”5 Superfoods Which Boost Your Health” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional and follow all laws for your location.
The term ‘superfood’ was invented by astute marketers whose aim was to endorse and advertise specific food products. The term has gained ground over the years and usually refers to plant-based foods containing high volumes of nutrients. Generally, these foods are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and support liver health, among a myriad of other functions. Three years ago, the United States recorded a 19% increase in new foods and drinks claiming to have superfoods as main ingredients. In 2020, this figure has almost doubled.
Here is a list of food categorized as ‘superfoods,’ together with their associated health benefits.
Citrus fruits are very well known for helping to create white blood cells in your body. These cells are responsible for fighting infections (such as the common cold), and they do this by converting Vitamin C into ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, because this vitamin is water-soluble, your body cannot store it in reserves, unlike other nutrients such as calcium. Therefore, you need to take fruits containing Vitamin C regularly. Examples of these are oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and lime. You can add a squeeze of lime or lemon to your drinking water for a daily boost.
Vitamin C is also needed in your body to make collagen, an essential part of all connective tissues. The vitamin also helps your body absorb iron from the intestines, which also aids the haemoglobin process- that is what allows your red blood cells to carry oxygen to all internal organs. With its antioxidant properties, it helps reduce damage to the inner lining of your blood vessels while reducing your risk of certain cancers.
Red Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have the greatest concentration of Vitamin C than any fruit or vegetable. They contain twice the volume of Vitamin C concentrated in citrus fruits. Apart from this, bell peppers are rich in beta carotene, which gives their red colour. This nutrient improves your skin health, boosts your vision, prevents anaemia, protects against cancer-forming cells, boosts heart health, and reduces inflammation. It also helps strengthen your hair follicles and regulates blood sugar. Furthermore, red bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A and potassium. This superfood contains healthy amounts of iron, folate, fibre, and low calories. Interestingly, the red ones stay on the tree for the most extended period, giving it enough time to process essential phytonutrients. Harvesters tend to collect green bell peppers earlier, cutting short the time it takes to turn yellow and orange, before its final red colour.
Mushrooms have been a prominent feature in herbal medicines for ages in Africa and Asia. In modern times, they have gained popularity in Western foods and medicinal treatments. Although mushrooms do not provide a cure for all diseases, scientific research proves they positively impact age-related conditions, heart health, and cancers. It is also a Vitamin D source that promotes brain and mental health and your body’s general metabolism. For instance, Reishi mushrooms are known to rid the liver of toxins, fight cancers, balance blood sugar, decrease high blood pressure, and protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and similar diseases. Due to its many medicinal properties, Mushroom KnowHow advertises this superfood in capsule form to make it easily accessible to all. You can order yours now. Some examples of other mushrooms are Lion’s mane, Chaga, Turkey tail, and the Stinkhorn.
Extremely low on calories, this dark-green leafy vegetable is an example of a superfood loaded with essential minerals and vitamins. It contains Vitamins E, C, and A, including relevant antioxidants and fiber. You would not be far from right if you called broccoli the health fanatic’s ultimate vegetable. If properly washed, you can consume it raw, but if that is not your preference, you have the option to steam it lightly. The vegetable contains volumes of bio-compounds, which convert into antioxidants during digestion. It helps regulate oxidative stress, reduces the development of chronic diseases, decreases cholesterol levels, and protects internal organs. It is known to improve eye and brain health while slowing down the aging process.
India is known as the location for the several uses of this potent spice. Besides its curry boosting flavours, scientific research continues to discover this superfood as a power-packed health supplement. It is used traditionally as an anti-inflammatory product for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Today, modern science shows that with its curcumin (responsible for its bright colour) levels, turmeric is helpful for muscle damage and is being studied to see if it is indeed beneficial to cancer treatment. Dating back to 4000 BC, turmeric paste application on bodily burns quickens the healing process. This is why it is a common ingredient in countless sunscreen products.
It is worth noting that the majority of superfoods are alkaline. That is what counteracts the acidic effects in foods you take daily. Alkaline-based foods detoxify your system and create a healthy balance in the body. More importantly, superfoods, in most cases, require little to no steaming (method of cooking) at all to make them edible. Now that you know what these foods are, why not add some to your daily meals for a more healthy and balanced diet.
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