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Is there such a thing as a superfood? Or is it just a marketing tactic from advertising encouraging us to shop at supermarkets and organic stores?
Feeling skeptical about food production and the literature surrounding healthy diets is a natural response. We live in a world dominated by discourses on veganism, fruitarianism, ketosis, water fasting, and other health trends. We’re so caught up in deciding whether eliminating dairy is better than embarking on the keto craze.
Surrounded by packaged food, processed meats, and carb-laden delicacies, we’ve forgotten the purpose of using food for nutrition and healing. You see, the human body thrives on essential nutrients, such as protein, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and calcium. The list is endless, and the body needs them all to regulate our emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.
That is where superfoods step in to replenish our body with essential nutrients, ensuring a healthy body and a sharp mind. But why are they called superfoods? It’s because they pack up rich concentrations of these healing and rejuvenating nutrients.
Let’s take a look at some powerhouse superfoods that are vital for all family members.
For centuries, whole grains have formed a significant part of the human diet, famous as a daily staple across most cultures. However, like the paleo diet, some trendy meal plans discourage us from plying our bodies with whole grains.
Whole grains are healthy and essential to fight off inflammation and cholesterol and for regulating multiple bodily organs. They pack up a rich density of nutrients that curb the risk factors of hypertension and heart disease. In contrast, refined grains in the form of store-bought cookies and baked goodies damage our organs with inflammation.
Whole grains, like oatmeal, barley, millet, quinoa, and buckwheat, pack up rich concentrations of health-regulating nutrients. Take barley, for instance; it is rich in minerals, fiber, and vitamins, bringing about impressive wellness benefits. For example, barley regulates the health of the heart and the digestive system. It improves digestion, regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and induces healthy weight loss by curbing the appetite.
Adding whole grains to the entire family’s diet is crucial for obtaining hard-to-get minerals like magnesium, copper, selenium, molybdenum, manganese, and chromium. These minerals promote a healthy heart and brim our bodies with energy to fight exhaustion and fatigue. Barley, oatmeal, and quinoa are the heartiest, most satisfying foods to add more whole grains to your family’s daily diet.
Dark Leafy Green Vegetables
Vegetables are loaded with nutrients and minerals, and the darker the shade, the richer its concentration of nature’s goodness. Dark leafy greens are powerhouses of much-needed nutrients, including antioxidants, folate, vitamins, fiber, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron.
Some flavorful leafy greens include spinach, Bok choy, arugula, mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens. These veggies cut down our risk for life-threatening chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart complications. Besides, leafy vegetables are brimming with carotenoids – anti-inflammatory agents that fight against cancer and are helpful for patients who are on-going to cancer treatment.
Eating leafy greens doesn’t always have to leave your kids’ tastebuds in deeply shattering disappointment. You can whip up some savory recipes and aromatic curries using leafy greens. Be sure to try out Gwyneth Paltrow’s iconic kale fries, an excellent alternative to oil-soaked French fries. Adding spinach to a banana and strawberry smoothie is the best way to consume leafy greens without experiencing the taste.
For years, eggs have garnered a bad reputation for questionable findings around their role in increasing cholesterol levels. While this is a somewhat controversial debate, there’s a vast volume of literature outlining the health benefits of eggs.
Eggs retain their status as superfoods, for they are powerhouses of protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. They pack up a rich profile of nutrients, primarily vitamins A and B, iron, selenium, phosphorus, and choline. However, the crown jewel in their nutrient profile is their incredible concentration of high-quality protein.
Despite the controversies surrounding the egg’s role in raising cholesterol, there’s no concrete evidence linking their consumption with heart disease. In contrast, research reveals that consuming eggs increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol to promote heart health and reduce complications.
That’s not all. Eggs also contain two powerful antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are crucial to safeguard our vision and boost eye functioning. Eggs are an excellent staple for a protein-powered family breakfast to stay energetic and far away from the vending machine.
Who doesn’t love devouring strawberries and whipped cream? Raspberries and cranberries are everyone’s favorite, not to mention blackberries and blueberries. Did you know that these succulent and richly colored berries are powerhouses of antioxidants?
That’s right, and they also pack up rich densities of fiber, minerals, and essential vitamins. Berries are incredibly healthy for the body, and an excellent alternative to carb-rich snacks and store-bought treats for you and the kids. Their rich concentration of antioxidants allows them to fight inflammation and cut down the risk factors of cancer and heart-related complications.
Berries also promote healthy digestion and infuse our skin with healing nutrients to feel youthful and vibrant. Strawberries serve as an excellent topping for your oatmeal, while raspberry smoothies are intensely decadent. Adding berries to your family’s diet is fun, for there’s a wealth of baked recipes, smoothies, and sauces to try out.
Nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and peanuts, are the easiest to add to your family’s diet. Did you know that these tiny little snacks pack up rich amounts of heart-healing fats? That’s not all; they also pack up plant-based protein and fiber.
Walnuts are rich in brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that regulate the heart and brain functioning. Almond and peanut butter are an excellent way to lather mid-day snacks with fiber and plant-based compounds. Nuts have remarkable anti-inflammatory properties and rich antioxidant properties.
However, they also pack up a rich fat concentration, so it’s best to eat them in moderation. We advise eating a handful of nuts at a time or making a trail mix to keep a healthy snack on the dining table. You can also use unsalted nuts as a healthy topping for oatmeal, cereals, and smoothies.
Nature has brimmed our daily diet with many superfoods that pack up all the nutrients we need to rejuvenate our bodies. We often shy away from eating vegetables and berries and instead ply ourselves with cheeseburgers and pizzas.
Embracing superfoods doesn’t always demand a sacrifice. For instance, you can prepare a healthy pizza with a whole grain crust and vegetable toppings to allure the kids. It all boils down to replenishing the body with nutrients and getting creative with the recipes.