Some foods are meant to be eaten once in a while, even the ones that are deemed “super.” On the other hand, there are foods that you should consider including in your everyday diet. Aside from brimming with a number of disease-combating nutrients, these foods don’t provide too many calories, and most importantly, can be presented in a delightful and tasty form. You can develop bad and unhealthy habits over your lifetime, but eating these foods on a consistent basis isn’t one of them.
Number one on the list are nuts. Nuts are the best example of foods that are small yet mighty. Whether they are almond, cashew, macadamia, or Brazil nuts, you can expect them to carry an overflowing amount of nutrients and antioxidants. Different types of nuts provide different health benefits, but what is amazing is that they all have the potential to improve health quality. In a study printed in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists found that individuals who consume a handful of nuts on a daily basis live longer than people who do not eat nuts at all. The reason is that antioxidants in nuts help in reducing at least 29% in deaths resulting from heart disease and around 11% in the risk of death from cancer. Therefore, if you’re looking to live up to a hundred, it would make sense to add nuts to your daily diet.
This type of root vegetable is very attractive to many, not only because it is sweet, but especially because it is expensive and readily available. Most recently, sweet potatoes have been on the center stage of many weight loss programs. They are very high in fiber and low in calories, making them an excellent choice when you’re trying to lose weight. What makes them super, though, is the fact that they are power-packed with beta-carotene. In places like Africa where vitamin A deficiency is considered a major problem, the increased cultivation of sweet potatoes is being encouraged. Other nutrients found in this superfood include manganese, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamins B5 and B6.
Often ranked on top as the world’s healthiest foods, berries are tiny fruits that are big on antioxidants. Though small, these super fruits have the reputation of being able to stop degenerative mental disorders on their tracks. Blueberries, for instance, have been found to be able to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease when consumed on a consistent basis. Meanwhile, some berries like raspberries contain rheosmin, a phenolic compound that encourages weight loss. By adding berries to your daily diet, you can also regulate your blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy digestive system, and reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Hailing from the cabbage family, broccoli is one vegetable with very extensive health benefits. It is not only packed with essential nutrients, it also carries important therapeutic properties. What makes this green plant super, though, is the fact that it is potent with anti-cancer properties. According to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, USA, eating broccoli at least three times every month is enough to reduce your chances of developing bladder cancer by 40 percent.
Not only is spinach appealing to the eye, it is nourishing to the body as well. Spinach is very special as it is one of the few green vegetables that have very high nutritional value. A hundred gram serving carries only 23 calories and provides a huge dose of vitamins A, C, and K, B vitamins riboflavin and B6, as well as iron, folate, manganese, and magnesium. Spinach also contains glycoglycerolipids, a health-supportive nutrient that has been found to have the ability to protect the digestive tract. It is very much affordable and can be easily incorporated to your daily diet. You can boil it, fry it, steam it, or even turn it into a smoothie! And although it is not the most nutritious way to eat spinach, you can eat it Popeye style – straight from the can.
Lemon is another food that’s very popular for its therapeutic properties. When combined with water, it can do a lot of wonders. For instance, since lemon is very rich in vitamin C (providing 64% of daily value per 100 g), drinking lemon water can significantly boost your immune system. Vitamin C travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals and can be helpful in preventing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. With the unique phytonutrients with antioxidants and antibiotic effects lemon water brings, it is a must-have drink that should be taken on a daily basis.
Just like nuts, legumes are a proof that great things come in small packages. Including more than 10,000 varieties of beans, lentils, and peas, legumes belong to a vegetable class that is tremendously broad. Nevertheless, almost all types of legumes are an excellent source of fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. And since they are high in complex carbohydrates, they can help make you feel fuller for longer periods and are therefore excellent foods to include in your diet when you’re trying to lose weight. In addition, their high fiber content helps promote regular bowel movement and help regulate your blood sugar levels.
Not a lot of foods can provide as many health benefits in large amounts as salmon. This unique fish is an outstanding source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamins B and B6. It also contains a considerable amount of phosphorus, zine, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Due to its high omega-3 content, salmon is believed to be able to protect the heart, reduce the risk of sudden death from heart attack, reduce the risk of stroke, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating salmon on a regular basis is also considered important in improving blood lipid patterns, improving function of blood vessels, improving inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and reducing the risk of mental health problems like Alzheimer’s disease.
A cousin of broccoli, kale is another vegetable you should consume on a consistent basis. What’s great about kale is that you can prepare it in a healthy and tasty way in the form of kale chips. Kale chips are very easy to make and are an ideal way to retain the nutritional value of the vegetable. What makes kale king of the vegetable aisle, though, is the fact that it is jam-packed with beta-carotene, vitamin, C, and vitamin K. It is also very rich in calcium and is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin. When consume on a regular basis, kale can potentially lower your risk of developing cancer and cataracts, thanks to over 45 different flavonoids that builds it profile.
These tiny seeds are packed with a powerful nutritional punch, so don’t let its size fool you. Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant, believed to have been first cultivated by the Aztec. They are a rich source of B vitamins niacin, thiamine, folate, and riboflavin, and can provide an ample amount of calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Because of their high fiber, protein, and omega-3 content, they have the potential to help lower the risk of heart problems and type 2 diabetes.
Last, but absolutely not least on our list, is Apple. Not a lot of introduction is needed for this super fruit. Known for their sweet taste, apples contain a significant amount of dietary fiber. They are also a rich source of vitamin C. Although they have generally low essential nutrient content, apples are considered by scientists to play a crucial role in keeping the digestive health in check. Regular consumption of apples have been found to alter amounts of bacteria in the digestive tract and provide more fuel to the large intestine cells.