“Superfood” is a term that conjures up images of magic ingredients that will instantly make you healthier and happier by just consuming them.
It is true that super foods contain exceptional amounts of healthy compounds and nutrients, which make them a better choice than other foods.
To eat a super food occasionally will not give you the magic, long-lasting health benefits (such as a longer life or cancer prevention) for which you may be wishing. Instead, stock up and include a range of super foods in your diet every day.
Here are some examples:
Instead of popping omega 3 supplements, start including more oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel into your daily diet.
Fish is a much healthier choice in protein than the beef our Western society is so fond of and actually reduces the risk of cardiac disease and heart attacks.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least four servings of fish per week.
Tomatoes are easy to come by and a great source of vitamin A, E, C and B, zeaxanthin, lutein, potassium, phosphorus and many other nutrients.
They are very rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is linked to significantly lowering the risk of cancer and stroke.
Tomatoes are luckily very versatile and delicious in pastas, salads and even juice, so stock up on this super food and have it daily.
Kale is an excellent leafy green super food, with cancer fighting properties thanks to its concentration of sulforaphane. It contains more vitamin A and C and flavonoids than you may need for the day and bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Other super leafy greens include collard greens, rich in calcium, vitamin D and K and spinach (yes, Popeye knew the secret…) which is also a great cancer buster.
Get rid of all of that vegetable oil in the cupboard and stock up on olive oil instead, which can help fend off high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, obesity and a host of other ailments, as the healthy Mediterranean people have proven time and again.
Women who follow the Mediterranean diet, with lots of olive oil, veggies, fish and whole grains, have a 40-percent greater chance to make it past the age of 70 than those who don’t.
A much healthier option than other fatty snacks, and quite filling, nuts should always be in supply in your kitchen cupboard.
Besides, by just eating one handful of almonds a day, you can decrease your risk of dying from any cause by 20 percent according to recent research.
Don’t be too worried that eating nuts will cause weight gain, as the people who do, typically don’t suffer from obesity.
Berries, blueberries in particular, are a great source of phytochemicals that prevent allergies, protect your heart, prevent cancer, prevent Alzheimer’s and boost the immune system.
They are the perfect sweet snack as they contain less sugar than many other fruits. To top it all, berries are powerful antioxidants, meaning that if you eat them regularly they may help keep you young.
The 8th century King Charlemagne was on the right track when he started to decree laws to get his subjects to consume flaxseed every day.
This rich source of omega 3 may protect against diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke, so be sure to sprinkle some flaxseed over your food daily and start substituting regular flour recipes with those containing flaxseed meal.
Beans are another great food to use in dishes every day. They are high in protein and fiber, keeping you satisfied for longer and preventing blood sugar spikes after a meal.
They are a good source of potassium and magnesium and keep you regular and your colon healthy. Beans are inexpensive and delicious in salads, soups and stews.
Ditch that sugary breakfast cereal and have a good old-fashioned bowl of oats every day instead. Whole grain oats are a good source of soluble fiber, and they lower cholesterol and help control your blood sugar levels.
Oats also have anti-inflammatory properties and contain over 25 biologically active nutrients.