We’ve so often heard of that “superfood” that can be a silver-bullet to great health, or that it’s good as an anti-toxin, or a secret weapon for diabetes. Superfood has its fad too. Coconut oil, Quinoa, pomegranate. Just to name a few foods that’s took media turns being “super” with its highly beneficial health factors.
To be healthy takes more than just superfood. But instead of just focusing on a particular superfood, eating healthy is often an exercise in variety and moderation. Why not eat a variety of so-called superfood? Food that not only boosts your health but, get this, happiness too. So let’s look at a group of foods that is good for you, in its own way, in keeping you happy and healthy. You’d be surprised at how common these foods are.
It did wonders for Pop-eye, didn’t it? Fact is, it’d probably do you good too. Spinach is a great source of iron, which gives your cells all the energy-sustaining oxygen it needs for healthy cell growth. Here are sound reasons why spinach would produce such results, primarily the fact that it is rich in iron. Iron plays a central role in the function of red blood cells, which help in transporting oxygen around the body, in energy production and DNA synthesis. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2.
Beans, peas and even peanuts are a great source of magnesium, a mineral that plays a core part in your body’s energy production. How magnesium works in the body is when you exercise, magnesium is distributed to all parts of the body to help energy molecules get to where they are needed.
Great as a salad, even greater as an antioxidant. What makes the tomato such a healthy fruit or vegetable (yes, it’s both!) is its wealth of nutrients and vitamins, including an impressive amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate, and thiamine. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper.
Tomato also contains a large amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that is highly effective in scavenging cancer causing free radicals. The lycopene in tomatoes defends against cancer and has been shown to be particularly effective in fighting prostate cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx and esophageal cancers.
Who doesn’t love apples? Everyone’s favourite fruit contains the mighty flavonoid quercetin, a natural antihistamine and block substances that causes allergy symptoms. One word of advice – be sure to eat apples with skin on, you could be peeling away the majority of quercetin!
Touted as a “brain” food, walnuts are one of the richest sources of serotonin, a chemical that helps to create calm and happiness. A study has shown that eating 1-ounce of walnuts – combined with hazelnuts and almonds, gives you more of this “feel-good” feeling.
Not in the mood lately? Try eating more salmon to feel good. The omega-3 fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in salmon, tuna and other fatty fish benefit you. Not only does it uplift your mood, it’s good for heart health.
Red, blue, black, just about any berry is very good for you. These fruits help stave off brain ageing that could lead to slower thought processing. Not to mention their antioxidant qualities that fight against toxins in the body.
The much maligned eggs. Is too much good for you? Well, moderation we say. Because these versatile food gives off choline, found in the yolk that is required to make neurotransmitter acetylcholine that helps with your memory. Don’t forget about the whites! Egg whites are one of the top sources of protein. It ranks up there with lean meat, poultry and fish. More than half of a full egg’s
6 g of protein, in fact, comes from the white. A single egg white offers 4 g of protein without the yolk’s fat. As for eggs having cholesterol? The jury is still out there. We say again, moderation.
Great skin and loads of vitamin C. Who isn’t a friend of the orange? Known to help prevent dry, lined appearance, oranges are full of beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells from damage. Beta-carotene protects the skin from free radicals and helps prevent the signs of aging.
They also aid in good eye health and protect vision. Oranges are rich in carotenoid compounds which are converted to vitamin A and helps prevent macular degeneration. A cup of OJ a day puts you in good stead, and in good self-esteem as far as skin is concerned.
A humble, affordable yet powerful spice that you should include in your diet as much as possible. Turmeric contains curcumin, a yellow pigment that’s known to combat free radical and inflammatory damage, helping to protect against memory loss, aids Indigestion and heartburn.
Curcumin works with the gallbladder, stimulating it to make bile, which may help with digestion. Studies have also suggested curcumin may help prevent the build-up of plaque that can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Early studies suggest that taking turmeric daily can cut down the number of people with prediabetes who may develop diabetes in future.
- Green Tea
Not only is it healthy, it’s a refreshing drink with qualities that include improving blood flood and reducing blood pressure and lowering of cholesterol. All thanks to its catechin content. Catechins are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage and inhibit growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, lower risk of cavities and reduced bad breath. This wonder tea is also known to improve brain function in the short term, and may also protect your brain in old age.
There you have it. There are more than 11 superfoods to talk about, much more. But each food will always have its benefits that work for the human body, in its own way. The next time you draw out your supermarket grocery list, be sure to add some of these foods and plan your diet around them. They can only do good to your health, and happiness.