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Published: 22nd August 2019
We’ve all heard of the term ‘superfoods’ which is used for specific foods known to be more nutritionally beneficial for our body than most. But do you know which foods are superfoods and why?
Here’s everything you need to know about superfoods:
Why Are These Foods So Super?
Most superfoods contain high quantities of nutrients and many contain phytonutrients which often have antioxidant or anti-inflammatory qualities, which are obviously hugely beneficial for the body. Superfoods give more to the body than most foods and are known as being ‘synergistic’ which means they don’t just help one part of your body but the entire body.
Top 10 Superfoods:
Although onions might have you crying at first, the benefits they provide to your body will definitely keep you smiling in the end. Onions contain a nutrient known as quercetin which is an antioxidant that can help to repair and strengthen the cells in your body. This nutrient can also improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure and help avoid blood clots.
Onions are super easy to work into your diet, with many curries, casseroles and stews using onions as a base.
The pungent smell on your breath after eating garlic is well worth all the benefits you’ll get. Known as a natural immunity builder, garlic can help increase your body’s immunity by promoting the growth of white blood cells which are used by the body to naturally fight germs. As well as slowing down the production of bacteria in the body, garlic has also been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Garlic is another flavourful ingredient that is super easy to add into your meals for a little added boost for your health as well as the meal.
Broccoli is a delicious food in its own right and as it is also so good for the body, we should all be upping our broccoli intake! Super high in magnesium and Vitamin C, the benefits of broccoli are very well known, including improving the body’s immune system and upping your ability to fight infections and viruses. Broccoli can actually block viruses from getting deeper into the body’s cells, so it is definitely worth having plenty in your diet.
The popular alternative to rice, pasta and couscous that no one really knows how to pronounce (it’s keen-wah), Quinoa is one of the most beneficial superfoods that exists, being super high in protein to help the body build and repair muscle. Quinoa is also very low in carbohydrates, rich in healthy fats and has great amounts of amino acids such as Lysine as well as Vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium and folate.
Another trendy food that everyone is cooking into crisps or throwing into their smoothie, kale is a green leafy vegetable that is very high in fibre and super rich in vitamins and minerals. Kale contains high quantities of vitamin A and C which are both great for building up the body’s immunity and improving the appearance of your skin.
It is recommended that everyone has at least some fish in their diet and if you can choose wild salmon then you’ll be getting even more benefits. A great source of protein as well as being rich in iodine, potassium and zinc, salmon also contains omega 3 which is universally known for being a great nutrient for anti-ageing and supporting brain function.
You can also use salmon as a source of Vitamin D which helps with healthy hair, skin and bones as well as improving mood.
Although around 1 in every 200 adults has a nut allergy, for those of us who can enjoy this superfood, they’re a great addition to our diet.
Nuts are known for being a source of healthy fats as well as being high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and even amino acids. Every nut has different kinds of nutritional benefits, such as walnuts being high in protein but all nuts are known to be rich in B vitamins, magnesium and even antioxidants which can help rid the body of infection.
Similarly to kale, spinach is one of the leafy greens we all need to be packing into our diets in as many different ways as we can think of! Well known for being a great source of iron, spinach also contains a range of other nutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin K, C and E, beta-carotene and folate.
Spinach is really easy to add into your diet, perfect for adding into smoothies, omelettes, pasta dishes and even curries!
Although all fish are proven to contribute towards a healthy, balanced diet, sardines are slightly unique in the sense that they are still high in omega-3 but without containing huge amounts of mercury like larger fish do. Sardines are also packed with a number of minerals, including key ones such as calcium and iron which are both needed for strong bones and energy.
One of the only sweet superfoods, blueberries are one of the tastiest ways to incorporate superfoods into your diet. Blueberries are known for being rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, being particularly rich in potassium and Vitamin C which are great for boosting the body’s immunity.
Blueberries have also been linked to lowering the risk of heart diseases and potentially even cancer as they are known to be an anti-inflammatory.
So, when you do your next meal plan, why not try and incorporate some of these superfoods into your recipes for not just a boost in flavour but to benefit your body too!