18 Powerful Superfoods You Need to Know About.

superfoods

We're hearing more and more about how important it is to eat healthier, stay physically active, and seek to live a balanced life. Processed junk foods may seem convenient, but they make the body sluggish and crave proper nutrients. That's why we are encouraged to consume more "whole foods" - foods that are processed as little as possible and that contain minimal preservatives and artificial ingredients - especially whole "super foods".

Super foods are fruits, grains, nuts, and vegetables identified as being nutrient rich. There is no specific definition - no yardstick in terms of what would constitute a "super food" nutritionally - but many people believe that including super foods in one's diet can help improve the way the body feels. Here are a few super foods you can incorporate into your daily eating.

Acerola Cherry

Acerola cherries are a powerhouse when it comes to vitamin C , which is important for collagen production, metabolising protein, wound healing, immune function, and iron absorption.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that regenerates other antioxidants in the body. A normal adult requires 30-45 mg of Vitamin C daily; just one fluid ounce of raw acerola cherry juice provides more than 480 mg at only 29 kJ (about 230 kJ for a full cup of juice). Acerola cherries also contain modest amounts of B vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Research is ongoing as to whether the ability of vitamin C to limit free radical damage can have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Apples

The humble apple "keeps the doctor away" for a number of reasons. Each medium to large apple (about 164 g) gives you roughly a quarter to a third of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
An apple also is a decent source of dietary fibre, at about 4.4g for one apple out of the daily recommended amount of 25-30g for normal adults. Dietary fibre is important not only for proper gastrointestinal function but it can also reduce cholesterol and modulate glucose in the blood. It's worth noting that the high fiber content of fresh fruits and vegetables also help keep your immune system strong by promoting a clean and healthy gut. Be sure to eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies as this will assist in ensuring that you are getting a good balance of all of the benefits fresh produce has to offer. Take advantage of locally grown, fresh produce in-season for the greatest nutritional and immune-building benefits.

Beets and Carrots

Loved for their rich, vivid colour, beets are known to be an excellent source of folate (there is roughly a quarter of the recommended daily intake per beet). Folate is a co-enzyme that's necessary for cell division to occur. Folate plays an important role in the metabolism of amino acids and nucleotides, and is
crucial for proper fetal development. Because of these properties, folate may one day prove to be helpful in the prevention of some cancers.
Beets provide B-complex vitamins including B12 , which works alongside folate in the synthesis of DNA and is necessary for proper blood and neurological functions. We also get beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, antioxidants, and minerals like potassium and iron.
Carrots come in orange, yellow, red, white, and purple colours, and are also known to be excellent sources of vitamin A. They also provide fibre, potassium, and antioxidants. Beets are also a great source of nitrates, which have been associated with endurance and lowering blood pressure.

Broccoli, Cabbage, and Kale

Ironically, what makes broccoli and its cruciferous cousins (including cabbage and kale) taste a little bitter is one of many components that make broccoli so healthy . Sulforaphane has been shown in studies to be able

to inhibit an enzyme involved in cancer cell progression; research is ongoing. Broccoli also has high levels of folate and vitamins (especially A, C, E, and K). Vitamins A, C, and E are great for skin health, while Vitamin K improves calcium absorption and bone health.
  •   Calcium
  •   Dietary Fibre
  •   Potassium
  •   Follate
  •   Bone Health
Broccoli provides generous quantities of calcium, potassium, and dietary fibre. Cabbage shares many of the same healthy compounds as broccoli -- sulforaphane, folate, vitamin K and other vitamins, and dietary fibre. Red cabbage also contains anthocyanins, antioxidants which have slowed cancer cell growth and progress in lab studies. Kale is also packed with antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and dietary fibre.

Cranberries

These tart and festive little jewels are full of vitamins A, C, and K, and provide the associated benefits, but in addition, cranberries are known for their proanthocyanidins ("PACs").

These are antioxidants that stop certain types of bacteria from sticking to urinary tract walls, which is why cranberries are often consumed to promote urinary tract health and to prevent urinary tract infection. Commercial juices don't have the same concentration of PACs as cranberry capsules, but raw cranberries and raw cranberry juice may help prevent gum disease by stopping bacteria from binding to our teeth. Cranberries also contain polyphenols, which studies suggest may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through their anti-inflammatory mechanisms and by preventing the build-up of blood platelets.

Dates and Prunes

Dates and prunes are mostly found as dried fruit so they do tend to have a higher sugar content. Nonetheless, they do provide health benefits and they're loaded with nutrients including potassium, which helps to build muscles and aids heart health. They are both relatively high in dietary fibre, helping make the body feel more "full." Prunes do have more fibre, one of the reasons they are good in response to or to prevent constipation, even in juice form . Dates are high in anti-inflammatory polyphenols , while prunes contain calcium, vitamin K, and phosphorus.

With all of these awesome properties, dates and prunes are absolutely wonderful, healthy substitutes for sugary ingredients in baked goods.

Garlic

The world's most famous vampire repellent contains negligible calories and fat, and just a little brings so much flavour to foods. Eating healthier doesn't have to mean bland tasting dishes when you cook with this super food.

Every clove of garlic has a small amount of vitamin C and the mineral manganese , which is crucial for bone formation and the metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates. While there is no definitive scientific proof of its medicinal and therapeutic properties, garlic has been used for millennia to treat ailments. Garlic has been shown to possess some anti-inflammatory and antibiotic qualities, and some people swear that it boosts the immune system. Studies have identified organo-sulphur compounds that seem to be able to destroy cells in a type of brain tumour.

Lemon (Lemon Peel)

The ultimate citrus fruit, lemon is known for its tang and its vitamin C, but there are surprising health benefits that come from consuming the lemon rind . In fact, the bulk of the nutrients to be had from lemons is found in the peel -- not to mention that zesting it is the best way to add that aromatic lemon taste without

overpowering food. Lemon peels also contain high levels of Vitamin C, cell refreshing antioxidants, and calcium -- and the citric acid makes an excellent cleanser and insect repellent.

Mangoes

Mangoes may be the most widely eaten fruit in the world, and for good reason (apart from being delicious).

They are chock full of beta-carotene, polyphenols, potassium, dietary fibre, and vitamins A, C, and K. Mangoes are also a great source of the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which helps protect the eyes and possibly stave off macular degeneration, especially related to age.

Parsley

Most of us recognise parsley as an herb or garnish, but it boasts some impressive health benefits in its own right. It's an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, manganese, magnesium , and dietary fibre.

Parsley also contains a really high concentration of a flavonoid called myricetin, which some claim fights against cancer-causing chemical compounds. Myricetin is being studied for the potential use to treat and prevent diabetes since it has been said to be able to decrease insulin resistance and to lower blood sugar. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties and remove excess fat from the blood.

Pineapples

Sunny, flavourful pineapples aren't just good to eat, they're good for you. They're brimming with vitamin C - one cup of juicy pineapple chunks provides more than the daily recommended intake.

Pineapple also contains vitamins B6, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and beta-carotene and other antioxidants -- as well as pantothenic acid , which is necessary for the metabolism of fat. Fresh pineapple also has an enzyme named bromelain , which may help with nasal and other inflammation.

Rice Bran

Rice bran is the outer hull of rice kernels. The bran is produced during the processing of white rice, which is then stabilised - keeping it full of nutrients - before being made into rice bran oil . Nutritional benefits include vitamin E, antioxidants, and a good proportion of monounsaturated to polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids.

Rice bran oil has been recommended by the World Health Organisation as the best choice of oils to improve serum cholesterol levels . Apart from being an excellent frying oil, rice bran oil can be drizzled onto or into food for consumption.

Spinach

Spinach has always been considered a super food since it contains an exorbitant amount of nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and K, folate, phosphorous, and thiamin , which is important for metabolism and energy.

A great source of protein and carbohydrates, spinach is also surprisingly low in calories. Among the antioxidants contained in spinach is alpha-lipoic acid, which may lower glucose levels and provide other neuropathic benefits to people who suffer from diabetes.

Tomatoes

While the nature of the tomato has long been in debate (it's a fruit, technically), there is no doubt that it is an excellent source of nutrients, including beta-carotene, potassium, dietary fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and most notably, lutein and lycopene . Lycopene is a polyphenol that gives tomatoes their vibrant red colour, and along with lutein and beta-carotene, is important for eye health and preventing cataracts and macular degeneration. Tomatoes also contain choline , which improve memory and cognitive function.

You can make sure your body is getting plenty of super food nutrition. Using whole ingredients like the ones listed above, your body will love all the goodness.

Resources:


https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com

http://www.foodstandards.gov.au

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets

https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients

https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods



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