatile. You can eat berries or cherries mixed in a salad or with chopped nuts and ricotta cheese.
Dark leafy greens can be excellent complements to your salad. These superfoods are low in calories and carbohydrates, but packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, and plenty of fiber.
There are a few varieties of greens to choose from: spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, broccoli or beet greens. Add dark leafy greens to soups or stews during wintertime, sauté them with garlic and olive oil, or throw them into a salad to refresh yourself during summer.
Nuts are a good source of plant protein, according to wellness experts. Each contributes to improving a different part of the body. For example, almonds are good for heart health, Brazil nuts or walnuts can help prevent certain cancers, cashews are good for cognition building—but all of them are packed with fiber, fat and protein.
You can include these superfoods in your diet accompanied by veggies or in a salad. You can also try almond or cashew nut butters, add nuts to your oatmeal, or eat alone as a snack. But remember, nuts—even though they are considered superfoods—are calorie dense, so try to limit them to a small handful.
Seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp seeds are rich to add to your diet as they are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Specifically, chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, fiber and protein. You can toss seeds into a smoothie, yogurt or oatmeal, and include them as part of a healthy breakfast in low fat or gluten free pancakes or muffins.
The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of this superfood per week. Fish like salmon and other fatty fishes like trout, sardines or Herring are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, helping to decrease the risk of heart disease and heart attack, and reducing cholesterol. Buy fresh, frozen or canned.
Yogurt is a good source of calcium. Yogurt also contains probiotics and is full of “good bacteria” that can help protect your body from other, more harmful bacteria while supporting your gut health.
Many flavored yogurts contain a lot of sugar, so the best option is to choose plain ones (preferably low fat or fat-free) and add berries. You can also use yogurt for dips or sauces.
7—Beans & Legumes
Beans and legumes are great sources of fiber, plant-based protein, magnesium and phytonutrients. According to the Journal Clinical Diabetes, the high levels of vitamins and fiber contained in beans can help support weight loss and regulate blood sugar levels.
This broad superfood category includes black or red beans, chickpeas, lentils, edamame, peas, and other bean types. You can cook them in a casserole or add them to your salads. Beans and legumes serve as excellent main ingredients in soups, or you can spread bean-based hummus on low calorie or gluten free crackers.
Whole grains are a great source of fiber and contain several B vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. For example, brown rice provides more nutrients and fiber as compared to white rice.
Other whole grains include oats, quinoa, brown rice, bulgur and wheat berries. You can cook them with vegetables as a side dish. Other options include having a bowl of oatmeals for breakfast or adding quinoa or brown rice into your salad. Breads made with whole grains are preferred.
Ginger has multiple health benefits. This superfood is loaded with nutrients and bioactive combinations that benefit your brain and body. Ginger also contains anti-inflammatory properties, helps lower blood sugar, and helps avoid heart risk factors.
Spice up your diet with ginger as a way to season your food. You can add ginger to smoothies or tea as we do in our Ginger Apple Half Gallon.
Have you heard of Sea Moss? Sea Moss is another superfood, and one that we use in our juice formulations. Sea Moss is a type of algae or seaweed called Chondrus crispus. This spiny, edible plant grows naturally in waters and tide pools along the rocky Atlantic coasts.
Sea Moss helps support weight loss, promote a healthy immune system, boost energy and support muscle recovery.
You can consume Seam Moss in different forms: dried to help thicken soups and stews, sprinkled over yogurt, or as a powder to add to your juices or smoothies. If you want to try this third form of sea Moss, visit our superfood smoothie products.
If you have an existing thyroid problem, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking Sea Moss due to the iodine present in this superfood.
Consuming these ten superfoods combined with a healthy diet will help you to increase your immune function and decrease your chance of disease prevention or progression.
Book a consult with us today to learn more about how you can leverage superfoods for improved health and wellness!
Before changing your diet, please remember to consult a doctor.