Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. We are what we eat; making health-conscious choices and developing healthy dietary habits are keys to your physical and mental wellness. I have handpicked top three superfoods from different food categories - vegetable, seed and fruit - which are renowned for their unmatched health benefits. These superfoods are readily available in supermarkets near you and easy to consume. They will surely transform and endow your body with superheroic wellness.
Often termed as "The Miracle of the Sea", spirulina is one of the most renowned superfoods to date. Due to their nutrient packed properties and potency, it's the number one pick by astronauts to help them supplement vital nutrients in outer space. Spirulina is a natural algae powder and depending on how well they are harvested, they can be incredibly high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
According to NIH (National Institute of Health), there is not enough scientific evidence to support the clinical benefits of spirulina in treating any specific health conditions. But many actually promote its use for alleviating health conditions ranging from weight problems, diabetes, high cholesterol to emotional disorders. Nonetheless, its nutrient value is unmatched and below are top five pro-health properties of spirulina you should know:
- They are 65% protein and amino acids including the essential amino acids, gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has effective anti-inflammatory properties.
- They are extremely high in chlorophylls which removes toxin from blood and boosts immune systems.
- High concentration of bioavailable iron, thus recommended to pregnant moms, anaemic patients and vegans.
- Amazing antioxidant capacities with ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of over 24,000, which is four times of blueberries.
- High content in calcium, in fact, 24 times more than milk!
Related Reading: Top 3 Medicinal Uses For Turmeric
Quinoa is a seed that is harvested from a species of a plant called goosefoot. It is neither a cereal nor a grain, and in fact, they are more closely related to spinach and beet. They are the least allergenic of all the grains and has twice the protein content of rice or barley; making them a great healthy substitute to plain rice. The year 2013 was actually called "The International Year of Quinoa" by the United Nations based on its high nutrient value and potential to contribute to food security worldwide. Below are the top five health benefits of quinoa you should know:
- They are loaded with protein, fiber and minerals without the gluten, which makes it perfect for people who are gluten intolerant.
- Contains two different types of flavonoids: Quercetin and Kaempferol. They have outstanding anti-inflammatory properties along with, anti-viral and anti-cancer effects.
- They have very low glycemic index. Low GI foods have been frequently associated with lowered risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cancer.
- An excellent source of protein which has ALL the essential amino acids we need.
- Quinoa is high in minerals that most people can't get enough of, especially magnesium (Magnesium is the second most deficient mineral in developed countries. This could be you! Don't miss out on magnesium as they also promote healthier brain function.)
Blueberries are the fruits of a shrub that belong to the health family, which includes the cranberry and bilberry. Not only are they delicious, but they are proven to be nutrient dense with vast health benefits for the consumer. Below are the top five favourable properties of blueberries you should know:
- They have the highest antioxidant capacities of all fresh fruits, which neutralises free radicals closely linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related health conditions.
- Anthocyanin (pigment responsible for its dark colour), selenium and surplus amounts of vitamins in blueberries are linked to promoting brain health and the prevention of neurotic disorders.
- They are low in fat which makes them a great snack and an excellent source of manganese, which plays a vital role in bone development and converting carbohydrates and fats into energy.
- Holds at least 25% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, promoting gum health and boosting the immune system.
- Blueberries can aid in reducing belly fat, which is linked to lowered risks of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndromes.
Superfoods for the Whole Family
The top three superfoods listed in this article are not only great for its nutrient-packed properties and health benefits, but its their abundance and easy availability that makes them even more outstanding.
But it's also important to note that, a diet is healthy only when it is well balanced. Health is something that you cannot buy in a form of tablets nor do these three superfoods work miracles and cure cancer. Health is a lifestyle; be conscious, be aware and most of all, be smart.