Yes, we have all heard it, at least, a million times that the key to staying healthy is through the incorporation of a wide variety of vitamin-rich foods in our diets. However, picking out of an assortment of food options can get difficult as we have become accustomed to the on-the-go kind of lifestyle. Instead of focusing on the nutrient rich natural sources available to us we rather grab whatever is more conveniently obtainable.
If you are one of those busy bees, then maybe you have not heard of the “super foods”. Any idea what these are? These are the Michael Jordans of the food world. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which minimize the cell damage that may lead to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Eating them can help you feel more assured that you’re getting what you need from your diet.
Many of us take the expensive dietary supplements available in the marketplace to fulfill our bodily needs of vitamins and minerals but nutrients work best in your body when you get them the natural way: in the amounts found in foods and balanced with other nutrients.
Coming to the very first super food, berries, they help protect cells from damage and lower inflammation. Other than the fact that these different colored super foods taste yummy, they are easily available to you in any supermarket and grocery store. Research published in the Annals of Neurology found that the intake of strawberries and blueberries particularly, postponed cognitive decline by a considerable amount of time. Thus, they are their super foods that act as a support system for your mental health. Also, shown by research published in the journal Neurology People who eat at least two servings of berries a week have a 25 percent less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease than their peers.
Blueberries, in particular, contain many of the vitamins and minerals known to strengthen the immune system, along with key phytochemicals that may help protect against cancer. Research published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis suggests that flavonoids and other compounds found in berries may help reduce colon cancer risk.
The second category of super foods, nuts, other than offering flavor and crunch, are packed with antioxidants which help in lowering oxidized cholesterol and giving you overall better heart health. A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, claims eating more nuts is associated with improved blood cholesterol levels.
Of all nuts, however, walnuts warrant special attention. An analysis presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society concluded that walnuts have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut. Overall, Nuts are one of the most balanced foods on the planet. They offer a good dose of “healthy” fats along with a smaller amount of protein and carbohydrate.
The last but not the least, fish is of notable mention here as a source of oxidants. There are several natural compounds that participate in the anti oxidative defense mechanism of fish. Fish provides powerful omega-3 fatty acids. Evidence confirms that omega-3s, particularly those coming from fish, may help prevent inflammatory diseases, such as coronary heart disease. Although all fish contain an omega 3 component but the ones that are worth mentioning are sardines, salmon, oysters, mackerel, tuna steak, wild rainbow trout, shark steak, albacore tuna, and herring.
Fish also contains a high amount of selenium and zinc. Required in very small amounts, selenium is a powerful antioxidant and Zinc plays a critical role in the body’s immune system.
Fish also offers an essential nutrient that’s hard to find in food: vitamin D.