As a mom, I feel that it is vital to provide my children with the best nutrition possible. I find this especially so growing up in a culture that is prone to either gorging on fast foods or indulging in fad diets. I try to provide my girls with the best choices for healthy eating, that will hopefully become a way of life.
Some common or well-known examples of these foods include salmon, blueberries, broccoli, spinach and green tea. I have put together a list of everyday Superfoods. These are not only high in nutrients and antioxidants but in some cases, are thought to prevent weight gain. Yes, we can use all the help we can get!
Cranberries are packed with proanthocyanidins that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes and improve urinary tract health. New research indicates that cranberry juice may also work against gastrointestinal viruses.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. However, you need to eat dark chocolate which contains at least 70% cocoa. It is also high in magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and phosphorus, which are essential for healthy bones. It is also thought to improve moods and brainpower.
Eggs are a great breakfast staple and a high-quality protein that is rich in vitamins D and A and low in saturated fat. They also contain choline, which was recently noted for its importance in brain function.
Research has shown that garlic may protect against heart disease and some cancers. It is also an excellent way to boost one’s immune system, especially in winter – it is in essence natures antibiotic. Garlic has been found to be more potent than Penicillin and Tetracycline and will not cause disturbances in the gastric flora, which other pharmaceutical antibiotics do.
“It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-protozoan and antiviral,” asserted Paul Bergner, Director of The North American Institute of Herbal Medicine and author of The Healing Power of Garlic and several other herbal medicine books.
Green tea fights cancer and heart disease and helps in preventing dementia, diabetes, and stroke. It also contains polyphenols, which may reduce heart disease, cancer and stroke risk. Due to a key compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is a flavonoid, green tea also supports brain health and memory. EGCG is thought to boost the immune system and prevent tumours.
Kiwifruit is high in vitamins, flavonoids and minerals. In particular, they contain a high amount of Vitamin C (more than oranges), as much potassium as bananas and a good amount of beta-carotene. They also help form Carnitine, which transports fats into cells to be burned as energy
Lentils are a fantastic source of energy as they are high in protein, fibre and antioxidants.
Researchers have found that two of the most commonly purchased mushrooms—crimini (small, brown ones) and portobello—ranked as high in antioxidants as green beans, red bell peppers and carrots.
Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat, which has been linked to heart health and also promotes longevity.
If you would like the same mood lift you get from eating dark chocolate, but without the fats and calories, this is the super food for you. Like chocolate, they are an excellent source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is a mood elevator—nature’s healthy Prozac.
Rolled oats and also oatmeal, the milled grain, are high in protein, contain essential fats and are rich in minerals including zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Red Peppers supply a daily dose of skin-repairing vitamin A and more than your necessary supply of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Is a great source of protein and has one of the highest levels of vitamin D found in all foods, which is important in maintaining a healthy heart and strong bones. Salmon is also one of the best sources of omega three fatty acids, which increases brain efficiency and improves memory. It is essential for children to include Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet, especially in the early developmental phase of their lives.
Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, and lutein—an essential nutrient for healthy eyes.
Sweet Potatoes contain Resistant Starch, which is considered to be the third type of dietary fibre. They are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and packed full of vitamins, manganese, and potassium.
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help protect against cervical and breast cancers. The lycopene in tomatoes is also said to lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol), enhance the body’s defences and protect enzymes, DNA, and cellular fats.
One cup of watermelon contains more than twice the lycopene (7.8 milligrams) of a fresh tomato. Watermelon also supplies healthy amounts of vitamins A and C. It only contains 40 calories per cup.
Not only is it a great source of bone building calcium, but also an excellent source of probiotics. Probiotics combat the growth of unhealthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
That concludes my list of everyday Superfoods. There are too many to mention them all here, but these are the ones which I find are more readily available. If we endeavour to include at least a few of these in our daily intake and eat fresh seasonal produce, it will not only boost our immune system but keep us looking and feeling healthier.
I will be posting recipes containing these Superfoods, over the next few months. Please share any other foods you consider to be Superfoods or feel free to share any of your healthy recipes with us.
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