Do you have a poor diet with almost negligible nutrient intake? Or maybe you are searching for a new way to level up your food-game. Either way, superfoods are your ticket to not just leveling up your dietary game but winning it by far altogether.
Now, as a health-conscious person, you must have come across the term ‘superfood’ quite a lot of times. It seems to be the 'hot' word buzzing on top in every health and fitness magazine. But are superfoods really worth the hype or are they overrated? Alright, they won't give you ‘super’powers, if that’s what you’re thinking but they are definitely going to make your life better, and you SUPER healthy.
What are Superfoods?
This fairly new term that’s snatching away all the limelight in 2020 simply refers to a variety of foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits with truly exceptional nutrient density. Superfoods are believed to confer myriad health benefits with minimal calories. Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and so much more, you can hear superfoods scream ‘SUPER HEALTHY’ really loud and clear.
Top 3 Superfoods
Haven't heard of this term before? Let me break it down for you: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables. It was always right in front of you and you never noticed. DGLVs are great sources of micronutrients such as vitamins (48-68%) and iron (19-39%). The best part about these superfoods is that they are convenient to incorporate into your diet while also being easily available and affordable.
Ever since we've known, Quinoa seems to have maintained the buzz as one of the healthiest foods available. Boasting so many health benefits such as better gut and heart health, high amounts of fiber and minerals and so much more all while being gluten-free, Quinoa surely has earned its place on the superfoods list.
Come on, you'll know this: berries are hands down the best superfoods there are. Why? For starters, they are highly palatable: bake them, turn them into a smoothie or eat them raw. Secondly, they are loaded with antioxidants and micros that aren't just good for your body but the skin too. Berries, especially blueberries, in some studies have been shown to potentially help fight cancer too.
If you are looking for an option to get the benefits of blueberries on-the-go, checkout our Blueberry Almond Tart Rowdy Bars.
Why are Superfoods worth it?
Superfoods are every bit worth it and when you get to the end of learning its benefits (that might never end), I'm sure you will be sharing the same view.
1. High Nutrient Density
The first thing that makes superfoods 'super' is their exceptional nutrient density.
What is nutrient density? The nutrient density of food determines the number of nutrients packed in the food for the number of calories that you are consuming. Say glazed donut and an apple are roughly the same sizes, but the glazed donut is high in calories. Does that make it nutrient-dense? No, because donuts have very little nutrients per calorie in comparison to an apple. Thus, an apple is more nutrient-dense than a donut.
Now, superfoods are supposedly every bit nutritious with vitamins, complexes, minerals, and healthy fats, minus the calories, so if you’re worried about putting on weight, you need not be.
Superfoods are also high in fiber which means you do not have to chomp on them like junk in order to satiate your hunger; just a meal and you are full. The fiber present is great for the gut while also aiding in the detoxification of the body.
2. Promote Overall Health
Superfoods help your body ward off diseases by improving your immune responses and may also be able to prevent chronic diseases from harnessing your body. When incorporated into a balanced diet, superfoods promote heart health, keeping your cardiac functions going.
Superfoods are not only high in fiber but also exceptionally low in fat, a life-saving combination for the cardiovascular system.
What superfoods are good for the heart? Spinach and watercresses are packed with elements such as carotenoids and flavonoids that are excellent for heart health. Cabbages and particularly kale, are the star-players when it comes to promoting overall heart health.
Artichoke and rocket have major servings of vitamin A, C, and also K that are highly appreciable when it comes to improving hepatic ability and regulating cholesterol levels.
3. Promote Weight Loss
When you're trying to shed a few pounds, superfoods will go beyond their way to make the cut. Most superfoods are high in nutrients with low amounts of calories. Sound good? Definitely good for weight loss. The chock-full of good-for-you fiber available in superfoods help satiate appetite, keeping you away from bingeing on sugar and going back to square one.
What superfoods are good for cutting down some weight? Black Beans are one of the most satisfying proteins that contain no saturated fat. Oats, as you know are proven to help burn down fat but avocados and broccoli can contribute to modest weight loss as well.
If you can’t resist meat, try Salmon instead- it doesn’t just prevent obesity but also has high amounts of omega-3 that can be great for the heart.
4. Improve Energy Levels
Most superfoods will bolster your metabolism, speeding up your energy levels to a point that you can feel the enthusiasm oozing out of your body. If you are wondering how superfoods with so fewer calories can give you major energy boosts, it's not the calories, it's the nutrients.
Several nutrients in the superfoods can play an essential role in boosting energy, focus, and concentration throughout the day.
What superfoods can boost my energy? Pretty much any superfood but to name a few, the first on my list would be sweet potatoes. They are packed with complex carbs and fiber that are a constant source of energy for the body. Other than this, goji berries, quinoa, oatmeal, lentils, and yogurt can substantially help with improving your energy levels.
5. Improve Age Longevity
Free radicals can significantly impact your aging, abating your lifespan every day. It is quite normal for the body to produce free radicals while making energy but why worry when you have superfoods to rescue you. Some superfoods, upon consistent consumption in the long-range, have been proven to reduce the process of aging, also giving you that super glow that your skin craves.
Which superfoods fight to age? Berries, notably goji berries and blueberries, have excellent anti-aging capacity. Although berries may still leave room for contradiction in terms of weight loss, they are unambiguously beneficial in improving age longevity.
Rich in lipids, antioxidants, and proteins, superfoods like berries have garnered much fame in terms of aging and associated pathologies. So what are you waiting for? Living longer is now 'berry' easy with berries!
Replacement to Superfoods: Superfood Supplements
Do you usually have very little time to pay a visit to the supermarket with a long list of essentials? In that case, it’s pretty obvious that contemplating and buying groceries wouldn’t be your top priority. If garnering and stocking different superfoods seems a little too difficult for you but you do want to cherish the benefits that come along, there is a solution. Superfood supplements can be a great replacement to superfoods with high palatability and convenience of consumption.
If you are fed up with the usually grassy taste of your meals, superfood powders are sure to tingle your taste buds with their refreshing flavors, all while saving you the time to cook your superfood. Major supplement companies have been producing superfood supplements that may sometimes be better than the superfood itself, with uncountable ingredients and ease of absorption.
Contrary to the popular belief, finding superfoods isn’t that hard or expensive. Most of them are always around the corner, waiting to be noticed and all you have to do is pick them up and take them home. Well, that may have sounded too dramatic, but superfoods with so much diversity and their ability to maintain body pH, high trace element content, regulation of oxidative stress are always a delightful addition to the regular meals.
Lettuce, kale, quinoa, ginger, seaweed, and berries… all hail the superfoods!
CREDIT: Swati is a content curator and a health junkie with a keen interest in the fitness vertical. She is a writer at Gaining Tactics and when she isn’t writing, she is probably champing at the bit to tell people all about TABATA and the best workout music.