What Are Superfoods? Do They Actually Have Superpowers?
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Superfoods are any one particular type of food that are loaded with a nutrient compared to another food and are considered extremely beneficial for health. They often claim to help you lose weight quickly, stop ageing and much more. Although these claims are hardly based in fact, these superfoods may not create any miracles in reality. However, you may include them in your diet for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
No food is capable of magically improving your health, increasing life expectancy, or combat disease. You must exercise regularly; determine your environmental conditions, to truly notice health benefits.
Myths regarding superfoods
You may have heard broccoli cures diabetes, breast cancer or lung cancer. On the other hand, coconut oil may be great in bolstering thyroid function, digestion and reducing cholesterol, but excessive consumption of it can have an entirely opposite effect on your health. Similarly, only having blueberries and no other fruits can deprive the body of essential nutrients found in other foods.
While it is important to know about the nutrients in foods, it is always advised to eat a varied diet which offers essential macro and micronutrients. A super diet is more necessary than superfoods.
Superfoods that are worthy of the title
- Dark green leafy vegetables are a great source of nutrients. They consist of folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber. They have the potential to reduce your risk of chronic illnesses including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. They are also known to have anti-inflammatory compounds and protect you against certain types of cancer. You may include kale, turnip greens, spinach etc in your meals.
- Berries have antioxidant properties and are a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and fiber. These can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and other inflammatory conditions. They further help in treating digestive and immune-related disorders. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries can be used as part of your daily breakfast.
- Eggs remain one of the healthiest foods, rich in many nutrients and loaded with high-quality protein. They promote better vision and lead to a favorable reduction in heart disease risk.
- Legumes or pulses have rightly earned the label of being superfoods. They play a role in preventing and managing various diseases as they are rich in B vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. They also help maintain healthy weight.
- Nuts and seeds have heart-healthy fats. They are packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds are great additions to your diet and make for a healthy snack. These may reduce your risk of heart disease and support weight loss.
- Salmon is a highly nutritious fish full of healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, potassium and selenium. It is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. It has several health benefits; it lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
There are other superfoods such as probiotic-rich, yoghurt, ginger, garlic and turmeric, avocado and sweet potatoes too are considered to help achieve optimal health.
Even though some foods have high nutritional value, no one food is a solution to all health problems. The fact that superfoods are becoming so popular in recent times, implies that people want to have healthier lifestyles, but are more likely to fall for something that promises quick results. However, the only way to live a healthy life is to eat a well-balanced diet, stay hydrated, stress-free and get plenty of exercise. Following trends without proper knowledge is not only the reason why you won’t see desired results, it can also be the reason you are causing more harm to your body than good.