Fruits and vegetables are good for you. Now how many times have we heard this? What is worth noting, however, is that latest research indicates that you should increase your daily portions of vegetables and fruits to seven. This will allow you to live longer and improve your chances of preventing cancer (1).
Entities such as World Health Organisation have been recommending eating five-a-day vegetables and fruits. But according to epidemiologists of University College in London, this number may be inadequate to guarantee the immune system is at the top of its condition.
According to them, eating at least seven portions of fresh vegetables and fruits a day can reduce risk of cancer by 25% and risk of heart disease or stroke by 31%. These percentages highlight the importance of adding an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.
The Importance of “Superfoods”
The fact that vegetables and fruits provide cancer-preventing compounds is nothing new. Plants are packed with precious nutrients with antioxidant activity which acts as free radicals scavengers, ensuring cells remain healthy and secure.
Sadly, most people only start paying attention to their health once it is already threatened. Prevention is the best medication. So, if you want to stay away from statins and beta-blockers, superfoods are on hand in order to boost your health and wellness.
List of Superfoods
Let’s now look at the top 10 best superfoods:
Popeye’s favourite food is indeed an amazing superfood. Spinach is packed with crucial minerals for energy production (potassium and magnesium) and a hefty dose of vitamin A, essential for eye health. It is also a powerful source of nitrate, a compound that boosts two key proteins to muscle strength.
Have you been eating your broccoli lately? Why not? Broccoli is low in calories and rich in both minerals and vitamins (especially vitamin C). Not only this, it has a powerful compound called sulforaphane which exhibits strong anticancer properties.
Pomegranate is one of the fruits with the most antioxidant activity, thanks to polyphenols called ellagitannins and ellagic acid. Additionally, research shows that pomegranate extract helps lower bad cholesterol and favours blood circulation.
4. Grape Seed
Grape seed is a natural source of the strong polyphenol called oligomeric proanthocyanidins which offers an effective protection against free radicals.
Acai berries are being touted as natural energy boosters. Besides its nutritional value, acai contains several phytochemicals that protect the body against free radicals. The main ones are anthocyanins (which improve blood circulation), proanthocyanidins and flavonoids.
Blueberries are a natural source of fibre and vitamins A and C, making them an excellent food to mix with yogurts or protein shakes. To top it off, blueberries’ flavonoids may be able to boost gut bacteria and so offering health-promoting properties.
Powerful antioxidant lycopene is the key nutrient to tomatoes’ popularity as a superfood. You can marvel on lycopene’s properties as research shows it can cut risk of stroke and heart disease. Add tomatoes to your salad to enhance cardiovascular health.
Cranberries are very rich in health-enhancing phytochemicals and can be easily added to any yogurt, pancake or protein shake. Its antioxidant properties can have anti-aging benefits and protect against urinary tract infections.
It’s not by chance that its arabic translated name means “father of all foods”. Alfalfa’s comprehensive health-enhancing properties extend from improving digestion to increasing energy levels and supporting immune function.
Brazil nuts are a very interesting superfood. They are not only rich in healthy fats but also rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and selenium. Selenium is needed for thyroid hormone metabolism.
Take Home Message
Due to their amazing nutritional properties, superfoods like the ones described above can improve your well-being. They offer a myriad of natural nutrients crucial for promoting overall health.
Try to follow the seven-a-day recommendation and experience the benefits of making healthy food choices.
If it seems too hard to consume all of these foods on a daily basis, you can rather have an all-in-one blend. Supplements such as Superfood XS and Total Nutri-Greens are packed with a wide range of the best superfoods with known health-enhancing properties.
What about you? Tell us what your favourite superfoods are.
(1) – J Epidemiol Community Health, 31 March 2014, doi: 10.1136/jech-2013-203500
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