Superfood is a term that has become increasingly popular over the last 5 years. It was promoted by the food industry as a way of marketing particular foods as nutrient-rich with a particular capacity to boost your health in some way.
Always remember that no single food can provide everything you need in a healthy diet. No food alone has special powers to prevent disease and poor health.
However, there are some foods that have earned the title of a superfood. They are undoubtedly healthy and they do have unique properties that can boost your health as part of a healthy meal plan. It may be a good idea to check they your diet includes these foods regularly to improve the health benefits of your food. Consider a home food delivery, healthy meal plan or cook box to help you include these foods in your diet.
Here are 5 of the Most Popular Superfoods:
1.Dark Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy greens are packed with nutrients. They are a great source of vitamins A and C and calcium. They are also a good source of folate and iron which can help prevent anaemia. They contain good levels of zinc and magnesium. Zinc supports your body’s immune system and magnesium boosts your metabolism and muscle health as well as helping you sleep. They also increase your fibre intake.
The best dark leafy greens for your healthy meal plan are spinach, kale, swiss chard and mustard greens. They can have a bitter taste so you can disguise them in soups, stews and curries or use them in a detox juice as a juice cleanse for your body.
Berries are full of natural sweetness and are therefore easy to include in your healthy meal plan. They are high in fibre, minerals and vitamins. They are also packed full of antioxidants which have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and some inflammatory conditions.
Some studies suggest that they also are effective at treating immune disorders and digestive issues.
The most popular berries for your diet are raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries. You can buy them fresh or frozen. They can be eaten whole or added to yoghurt, porridge oats, cereals, or smoothies.
3.Yoghurt and Kefir
Both yoghurt and kefir are good sources of protein, calcium, B vitamins and potassium. They both also contain probiotics (live cultures). These are good bacteria that can protect your gut from harmful bacteria. Kefir has a thinner consistency than yoghurt and the drink usually contains more probiotics than yoghurt.
Fermented, probiotic-rich foods are beneficial to your health as they can reduce your cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve digestion and they have anti-inflammatory properties.
The best yoghurt is plain as it contains no added sugars. Look out for active live cultures like Lactobacillus, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, and S. thermophilus. You can use yoghurt as a breakfast food or snack with added fruits and berries or use as a base for sauces and dips. Kefir can be bought as a ready-made drink or made at home.
4.Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. They also have a high fibre content. They are filled with plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Studies have shown that they can protect against heart disease. They have a high calorific value yet studies show they may be linked to weight loss in a balanced healthy diet.
Popular nuts are almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, brazil and macadamia.
Popular seeds are sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flaxseeds and hemp seeds.
Fish is a healthy source of protein, B vitamins, potassium and selenium. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids that can help to prevent heart disease and reduce inflammation. Fish can also lower your risk of diabetes and help you to lose weight.
The best fish to eat to provide the maximum omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish. Look out for salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, anchovies and sardines.
You can use fresh, tinned or frozen varieties.
One potential drawback of eating fatty fish regularly is the possible contamination of heavy metals and other pollutants. This can be reduced by restricting your consumption to 2-3 times per week.