Eating has become such a routine that we don’t stop to think that there are some foods out there that can actually save your life! While most foods that we eat have some form of nutrients that make up our complete balanced diet, there are foods that go beyond just the nutrient provider to protect you from many deadly diseases. These are aptly called superfoods.
Superfoods are foods rich in chemicals called antioxidants. Some examples of antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids, beta-carotene, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods rich in these antioxidants include fruits and vegetables. Listed below are the top 10 superfoods and the benefits they provide.
- Onions are rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which protects cells from damage and strengthens those that are damaged. They help increase the levels of good cholesterol, thin the blood to prevent clot formation and reduce high blood pressure.
- Garlic as a superfood promotes the functioning of the body’s immune system, slows down the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi, and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and high blood pressure.
- Broccoli has the antioxidants magnesium and vitamin C, powerful immunity boosters that prevent viral and other infections from entering deep into cells.
- Quinoa contains vitamin B6, zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium, niacin, lysine, thiamine, riboflavin and folate, and helps build muscle and repair damaged cells.
- Kale is a great source of vitamin A and C, which helps delay premature ageing, and lutein, which is beneficial for your skin.
- Wild Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in anti-aging and is great for your eyesight. It forms a major component of nerve tissues. Also present in wild salmon is vitamin D and selenium, which promote healthy skin, hair, nails and bones.
- Sardines are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, along with vitamin B, and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper.
- Nuts are included under superfoods because they are full of fiber, healthy oils, vitamin B and E, and minerals, which are great for heart health.
- Spinach includes the antioxidants vitamins C, E and K, beta-carotene, carotenoids, iron, folate and coenzyme Q10.
- Eggs are full of protein, minerals and vitamins including folate, vitamin K and B12.
Our bodies are a constant battlefield against harmful infections and foreign bodies. So, it is good to fortify this defense system with disease-fighting superfoods. Superfoods are said to protect one from cancer, stroke, cataracts and cardiovascular diseases. This doesn’t mean that we pump our bodies with superfoods, as excess of some antioxidants can cause harm. Beta-carotene for one, when taken in high doses, can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. This brings us to the universally accepted recommendation of having a healthy balanced diet that includes all the nutrients required for our growth and repair.