The word superfood is one that you have likely heard more and more of in the past few years. With the desire to eat better, live better, and take better care of ourselves, the urge to discover healthier options is continuing to grow!
Although the word itself is sometimes dismissed as marketing hype, there are several superfoods that undoubtedly deserve this honourable label! Today I want to look at some of those foods and discuss the benefits to both body and mind when you include them in your diet regularly.
These are all foods that are super simple to include each day, and are all readily available at your local supermarket.
You may not have seen garlic on any top ten superfood lists in the past, but I think this aromatic ingredient deserves a place in the superfood hall of fame! Garlic belongs to the onion family and it grows naturally in many different parts of the world.
To put it simply, garlic is incredibly nutritious but has very few calories. It can be eaten raw or cooked in a vast number of dishes, and always brings its signature flavour.
Garlic has been used throughout history for its medicinal properties, and many of these benefits have been confirmed by modern day science. Consuming garlic regularly can help to boost the immune system, and in fact many people take garlic supplements in order to do so. As well as helping to keep colds and other illnesses at bay, garlic can also reduce the seriousness of symptoms when a cold does strike, and speed up the time it takes to get you back to full health!
Research shows that certain compounds in garlic work to reduce blood pressure, which can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
If you were to consume a 28 gram serving of garlic, then you would also be enjoying 23% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of manganese, 17% of your RDA of vitamin B6, 15% of your RDA of vitamin C, and 6% of your RDA of selenium – what's not to love!
Broccoli may not sound as exciting as kale or spirulina, but it is an absolute winner when it comes to the nutrients within!
The potential that broccoli has to help prevent certain cancers is an exciting topic and one that more research will certainly be conducted into in the future. Studies have shown that sulforaphane – a compound found in broccoli – could potentially slow the growth of cancer.
This cruciferous vegetable is high in water and low in calories, making it a great choice for filling your plate with if you are trying to maintain or lose weight. One cup of broccoli will contain approximately only 31 calories, whilst also packing 2.4 grams of fibre. This cup of broccoli will also be rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K!
Oats may not be the most visually appealing food in the world, but they sure do pack a powerful nutrient punch! They are one of the healthiest whole grains in existence, containing a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants.
The scientifically proven benefits of consuming oats regularly includes better blood sugar balance and a decreased risk of cardiovascular health conditions. Oats have also been shown to help those who are trying to lose weight when consumed in moderation regularly.
If you choose to add oats to your diet every day then you will be including a beneficial amount manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc! You will also be getting a decent serving of carbohydrates and protein without over-doing it on the calories.
One of the most exciting things about oats is that they contain a group of antioxidants known as avenanthramides. This type of antioxidant isn't found in many foods, but it is great for helping the blood vessels to dilate and the blood to flow well. Avenanthramides also have anti-inflammatory properties and are partly responsible for how well oats help to keep blood sugar levels down.
No list of superfoods would be complete without some variety of nut, and my nut of choice is the almond! Although these tasty nuts are native to the Middle East, they are also now produced on a massive scale in the United States.
Almonds contain a huge dose of nutrients and a small handful will deliver a whole bunch of fibre, protein, fat and vitamin E too, amongst other health boosting compounds! When it comes to the health of your skin, vitamin E is an important antioxidant to be given attention to. This vitamin helps to protect your cells from oxidative damage and to keep your skin looking fresh.
In addition to vitamin E, there is an abundance of additional antioxidants to be found in almonds, with many of them being in the brown outer layer.
Eating almonds every day is an amazing way to ensure you are getting an adequate amount of magnesium in your diet.
Making Healthy Choices
When you make the extra effort to include these foods, and also other superfoods, in your diet regularly, then you are taking a wonderful step to good health, and also engaging in an ongoing act of self-care. When you are nourishing your body you are also nourishing your mind!
The food that you put into your body can make such a different to your health, your happiness, your mood, your energy, and much, much more! By making just a few small changes at a time, you can build up to big sustainable choices that work well for your whole body.
Ginger is another favourite superfood of mine that I've written about previously, and you can read all about it by clicking here!
If you are trying to improve your diet then it can be helpful to learn more about your eating habits. Emotional eating is something that many people have a hard time with. This is essentially when we eat as an emotional response to something – both positive and negative!
Emotional eating can hinder your healthy eating efforts, but it is possible to tackle this issue! Click here to join my weekly Get Inspired newsletter AND you’ll automatically receive my Emotional Eating advice!