Ever so often you hear about someone you know or a friend of a friend, being diagnosed with the dreaded “C” disease. Someone who all his or her life has led a very active disciplined life with no major vices such as smoking, drinking, or eating the wrong type of foods. People who are very active in some form of physical activity and eat the so called healthy fruits and vegetables.
It leaves you shocked and you wonder why this it happens? Was it the DNA of the person that causes the disease or was it consumption foods that were ripened using some form of pesticides, that leave their harmful traces in the cells?
Nearly all dietitians tell you to avoid processed foods and any meat that has been preserved by curing, salting or smoking, or by adding chemical preservatives. they advise you of the harmful effects of eating fried foods and grilled to the point of being charred meats. In other words anything that can be classified as carcinogenic.
With everyone becoming more conscious of their appearance and their health a lot of us, me including, have started adding some Superfoods or power foods in our diet
Although there is no scientifically based definition for Superfoods, but generally, a food is promoted to superfood status when it offers high levels of desirable nutrients, is linked to the prevention of a disease, or is believed to offer several simultaneous health benefits beyond its nutritional value. Merriam-Webster Dictionary confirms its widespread use, which defines a superfood as “a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.”
Superfoods do more than just help you meet your vitamin and mineral needs. Superfoods help in optimizing your body’s ability to function by supplying a megadose of nutrients. In fact, these foods can help you achieve better health, prevent chronic disease, and improve the way you feel day in and day out. When combined with regular exercise and a balanced diet, adding a few of these top superfoods into your day can benefit many different aspects of your health.
There are many websites which will give you a list of superfoods to eat. But here are a few of my favourites :-
- Cinnamon-This spice is high in antioxidants and has been associated with lower blood sugar and cholesterol, improvements in nausea and PMS symptoms, and decreased inflammation.
- Almonds– Almonds are one of the most nutrient-rich nuts available. They are among the best non-dairy sources of calcium, providing more milligrams of calcium per serving than any other nut, and are also high in vitamin E and protein
- Avocados -Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K, and has more potassium than a banana.
- Salmon-Fatty fish like salmon are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can slash inflammation, boost brain health and keep your heart strong.
- Sunflower seeds-Sunflower seeds, like nearly all types of nuts and seeds, provide a healthy source of essential fatty acids. Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of fiber & amino acids which make up the building blocks of proteins, B Vitamins, and more.
- Pumpkin seeds-Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients. Healthy magnesium levels are important for your blood pressure, heart health, bone health and blood sugar levels.
- Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and even potentially protect against cancer and diabetes. These seeds are also high in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, plus contain a hearty dose of protein and fiber in each serving.
- Turmeric -Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric & curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.
- Amla /Indian Gooseberry -The health benefits of Indian Gooseberry, also known as Amla, can be partially attributed to its high vitamin C Amla helps in boosting the immune system, slowing down aging, treating throat infections, reducing blood sugar levels, and improving heart health.
Remember and Keep in mind that although these foods pack in extra nutrients and can be a healthy addition to the diet, they are not an immediate cure for any ailment or medical problem. Pair these health-promoting foods with other nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, as well as a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, to really optimize your health and ward off chronic disease.
Eat healthy, stay healthy.