Contrary to popular belief, superfoods are not a fashion, they have been used for centuries. However, they are now more popular than ever, and this is mainly due to advances in medicine, which have proven their numerous benefits such as boosting energy and focus and strengthening the immune system. More and more people are attracted to super foods and are rediscovering the benefits of these natural and healthy products.
Why are the superfoods important and how should we eat them?
What are the Superfoods?
Unlike most healthy foods that have 2 or 3 health properties, superfoods often offer a combination of more than a dozen health benefits. Therefore, they are powerful foods that have an impressive amount of nutrients with healing properties.
In fact, super foods are not “magic” foods. However, due to their concentration of vitamins and minerals, they are an essential asset for a complete, healthy and balanced diet. You must consume them regularly to take advantage of their benefits.
The superfoods often contain plant-based compounds (phytonutrients) with protective properties that help improve overall health. There are numerous researches on the nutritional value of superfoods and their ability to fight certain diseases, slow down the aging process, and boosting the energy levels and productivity. Consumed regularly, their positive effects on the skin, brain and the metabolism help maintain vitality.
Which Are The Best Superfoods?
Superfoods are natural products (fruits, seeds, herbs, nuts and vegetables) that have an extremely positive effect on the body. These foods contain a large number of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants. Here is a short list of some of the most popular superfoods:
- Chia seeds
- Olive oil
- Hemp seed
- Goji Berry
- Acai Berry
- Raw Honey
Why are Superfoods important?
Nowadays, the foods we consume have a lower nutritional value. New production methods are the main reason why we are also flooded with unhealthy foods (fast food industry, pesticide use in agriculture, etc…), which makes the task of eating healthier even more difficult.
This type of diet has its effect on our overall health, including our body, skin, hair, our immune system and the clarity of our mind. In addition, the occurrence of some eating-related illnesses, such as obesity and diabetes, has increased due to poor eating habits. These findings make us aware of the importance of healthy eating and superfoods.
The benefits of Superfoods
It should be noted that each superfood has its own characteristics and specific health benefits. The main qualities of superfoods are related to improving physical and mental health and strengthening the immune system. They boost the energy levels and make you feel better in body and spirit. Superfoods are also known to burn calories because they improve metabolism. Due to the antioxidant effect and the presence of Vitamin C, the skin and hair are visibly rejuvenated.
Which foods are considered as Superfoods?
The term “superfoods” is often used in the United States by companies in the food industry. This common name brings together all healthy foods. However, only products whose positive effects have been proven can be called “superfoods”. These are foods that have a large number of vitamins, minerals, good fats, enzymes and more.
The list of superfoods is huge. Basically, they are divided into several categories. Here are the main ones:
💚 GREEN SUPERFOODS
These are green vegetables that contain high concentrations of proteins, vitamins, minerals and beneficial bacteria. Some examples are wheat grass, barley, spirulina, chlorella, and green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, and lamb. Leeks and broccoli also belong to this category.
💚 FRUITS AND NUTS
These amazingly useful fruits and nuts have healthy properties that help our body be strong and fill us with energy and brain power. The list of foods is long, these are the main ones: acai berry, blueberries, goji berries, blackberries, pomegranates; macadamia nuts, raw cocoa, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut, etc.
In this category of superfoods we find herbs that contain a large number of vitamins and antioxidants and have healing properties. Some examples are: Aloe Vera, Echinacea, Ginseng, Devil’s Claw, Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Star Anise and Basil.
💚 OTHER SUPERFOODS
Products such as pollen, raw honey, royal jelly and many types of algae are also considered to be superfoods.
Description of some of the most popular Superfoods
💛 ACAI BERRY
They look a lot like blueberries. Acai berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber and potassium and contain a high amount of vitamin C. Thanks to their cocktail of nutrients, they increase energy, provide better sleep and reduce the stress. Vitamin C also strengthens the immune system and is a great antioxidant.
Cashew nuts are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid. A small amount is enough to satisfy your hunger. They make a great snack on the go and are amazing food for your brain.
Nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts also have tremendous benefits. They are rich in good fats that are a fuel for your brain and help with concentration, focus and productivity.
Nuts are also one of the best dietary sources of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells and can help prevent nerve and eye damage. This makes them the perfect snack for people who spend too many hours on the computer. Nuts are rich in fiber and magnesium, favorable for controlling hunger. Many studies show that adding them to your diet can even help you lose weight.
Garlic has many health benefits. It is considered a superfood because of its natural antibiotic properties. Some of the chemicals contained in garlic also stimulate the production of components of the immune system.
💛 Goji Berry
Goji berries are among the best superfoods. They have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years and their health benefits are numerous. They have natural anti-aging properties. In addition, these fruits contain a lot of Vitamin E. They strengthen the immune system and have a great impact on your memory. In addition, goji berries have antioxidant properties and work like an instant energy boosted for when you feel tired.
💛 HEMP SEEDS
Hemp seeds are good for the heart and brain. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium and phosphorus. In addition, unprocessed hemp seeds are full of antioxidants, vitamin B, vitamin D and vitamin E which work great against stress and help you manage anxiety.
💛 OLIVE OIL
Olive oil is the heart of the Mediterranean diet, whose followers are healthier and live longer than those who follow a predominantly meat based diet. Olive oil is rich in healthy fats, which again are great for the brain, memory and concentration.
💛 CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Due to the abundance of nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin D, chia seeds reduce the risk of osteoporosis. They are beneficial for the heart and blood vessels, improve intestinal transit, slow down the aging process and give you a lot of energy. By adding a little chia seeds to your diet, you will experience a feeling of fullness and an instant boost of energy.
This green alga is probably the most powerful superfood in its class. Among other benefits, Chlorela is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes and proteins. Chlorella is recommended for body detox and strengthening of the immune system.
A few tips on how to eat Superfoods
To reap the benefits of superfoods, it is important to consume them raw and in their original state. If you take superfoods this way, you will surely absorb most of their valuable nutrients. Why is it so important to eat them raw? In modern production processes, most of the nutritional value is eliminated. Sometimes even all beneficial nutrients in superfoods are nullified by these processes.
Of course, dose and moderation are very important, as more amount of superfoods does not necessarily mean more benefit. In general, your diet should be rich, varied and seasonal, and superfoods should be added and enjoyed in moderation regularly.
Superfoods are essential assets for our healthy eating and help us maintain our productivity, brain power, energy levels and overall health. However, remember that they are not “miraculous” foods that can save us from everything. The basis of good health lies in a healthy diet with good food choices, combined with regular physical activity.