14 Superfoods You Should Include In Your Diet
Recent dietary research has uncovered 14 different nutrient-dense foods that time and again promote good overall health. These “superfoods”, which tend to have fewer calories, higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and many disease-fighting antioxidants are :
Beans – A great combination of fiber and protein, beans help you feel full longer, which means they may work to curb your between-meal appetite.
Kidney beans are an affordable source of high fiber, are low fat, and have no cholesterol. Did you know that one-quarter cup of kidney beans has the same amount of fiber and protein as two ounces of red meat?
Berries (especially blueberries) – Blueberries have been shown to shield the brain from stress, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Research has also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills.
Broccoli – Recent research shows that specific chemicals in foods — such as sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli — work with your genes to ratchet up your body’s natural defense systems, helping to inactivate toxins and free radicals before they can do the damage that leads to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and even premature aging. Broccoli will tip the daily scales for your daily vitamin A and C needs.
Green Tea -Green tea contains hundreds of powerful antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols and has been cited for helping prevent problems ranging from cancer to heart disease. Studies also suggest green tea may help prevent or ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, researchers suspect that the catechins (helpful phytochemicals) in green tea may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and mildly decrease body fat.
Nuts (especially walnuts) – Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, an important vitamin needed by your brain to stave off declining cognitive functions. Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower and sesame seeds and almonds are all great choices.
Orange – It’s been said an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, so can an orange. One orange a day provides your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Oranges are also abundant in flavonoids, which helps your body’s cells regenerate and stay healthy and strong.
Pumpkin – Pumpkin seeds are a good souce of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses.
Salmon – Salmon is abundant in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain function. In addition, salmon contains calcium, vitamin D, and folate. Besides helping with arthritis, eating salmon may protect the cardiovascular system by preventing blood clots, repairing artery damage, raising levels of good cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.
Soy – Soy products like tofu may also decrease the side effects associated with menopause, including the dreaded ‘hot flashes.’ Tofu is an alternative protein source to meat and also can be beneficial for lowering your cholesterol and preventing heart disease.
Spinach – Dark green vegetables like spinach are high in folate, a key player in the production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that has a calming effect. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.
Tomatoes -Tomatoes are an awesome cancer-fighting superfood. Not only do tomatoes contain lycopene, the antioxidant phytochemical that also helps prevent heart disease, but they’re a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, all which do battle against cancer-causing free radicals. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, which helps maintain the electrical stability of the cells of your heart and nervous system and is important for cell and muscle growth. Add them to your salad or use as a topping on your homemade pizza. They’re also a great way of adding some zest to your favorite sandwich.
Turkey – Turkey is high in niacin, which helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Niacin (vitamin B3) is important for providing energy for cell tissue growth.
Whole grains and oats – Whole-grain breads, brown rice, and oatmeal contribute to a healthy brain by reducing the risk for cardiac disease. Oatmeal is high in fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol and when combined with skim milk, gives you a calcium-charged boost to your day.
Yogurt -Including dairy products as part of your healthy diet may promote your weight loss efforts. Choosing a light yogurt may help you fight off hunger pangs due to its combination of protein and carbohydrate. Just one cup of yogurt a day may work to keep the gastrointestinal track healthier, which can help ward off colds. It has to be yogurt with live cultures, as this is the key ingredient that helps keep the GI track ready to rumble.
Additionally, yogurt contains high amounts of good bacteria such as acidophilus, which helps to prevent yeast infections and urinary tract infections. It also contains protein, which may help your body battle the fatigue and weariness that follows a hot flash.
Other than these superfood, you should also consume lots of water. Water is your body’s lifeblood, and you should be drinking it through your day. When your body is dehydrated, it’s at an increased risk of germs latching on and not letting go. So be sure to drink plenty of water and decaffeinated drinks to help your body stay hydrated and ready. Water is a great no-calorie beverage, and you can get it by drinking unsweetened tea, flavored unsweetened mineral water, regular water with lime or lemon, or even in your cucumber. In addition to helping flush toxins from the body, it can also help you feel full. So when those hunger pangs strike, try drinking a glass of water before grabbing that snack.