Packed with a variety of nutrients and antioxidants, superfoods can have positive effects on our health. Check out the ten superfoods the world is talking about right now.
It is said what we eat, is what we become. Isn’t that true in every sense of survival? Today we live in a fast-paced world where our lifestyle has become so hectic that we often neglect the most important thing – the nutrition that our body needs to lead a healthy life.
Our short-cut habits of takeaways, frozen meals, ready-to-cook packets, fast-foods are depriving our system of all the essential nutrients, minerals, and micro-nutrients that are needed to keep us fit and healthy. While a balanced diet is of utmost importance to keep healthy, boost immunity and reduce the risk of diseases, some nutrient-rich foods can be singled out to have positive effects on health.
Termed as superfoods, these foods are considered to be powerhouses of nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that can not only make us feel great but also reduce the risk of certain diseases. While there are tons of nutrient-dense superfoods existing in nature since the beginning of time, there are a few that have gained immense popularity recently.
Here we have a listed ten superfoods that the world is raving about right now and which are packed with nutrients and have several health benefits.
This tiny blue-green alga is nothing but a boon. Spirulina boasts of an excellent nutritional profile and is believed to have several health benefits. Packed with protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, copper, iron and other nutrients – spirulina is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that the plant-based protein – phycocyanin found in spirulina can reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol, lowering cholesterol levels. It is also believed to improve our gut health, boost metabolism, improve lung function, balance glucose level etc. Honestly, the list of spirulina health benefits is endless, no wonder millions of people around the world are singing its praises.
Trust us, there is nothing healthier than your sweet ol’ sweet potato. A great source of vitamin C, vitamin B5, potassium, fibre and minerals — sweet potatoes is a wholesome root veggie that is packed with several health benefits. Sweet potatoes are the best choice for diabetic patients as they can help stabilize blood sugar. What’s more, research has also shown that sweet potato contains anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties. Sweet potatoes are also known to lower bad cholesterol level and help reduce heart problems. Adding sweet potatoes to your meal occasionally is highly recommended.
What good is a superfood that’s not easily available? Often referred to as super-grain, this amazing superfood is available in almost every supermarket near you. Yes, we are talking about quinoa. Gluten-free, low in fat content, high in fibre and packed with proteins, minerals and various vitamins, quinoa has emerged as one of the most favourite superfoods across the globe. Its high iron content and lysine promotes tissue growth. Apart from that, it’s also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and copper. What more interesting about this super-grain is the fact that it is extremely versatile and dishes made from it can be served as a side dish, breakfast or even main-dish. Now isn’t that an all-in-one superfood indeed.
We often undervalue the potential of small and tiny looking things in our life. But it’s about time we stop doing that right away. A handful of seeds— like flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and melon seeds — can pack a punch of nutrition like no other. Flaxseeds are a rich source of dietary fibre and omega 3 fatty acids. If you are on a weight loss diet you don’t need to do much of jumbling around with food items, all you need to do is eat these seeds right before your meal and it will lower your hunger and make you eat less naturally. Same goes with chia seeds, which are also rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, like others, boasts of a strong vitamin profile and have all the necessary minerals that our body needs. So, whether you are considering dieting or not these little snack-like superfoods are a must-have in your daily list of munchers.
Contrary to popular belief, pure cow ghee actually has tons of health benefits. It is one kitchen staple that you shouldn’t ever get rid of from your daily diet. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, E, and D, ghee plays an important role in balancing hormones and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. As shocking as it may sound, ghee also aids weight loss. Apart from its nutritional values, it is a natural cooling agent that helps immensely in the digestion process. It reduces the heat in the body and also keeps your mind cool and focused. Adding few spoons of pure cow ghee to your daily diet can keep you upbeat, energetic, focused and nourished throughout the day.
Another superfood that has finally gained its due credit is honey. The enzymes, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants present in honey makes it a perfect shield for your body against many diseases. Honey is effective in preventing Alzheimer’s, hypertension, sleep disorders and reduces the risk of cancer. It is also known to be great for your skin and hair. This golden liquid is also a good hangover remedy. It not only detoxifies alcohol from the system but also supports liver health.
Amla (Indian gooseberry)
In Ayurveda, Amla or the Indian gooseberry is considered to be one of the most potent and powerful fruit because of its several health benefits. Loaded with vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorous, carotene, vitamin B, protein and fibre, the health benefits of amla are innumerable. A powerhouse of antioxidants, it is believed to prevent the formation of cancerous cells and boost immunity. It is good for hair, skin, weight loss and removing toxins from the body. It is one superfood that can be consumed every day either raw or in various forms like juice, powder, candy, pickles, or jams etc.
If one thing that has been consumed the most and highly-recommended as an immunity booster during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, it has to be turmeric. Commonly used in Indian cuisine, this superfood has gained immense popularity across the globe due to its innumerable health benefits during the pandemic. Turmeric contains bioactive compounds that are known to have medicinal properties. The most common compound is curcumin, which is an active ingredient in turmeric that helps eradicate dangerous chemical formation in our system. Ayurveda recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions and advises to have a small amount of turmeric, either in raw form or spice added to your food every day.
This cool veggie has its own style and taste. It’s the ultimate healing source for the body. In Ayurveda, it is revered for its medicinal value and its ability to eliminate many diseases. It is used to treat asthma, internal haemorrhage, urine problems and cough. Though ash gourd comprises of 96% water, it is rich in fibre and provides small amounts of various nutrients. It is a good source of Vitamin c, flavonoids and carotenes and Ash gourd also contains small amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, as well as various other B vitamins.
Many might frown upon the mention of this cruciferous vegetable, but the fact is, it is loaded with lots of health benefits. Packed with vitamin A, C, E and K, it can protect cell damage. It’s a great source of fibre and protein and contains iron, calcium, and potassium, which enhances immune system functions. Broccoli is also renowned to build up strong bones and help in blood clotting. Daily inclusion of broccoli in your diet has been said to prevent various types of cancer as well. Lastly, while it is good to add all these superfoods to our everyday dietary pattern, it is important to remember that the key to a healthy life is to consume a variety of nutritious food in proper proportions. Eating a well-balanced diet can do wonders for our health.