What are the most beneficial and nutritious foods on earth for enhancing energy, health, and happiness? These so-called superfoods are quite common, widely available and often overlooked by consumers.
Here’s a list of the top 6 super foods that experts suggest we should include in our diets:
Among the elements needed to maintain good mental health are Omega 3 fatty acids. Studies show that a lack of these vital nutrients may lead to depression, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and even sleep disorders. So how can we make sure we get enough Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet? It’s quite simple; grab a handful of walnuts! Walnuts have often been referred to as ‘brain food’ because their high concentration of essential fatty acids helps keep our brain cells functioning properly.
Another widely recognized superfood is broccoli. This humble little vegetable, available around the world, is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s rich in calcium and vitamin K, which help maintain healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, it also contains abundant potassium and magnesium. Have you ever wondered what to do for sunburn? Well, help yourself to some broccoli. Rich in glucoraphanin, broccoli helps repair the skin. Glucoraphanin is also an anti-cancer agent.
This beautiful green fruit is bursting with valuable nutrients. An excellent source of folic acid and vitamins C, K, E, and B6, avocados also contain calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus and magnesium and 60% more potassium than bananas. But isn’t an avocado high in fat? It is, but avocado fat is ‘heart-friendly’ monounsaturated fat. In fact, the fruit can improve your cholesterol profile. And like broccoli, avocados contain carotenoid lutein, which helps protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
One food that is on everyone’s superfood list is the delightful blueberry. This small fruit is an excellent source of nutrients such as lutein, which is vital for healthy vision. Blueberries are low in calories, high in fiber and bursting with vitamin C. They ranked #1 in a study by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Center, which sought to find the best source of antioxidants among 40 fresh fruits and vegetables. The little fruit also helps neutralize the free radicals that lead to cancer and other age-related diseases.
No list of super foods would be complete without at least one grain and among the most frequently recommended is quinoa. Regarded as a sacred food by the Incas, quinoa provides 22 grams of protein per 250 milliliters of uncooked grain– more than any other cereal grain. It also contains all eight of the essential amino acids required for tissue development and is thus considered to be a single source of complete protein. Also, quinoa contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and zinc in higher concentrations than wheat, barley or corn. It is also low in fat, gluten-free, and thus ideal for those that are gluten intolerant.
#6 Sesame Seeds
Besides being a pleasant condiment, sesame seeds are chock full of nutrition, making them a worthy candidate for our superfoods list. They contain phytosterol, which lowers cholesterol, as well as vitamin E and an antioxidant that makes our hair soft, shiny, and healthy. Sesame seeds are also loaded with calcium for healthy bones and teeth and high in vitamin A, B, and essential fatty acids. Being exceptionally nutritious, the seeds contain 20% protein and are considered among the best sources of methionine, an essential amino acid. Sesame seeds also contain lecithin, which reduces fat levels in the blood and helps protect the body from environmental toxins.
Of course, there are a lot more superfoods than we could fit into our short list. Green, leafy vegetables, beans, and lentils are also important mainstays of a nutritious and fulfilling diet. But it’s good to remember that what we eat is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle.
Regular, and appropriate exercise, plus periods set aside for sufficient rest and recuperation are also essential for keeping us feeling fit and healthy. And never underestimate the benefits of a simple, brisk walk on a bright, sunny day, which can also work wonders for our health and well-being.