7 Superfoods to add to your diet
If you’d like to cut down on trips to the doctor’s office, you might want to visit your fridge or pantry. Research has shown that certain foods have a variety of health benefits, from aiding in weight-loss to boosting your immune system. While consuming carrots may not make your eyeglasses obsolete and downing a glass of orange juice won’t immediately kick your cold to the curb, incorporating the following superfoods into your diet may keep you healthier in the long run and help ward off certain illnesses.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This versatile superfood has a variety of compounds including acetic acid, magnesium, probiotics, and potassium, among others, that makes it a powerful tool in fighting a variety of health issues. Research has shown it can help lower blood pressure, decrease blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, help you lose weight, alleviate acid reflux and more. While some people choose to dilute ACV with water and honey and drink it straight, it can also be used as a salad dressing or as a marinade for meat and vegetables.
Adding beans to your chili is a great way to add antioxidants to your diet. These phytochemicals found in beans combat free radicals in the body, which can help fight things like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Beans can also aid in weight loss, as they have a high fiber, protein, and water content that help you feel full faster. Some of the healthiest beans you can add to your favorite recipes include garbanzo beans, navy beans, lentils, black beans, and red kidney beans.
Thanks to their potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, adding blueberries to your diet can help lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. Of all the major fruits that people consume, it has been found that blueberries have the highest concentration of antioxidants. In one study, elderly patients who had some cognitive impairment drank blueberry juice every day. Researchers found the participants had improvements in several areas of brain function after consuming the juice every day for 12 weeks.
Although not as popular as other fruits such as apples and bananas, kiwis are a nutrient dense powerhouse that has shown promising results in the areas of respiratory issues, heart health, and possibly even better sleep. In one study, children who consumed kiwi once or twice a week had reduced episodes of wheezing, night time cough, and runny nose and the most benefits were seen with children who had asthma.
The next time you’re craving a sweet snack, grab yourself a bowl of papaya. This sweet fruit can aid with digestion, decrease stress levels, hinder the progression of vision decline, improve skin tone and improve bone health thanks to its high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and lycopene. Some people even find it helps with dry hair or a flaky scalp when incorporated into homemade shampoos.
Spirulina is a type of algae that grows in fresh and salt water lakes in places such as Hawaii, Mexico and South America. Don’t let the green color of this superfood scare you; it’s one of the healthiest things you can add to your diet for a number of reasons. Besides giving you energy and improving digestion, spirulina has also been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, possibly prevent cancer, help relieve allergy symptoms, treat anemia and more. Because spirulina has a strong taste, many people opt to take it in pill or capsule form that can be bought at local health food stores. It can also be purchased in powder form and mixed into green smoothies and protein shakes.
While nuts are well known for being heart-healthy due to their abundance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats, walnuts are definitely a superfood superstar out of the bunch. Having a handful of these nuts a day may help prevent cancer, stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce appetite and assist in weight loss. Because they are abundant in vitamins B and E, calcium and manganese, walnuts may help increase brain function significantly; pregnant mothers who eat walnuts may also benefit by promoting proper brain development in children. A good way to add walnuts to your diet is by sprinkling them over healthy steel cut oats, adding them to bread, or including them in homemade trail mix.
About the Author
Sophie growing up was told by multiple doctors her chronic sinusitis would never subside. Healthy eating, daily exercise, and yoga completely cured her and transformed her life. Sophie is now extremely passionate about all things related to health and fitness.